It has taken Alburtis nearly 100 years to make its history, and now it will take viewers 32 minutes to watch it.
Thanks to a DVD produced in cooperation with the Alburtis-Lockridge Historical Society, residents will have historical highlights at their fingertips.
That DVD, "Alburtis, Over 100 Years of Memories," will premiere with a free showing at 7:30 p.m. April 16 in Lock Ridge Church, Church and Franklin streets. Residents, or anyone interested in the documentary, are encouraged to come. Anyone will be able to buy the DVD after April 16 for $20 at First Star Bank, 11 N. Main St., or Borough Hall.
"Up until now there's really been no documentation on Alburtis," said Allen Oswald, Historical Society president. "Little bits here and there, but nothing like this."
Oswald hopes 100 or more will come to the showing, but he knows life is busy. He said they have invited groups such as Scouts and the Lions Club as well as individuals. Anyone interested is welcome.
A donation by the William B. Butz Memorial Fund sponsored the making of the DVD. Alburtis native Scott Stoneback's Media People, Inc. produced the documentary. Stoneback and Oswald collaborated on the project for more than a year.
"We start from when the area was scrub oak, to an aerial of the borough a few years ago and pretty much everything in between," Oswald said.
Stoneback narrates the documentary, which includes footage, photos and maps. Subjects include the East Pennsylvania Railroad, Lock Ridge Furnace, churches, schools, stores and the former silk mill, shirt factory and shoe factory.
The Borough of Alburtis was formed May 9, 1913 with the merger of the villages of Alburtis and Lockridge, Oswald said. Although it does not take a mathematician to know the borough has not yet reached the century mark, Oswald says the DVD encompasses more than 100 years because of the history leading to the borough's incorporation as well.
The area was a tiny, largely undeveloped stop along the railroad line, which was built in 1857, Oswald said. The village was named for a member of the railroad board, Edward K. Alburtis.
But things began to spring up around the rail line, Oswald said, including Lock Ridge Furnace, which eventually really put the area on the map.
"If it wouldn't have been for the railroad, Lock Ridge Furnace wouldn't have been here," he said.
Oswald said he has seen the finished product and is proud of it.
"I think it was a project well done," he said. "If it would have been up to me, it would have been a full-length double feature, but that costs money," he said with a laugh.
"I think this was a big step in recording the history of the borough," he added. Now they should at least have an idea of what has happened in Alburtis."
Oswald also noted that planning is beginning on the borough's centennial in 2013. A presentation will be made before the DVD is shown, seeking volunteers and telling how people can get involved.
Oswald also said the Historical Society would welcome new members and encourages those interested to get involved.
Anyone interested in the centennial or the Historical Society should call him at 610-966-3534.