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BHC will be closed for Memorial Day on Saturday, May 25th

940 Centre Ave, Reading, PA 19601 | (610) 375-4375 
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 9am – 3pm

940 Centre Ave, Reading, PA 19601
(610) 375-4375 
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 9am – 3pm

Berks County Origins

Museum » Museum Exhibits » Berks County Origins

The George M. Meiser, IX Gallery

The George M. Meiser, IX  Gallery serves as an orientation space that provides a glimpse into the area’s fascinating history starting from its early beginnings. If guests are limited on time, this is an ideal spot to visit for a brief overview of the museum’s overarching themes, including arts and culture, religion, industry, agriculture, and transportation.


The Lenape of Berks County

Hundreds of years before Europeans arrived in the New World, Lenape Indians lived in Berks County. By learning about the Lenape lifestyle, tools, and language, we can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the rich history and culture of the Native American people who inhabited the land long before European colonization.

The Penn Square Model

Step back in time and explore the city of Reading as it appeared in 1800 with BHC’s iconic Penn Square model. With new additions located on the upper level of the BHC Historical Society Museum, visitors can now delve even further into the city’s rich history.

A brief video showcasing aerial footage allows guests to witness the transformation of the city’s landscape over time. Additionally, an informative guide and engaging activity sheets, available in both English and Spanish, allow visitors to learn more about the fascinating individuals who once called Reading their home.


The Hiester Room

Step into the past with this immersive space designed to make guests feel like they are in a late 1700s to early 1800s home. Joseph Hiester was born in 1752 and grew up in Bern Township. He played an incredibly patriotic role in the American Revolution and fought in the battles of Long Island and Germantown. Beyond his efforts in the war, Joseph Hiester served as a politician in both the PA and U.S. House of Representatives. Almost everything in the room, from the artwork to the furniture and trim, originally belonged to the Hiester family. This design is meant to reflect the interior of Joseph Hiester’s home, providing guests with a glimpse into the past.