Preserving Upper Merion's Past To Enlighten Its Future
King of Prussia Historical Society

Our Mission
To preserve and interpret the history of Upper Merion Township, and to stimulate public interest and to support the township’s heritage through educational programs and public events focusing on preserving the past and shaping the future.
What We’re Doing
Monthly Events – Held at Christ Church (Old Swedes) Upper Merion.

Register of Historic Places – Help us to identify places in need of preservation.

Digital Archive Project – We are digitizing our collection of maps, aerial photos and more.

Latest News – See what’s going on.

Facebook Page – Join the conversation!
How You Can Help
Become a member or renew – join the fine group of people learning, preserving and educating, and receive quarterly issues of the King of Prussia Gazette – our newsletter.

Donate via Paypal – help us in our mission; receive a thank you gift of a print of a panoramic photograph of King of Prussia for donations at a certain level.

Amazon Smile – Amazon donates to us every time you make a purchase.

Donate items of historical interest.

Volunteer – opportunities to help out are available.

Join our mailing list
Learn More
E-History Facts – See a list of the facts posted weekly on Facebook.

Educational Resources – A detailed list of resources on Upper Merion History.

Books & Publications – Read about Upper Merion’s 300 year history.

Digital Archive – Old maps, aerial photos and other items of historical interest.

The Gazette – Our monthly newsletter which includes articles on our local history.


KING OF PRUSSIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY FACEBOOK PAGE

FRIDAY FACT: DEADLY GEORGE WASHINGTON MOTOR LODGE FIRE - SEPTEMBER 5,1962

From the Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/6/1962

Guest Dies, 10 Routed in Motel Blaze

Fire Sweeps Wing of Huge Lodge at King of Prussia

One man dies and 10 other guests were routed Wednesday when a raging fire swept through a 52-unit wing of the George Washington Motor Lodge, on Route 202 and the Schuylkill Expressway, King of Prussia, Upper Merion township.

The blaze, discovered at 9:05 A.M., was fought by 100 firemen from five communities for nearly three hours before it was brought under control.

One unit in the wing, occupied by the victim, was destroyed and the other 51 units were damaged by flames, smoke and water. Damage was unofficially estimated in excess of $400,000.

'NO FIRE ORDINANCE'

Fire Chief Edward Silcox, of the King of Prussia Co., who directed the battle, blamed a lack of fire walls between the units in the wing and the absence of fire hydrants on the premises for the spread of the flames.

"There is no fire ordinance in the township," Silcox said.

Killed in the blaze was Richard Callopy, 42, of Hamilton, O., a salesman for the paper Mills, Inc. of Kalamazoo, Mich., who occupied the unit where the fire started.

His body, clad in pajamas, was found in the bathroom, two hours after the blaze started.

Among the guests who fled were Mr. and Mrs. Robert Starrett, of Norwalk, Conn., and their daughter, Suzanne, 7 weeks. The child was taken to Montgomery Hospital, Norristown, for examination and discharged.

REPORTS SMOKE

William Scheenberg, of Cleveland, who had a room next to Callopy's, called the motel office shortly after 9 o'clock and said smoke was seeping into his room.

While the desk clerk called police and firemen, Michael d'Alonza, 22, a handyman, rushed to Callopy's room and unlocked the door with a passkey. He was met by flames and smoke and said the whole room was on fire.

Chief Silcox said the flames spread rapidly along ductwork between the ceilings of the units and the roof. He said although the exterior of the wing, opened three months ago, was made of brick, there was only studding, insulation and plaster wallboard between the units.

Within the last three weeks, the supervisors of Upper Merion township directed the township solicitor to prepare a draft for the adoption of a fire ordinance.
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The King of Prussia Historical Society and Christ Church Old Swedes were excited to host Girl Scout Troop 7157. The troop learned about Upper Merion History, the role that the church and the land around it played in the founding of the township, and discovered some local heroes buried there. The troop also learned about about "This Place Matters," the importance of historic preservation, and ended the evening with a campfire and s'mores! ... See MoreSee Less

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King of Prussia Historical Society shared Swedesburg Volunteer Fire Company (MONTCO 49)'s event. ... See MoreSee Less

75th Anniversary Parade

October 21, 2017, 12:00pm

Come out and celebrate Swedesburg Volunteer Fire Company's 75 Anniversary Parade and Housing. Registration and Judging Starts at 8:00 am. Parade starts at 12:00 Noon. Awards 1 hour after conclu...

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From the Digital Archive
Visit our collection of images, audio files and documents – new material will continue to be added.