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Ephrata Borough Community Blog

Jan 23

The History of Ephrata

Posted on January 23, 2023 at 9:00 AM by Ephrata Borough

History Of Ephrata Borough 

Ephrata Borough, PA has a long and rich, and culturally diverse history that dates back hundreds of years prior to the formation of the United States.

1732: Founding As A Religious Community

The village of Ephrata was first formed in 1732 by a German mystic named Johann Beissel and was initially a religious community made up of men and women called Cloisters.  The people within the Cloister community spent their days peacefully in prayer and quietly worked on things like carpentry, gardening, papermaking, printing, and charity.

The Cloisters held many important values. For example, they cultivated a deep respect for their fellow human beings and the land on which they lived and worked. They also thought that education was crucial, particularly for children. 

Early 1800s: Regional Center For Commerce

By the early 1800s, however, the Cloisters began to die out, and Ephrata turned into a center for commerce and trade in the region. Two hotels - the Mountain Springs and the Mount Vernon House - were built, and Ephrata became an important stop for the Reading and Columbia Railroads.

Today, you can still visit the Mountain Springs resort (and even stay in it), along with the railroad station which is now a preserved visitor’s center for the Ephrata Borough.

1891: Petition To Form A Borough

In 1891 - over 150 years after the community was first founded - a petition for a charter that would incorporate the village of Ephrata into a borough was presented, debated, and passed.  

Ephrata Borough Today

 While the origination of Ephrata Borough only had about 2,200 residents, currently there are over 13,700 consisting of families, individuals, and business members of the community. Downtown (Welcome Sign)

While Ephrata is no longer a religious community of Cloisters, the residents of the Ephrata community today still hold the same values making for an all-inclusive, culturally rich, and inviting place to live, work, and play. 


Jan 12

How to Dispose of Large Items In The Ephrata Borough

Posted on January 12, 2023 at 9:47 AM by Ephrata Borough


How to Dispose of Large Items In The Ephrata Borough 

Are you getting ready to do some much-needed spring cleaning around the house? Maybe a few items are too big for a trash bag, and you don't know how to dispose of them. 

The Ephrata Borough is here to help safely throw away the things you no longer need, like that Christmas tree you've finally taken down. We have multiple services for large items and special collections, like batteries, that you should know about.

Christmas Tree Collection 

Don't keep your Christmas Tree up too long because Ephrata Borough is ready to take them off your hands for free. We provide Borough residents with free curbside pickup of Christmas trees, and it's easy. Place any tree you have out on the same day as your recycling, and we will pick it up. 

Remove any ornaments, lights, and stands from the tree. We will collect them until January 16, 2023. If you miss the collection window, you may purchase a $5.00 tag from the Borough Business Office, place it on the tree, and follow the same steps above.

How To Throw Out Large Appliances

Large appliances, also known as "white good" items, are any appliance that weighs 50 pounds or more. The Borough can collect these items, but you must purchase and attach a white goods tag for each item before putting it on the curb. Each tag costs $25.00 and is available at the Borough Office. 

White goods include, but are not limited to, items like:

  • Dishwashers
  • Clothes washer/dryer
  • Hot water heater and air conditioners
  • Stoves/ovens
  • Refrigerators and freezers

What About Special Items?

We have all asked ourselves, "is this safe to throw away?" A few specialty items might not be safe for the trash can, especially household batteries. The Borough provides special battery bags you can fill with all your used household batteries. Once it's full, place it beside your recycling bin, and we will take it from there.

Another common item left lying around is old tires. We can take those too! Tire collection runs from the spring through summer. You must purchase a tire tag for $2.00 at the Borough Office, and each tire requires its own tag.

If you're getting ready to get some yard work done, the Ephrata Borough also provides removal of things like grass clippings, leaves, twigs, branches, and more from spring to fall. Yard trimmings, like branch bundles, will be collected if they are no more than four feet long and weigh 30 pounds.

We want to ensure our community is correctly disposing of its trash and are ready to help you keep your home and property clean. Check out our website if you have questions about what you can and cannot put on your curbside.

Jan 11

Ephrata Library

Posted on January 11, 2023 at 3:27 PM by Ephrata Borough


Everything You Need To Know About The Ephrata Library


The Ephrata Public Library is one of the Borough’s most cherished institutions. In this article, we dig deep into the origins of this institution, how it was funded, and where it is located today. 

The History Of The Ephrata Library

Ephrata was originally settled in the early 1700s by a religious community called the Cloisters. These people were skilled printers and publishers, and they formed their own early version of the Ephrata Public Library.

 Many, many years later, in 1917, the seeds for an official modern Ephrata Public Library were planted with a small collection of books in the Washington Avenue High School. The collection expanded over time and was eventually made public before being closed in 1947. 

 In 1949, fervor for an Ephrata Public Library was renewed when a local resident named Lizzie Widder died and left her house and storeroom to be used as the new library facility. Unfortunately, her request couldn’t be fulfilled because her home lay outside the Ephrata Borough.

 By 1961, the library was being housed in the historic Connell Mansion. But after it became officially designated as a service location in a countywide library system, the mansion was deemed too small. 

 In a joint effort by the Ephrata Borough Council, with funds from the estate of Miss Lizzie Widder, government funds, and the proceeds from a local fundraising drive, the first official Ephrata Public Library facility was built in 1967.

The Ephrata Public Library Today 

 As time passed and the community grew, a new, larger, more modern facility was needed. In 1995, after another fund drive, a new library facility was erected at its current location, 550 South Reading Road.

 If you would like to learn more about the Ephrata Public Library and how you can help support the future of this public service, click here.