Reading PA is in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Currently having a population of around 90,000 people, Reading is the 5th largest city in all Pennsylvania. Reading is included in the ‘Greater Reading Area’, which has more than 400,000 residents. At one point, Reading Pennsylvania was considered the ‘poorest small city in the nation’ but has improved over the past several years. In the early 19th century, the Reading Railroad was built, which was a major infrastructure project that resulted in an easy way to transport coal between Eastern PA and the Port of Philadelphia. No longer in operation, the Reading Railroad is one of the railroad properties in the Monopoly board game.
The physical location of Reading was chosen in 1733, and was known as Finney’s Ford until 1743, when Thomas Lawrence processed the first layout of, what is know today as, Reading.
First used as a military based in the French and Indian War, Reading was an ideal location to support weapons and supplies.
The Lenni Lenape Indians were the original occupants of the Reading, PA area.
In the early 1800’s, canals were built to transport cargo around the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. The canals were closed off in the last 1800’s so the Railroads could be built.
The Reading Railroad was established in 1833, but a railroad strike in 1877 resulted in protests and, ultimately, 6 lives were lost.
Reading’s population continued to grow, until the 1930’s hit, and many people had to leave the area due to loss of industry, and in turn, jobs.
Fast forward to 1972, when Hurricane Agnes caused severe flooding in Reading, and then again in 2006. The Reading area is susceptible to flooding from the Schuylkill river, so people who live this this area need to be careful when big storms approach.
In 1971, the Reading Railroad Company filed for bankruptcy, since less and less material was needed to be transported via rail, and revenues were down.
In the early 2000’s, Reading had one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. But by 2007, Reading had cleaned up it’s city and was listed as NBC’s Today’s top up and coming neighborhoods across the entire United States.
Reading has since turned into a large city in Pennsylvania, and currently has a large agricultural industry. There are many businesses that call Reading home, and more are added each day.