A Place in Time spotlights a significant cultural resource - a district, site, building, structure or object - entered in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Herpel Brothers Foundry and Machine Shop, built in Reynoldsville, Jeffer­son County, in 1905 for German immigrants Charles A. Herpel (1856-1945) and Henry Herpel (1861-1951), is a significant vestige of the small northwestern Pennsylvania community’s industrial heritage.

The Herpels relocated to Reynoldsville during the region’s lumber boom, and in 1884 they purchased the foundry operation of machinist David L. Crowell, who had been in business since the mid-1870s. A county history, published in 1888, notes that the brothers “make to order and repair mill, tannery, and mine work.” Not long after the opening of the twentieth century, their success enabled them to erect the present structure. Henry Herpel’s obituary in the Reynoldsville Star noted that the firm “witnessed the greatest industrial and business growth of Reynoldsville, for it followed the completion of the Al­legheny Valley Railroad (now the Low Grade of the Pennsylvania Railroad) and the development of vast coal and timber lands, and the machine shop was one of the busiest and most profitable enterprises in the section, supplying the needs of mines, mills, and factories for a score of miles around.” The octogenarian Her­pels retired in 1943, at which time they sold the building to a wholesale glass supplier.

The Herpel Brothers Machine Shop and Foundry building, which observes its one hundredth anniversary in 2005, is recognized as a distinctive example of industrial vernacular architecture. A recent recipient of a Keystone Historic Preservation grant, the building has been rehabilitated to serve as the Reynoldsville Older Americans Service Center, which is administered by the Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging.


Recent Additions to the National Register of Historic Places

Lewisburg Historic District
Lewisburg, Union County
July 28, 2004

Herpel Brothers Foundry and Machine Shop
Reynoldsville, Jefferson County
August 4, 2004

Sanatoga Union Sunday School
Lower Pottsgrove Township
August 4, 2004

Andrew and Jennie McFarlane House
North Huntingdon Township, Wesbnore­land County
August 4, 2004

Ellis Williams House
East Goshen Township, Chester County
August 11, 2004

Amelia S. Givin Free Library
Mt. Holly Springs, Cumberland County
August 11, 2004

Slatington Historic District
Slatington, Lehigh County
August 11, 2004

Vigilant Fire Company Firemen’s Monument
Washington Township; Lehigh County
August ll, 2004

Isaac Stout House
Williams Township, Northampton County
August 11, 2004


The editor acknowledges the research of David L. Taylor, Taylor and Taylor Associates, of Brookville, who nominated the Herpel Broth­ers Foundry and Machine Shop to the National Register of Historic Places.