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How fascinating would it be to begin a genealogical research of your family history and discover that you have an entire town named after your great, great, great grandfather? That’s exactly what Perry Boyer and his family from Orange County, California uncovered last week when they came to Boyertown for a visit.
Kelsey and Perry Boyer, both scuba instructors who have traveled all over the world, but currently reside in California, came to visit Boyertown to honor their relatives. Kelsey’s mother Debbie Powell from Landsdale, PA, had been doing some genealogical research in her free time. She discovered that Perry is a descendent of the original Boyer brothers who built up Boyertown in the early 1800’s; Henry K. Boyer and Daniel Boyer. (To read more on the Boyer brothers and their successes please visit http://boyertownpa.org/history-of-boyertown/)
After Kelsey Boyer contacted Building A Better Boyertown in October, describing their findings they decided to schedule a visit to see the historic places first-hand. I put her in touch with Alex Boyer, one of Building A Better Boyertown (BBB) board members who is a direct descendent of Daniel Boyer as well. In fact, as the Boyers took a walking tour of downtown Boyertown, the signs of their family heritage were revealed at every corner.
Starting with the Boyer name inscribed in the stained glass window of what used to be know as“Boyer’s corner”, to the named bricks that were installed just this past summer, Boyertown history abounded. The Boyertown Inn still stands where Henry’s brother, Daniel, started a small merchandising business in a corner closet of the Inn. But most interesting of all was “the stag party” invitation hanging on the wall of the Twin Turrets Inn. The Bed and Breakfast was once owned by Horace K. Boyer. The invitation was for a Tuesday evening on Jan. 7, 1908 where “services began at 9 pm and continued till the cock crows”.
Though this time in history appeared to be a very successful and prosperous one, another discovery of the afternoon was that The Boyer family lost 2 children in the Opera House fire of 1908 when they had initially escaped the fire only to perish after they ran back in to the building to retrieve their coats.
The Boyer’s walking tour through Boyertown ended at Fairview Cemetery where they found their relatives headstones and were able to pay their respects as they had initially intended for the visit.