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History: Ku Klux Klan Existed in Spring City

The Klan functioned in our area. Something many people living here today are not aware of.

In 1926 the Bonnie Brae Park Association purchased a property just outside of Spring City for $7,500. The Bonnie Brae Association issued stock at $5 a share to fund the purchase. The property acquired was the former amusement park grounds known as Bonnie Brae Park. It consisted of 25 acres of land with a penny arcade building, a meeting building, two bungalows and a smaller concession stand. The carousel had been removed and sold at auction but the large building that housed it would later be used as the Klan’s main meeting hall.

The name Bonnie Brae Park Association was really just a front name for the Ku Klux Klan. The amusement park had opened in 1899 and was located on the trolley line between Spring City and Phoenixville. It was not unexpected that once the trolley lines were abandoned in 1924 the closing of the park would soon follow.

The Klan operated at Bonnie Brae from 1927 until 1945. They had many ceremonies and functions at the park. Picnics, Klan weddings, and Konklaves were all held locally. The organization appeared to be mainstream and took part in various community services. Advertisements from the local businesses lined he pages of their programs. In 1929 there was a newspaper article about the Klan donating a 65-foot flag to the new Spring City School at a special program held in the auditorium.

As a young boy I had heard some about the klan and just seemed to assume that it was an organization located down South. I never heard anything good about it so you can imagine how shocked I was that it had actually been active right here in our back yard all those years ago.

The park was located right next to the Zion Lutheran Church on route 724 where Pikeland Avenue connects to the main road. Today there is an auction house operating  there. This property has been the home to auctions since 1945 when the Klan ceased operations here and rented the property to an auctioneer.

The Klan remained active throughout the '30s but declined in the early-'40s.  In a meeting held on June 12, 1950, the remaining members voted to sell the property to Geo. C. Skelley for $15.

Bill

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Bill A February 10, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I remember that someone had once told me that the KKK was active in this area for a time in the early 20th century. I really didn't take too much stock this. Then, at a family function, i was told that i had a relative who was, for a short time, a member. But they quickly added that the KKK in Spring City was not the KKK as it is seen today.
Deneen Roberts Cirafisi February 11, 2012 at 04:02 AM
I, too, was told that the Klan was nothing like it is today. Back then many people in this area were members of the Klan. What people don't know is that their reason for joining was not for racial reasons but for political and religious reasons/issues.

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