Thursday, July 02, 2020

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Written by Larry Roeder, Editor
July 02, 2020

            There was a time when factory buildings housing slumping businesses had no trouble being claimed by other industries looking to locate in our region.  If it was a

The L. B. Miller Cigar Manufacturer building built in

1895, once employed about 300 workers, mostly Red

Hill residents

well-built structure, somebody had a use for it.

            One of the earliest and largest structures built for cigar manufacturing was on Main Street in Red Hill.  For years, it housed many of the borough's workforce.  According to the census of the United States, in 1920 there were 217 Red Hill residents listed as being employed in the cigar making industry in the borough.  Over one-quarter of the entire Red Hill population (787) were dependent on that business.  Of special note is the fact that the census listed no other industries in the borough at that time. 

            By 1920, the local cigar industry was suffering a steep decline in business.  It wasn't long after that head count that the cigar business began to disappear from the community. 

            They say timing is everything, and this was no exception. 

            As our cigar factories were emptying out, clothing makers were eyeing the

In 1925, the Rosenau brothers purchased the

building to manufacture their "Shirley

Temple" and "Cinderella Frocks" line of child-

rens clothes.  The company went bankrupt in

the early 1970's.

upper Montgomery County area as a place to grow their businesses.  Several large, successful companies decided to expand their production into the area and that decision kept many local residents employed.  One such conversion was the transformation of the L. B. Miller Cigar factory to the Rosenau Brothers Clothing factory. 

            In 1925 it was heralded as the largest real estate deal in recent Red Hill memory.  The 100' by 50' three-story structure was built in the mid-1890s to accommodate the consolidation of two Miller Cigar factories.  It was owned by Red Hill business pioneers Lucian B Miller and John P. Kline. 

At the height of the cigar making business, Miller employed over 300 workers at that location.  The industrious duo had no trouble convincing Louis, Sidney and Fred Rosenau of the hard-working nature of the local folks in the upper end of Montgomery County. The Rosenau's knew firsthand since they were already operating a clothing factory in Green Lane. 

             The company quickly outgrew the Green Lane location and was looking for a larger factory nearby.  They had been in the business since 1914 when they opened their first factory at 27 N. Second St. in Philadelphia.  In addition to Philadelphia and Red Hill, they owned factories in Ephrata and Lansford, employing well over 1,000 workers. 

            The new owners took possession of the Red Hill building in July of 1925. 

            Prior to the agreement of sale, Miller and Kline secured a ...

June 02, 2020
May 06, 2020


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