Located in the scenic Perkiomen Valley, the adjacent boroughs of Trappe and Collegeville have a rich and fascinating history. Trappe was founded in 1717 by German immigrant Jacob Schrack Sr., who ran a tavern known as the Trap, after which the village was named. Its most famous early residents were Lutheran patriarch Henry Melchior Muhlenberg and his sons Peter, a Revolutionary War general, and Frederick, first speaker of the US House of Representatives. Collegeville, initially known as Freeland, developed primarily in the 1800s following the completion of the Perkiomen Bridge in 1799. It was named after several early colleges, including Freeland Seminary, established in 1848, and the Pennsylvania Female College, established in 1851. These institutions were succeeded by Ursinus College in 1869. A pioneer in women’s education, Ursinus became coeducational in 1880. Trappe and Collegeville were formally incorporated as separate boroughs in 1896.
Lisa Minardi is a native of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Ursinus College. She serves as executive director of The Speaker’s House, a nonprofit organization that is restoring the historic home of Frederick Muhlenberg in Trappe. Together with Anne Grasberger, Kate Minardi, and Barbara Wentz, she produced this book, with additional support from the Historical Society of Trappe, Collegeville, and Perkiomen Valley and the Ursinus College Archives.
The Making History Greater series features scholars, authors, and historians who are currently working on telling new stories about the complexity of our region’s history. Thursday presentations begin at 5:00 with a social gathering and light refreshments. Lectures begin at 5:30 and last for about an hour with time for questions at the end. This program is free and open to the public.