Sunday, March 22, 2020

Chester Ford Plant opens!!! Everything is cancelled, Please be Safe!!

A postcard of the Chester Ford Car Plant from about 1930

NOTE: Some of you may still remember when Chester City had a Ford Car plant which opened in 1928. Chester City got the first car off the assembly line.

CITY SECURES FIRST PRODUCT OF FORD PLANT  Two Hundred Invited Guests See New Model Driven Off Runway

The first new model Ford car assembled at the local plant of the Detroit manufacturer was purchased by the city and driven off the runway by mayor Samuel E. Turner, this morning, amid the plaudits of 200 guests, representing civic and professional leaders of the city and county, and the assembled employees of the massive industry.
The car, a green two-door sedan, the engine number of which is 24971, cost the Ford Motor Company between three and one-half and four millions to build, when everything is taken into consideration, and William W. Mitchell, manager of the local plant, jokingly remarked that “Chester now owns the most expensive car in the world.”
The ceremonies incidental to the delivery of the first car were simple but impressive.  The guests who had assembled in the show room of the plant were ushered into the assembly department, where the car purchased by the city stood at the head of a number on the runway which leads from the endless chain on which the machines are erected.
Mr. Mitchell made a brief address in which he outlined the expense of the company in having the plant constructed and thanked the city officials and others interested in the progress of Chester for their cooperation and help to the plant officials since locating here.
Mayor Turner, who was introduced by manager Mitchell, expressed the thanks of the populace to the Ford company for having selected Chester as the ideal site for their mammoth plant and said this would be a red letter days in the annals of the city.  He recalled that the spot on which the first car was assembled was sacred as it was it was there on which the U. S. S. Dolphin, famous in the history of the country’s navy was built.
Following his speech the mayor and Mr. Mitchell posed for a battery of camera men who took several pictures of them beside the initial car.
Prior to the guests being escorted from the showroom to the assembly plant, all present were requested to sign a parchment, the signatures being placed at all angles around a square in the center of paper.  It was explained that a picture of the car would be placed in the center of the parchment and would be preserved as a reminder of the official opening.
William B. Stout, of the Stout Metal Airplane Division of the Ford Motor Company’s poke briefly on what the Ford Motor Company, spoke briefly on what the Ford Motor Company is doing for the advancement of airways in this country and stated that within two years an airline would be established between Detroit and Philadelphia, with the airport probably located in the eastern section of this county.
He made it known that ford is at present operating his own air lines in the Middle West and has fourteen planes operating, carrying passengers and freight.  There have been no casualties since the lines were placed in operation, he said, and the company is turning out one plane every fortnight, the cost of which is $45,000.
It was emphasized by an official of the plant this morning that 81 percent of those employed at the local plant are residents of Chester, the remainder out-of-town residents being experienced and skilled help that was brought here as a nucleus for the small army that will be employed when the plant is operating at capacity.  It was also said that residents of Chester and vicinity are being given the preference in employment.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Please help the 1724 Courthouse in Chester Meetings and lectures cancelled

The 1724 Courthouse still stands in the 400 block of the Avenue of the States in Chester. The above picture is from about 1915. In the late 1850's a new tower with a clock was added to the courthouse roof in. The courthouse was restored to it's original look in the 1920's. See below for another picture after is was restored.

Please help preserve the 1724 Courthouse in Chester

The courthouse was built in 1724 and is the oldest public building in the United States. It is on the National Register.

    In the fall of 2018, The Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission announced that it wanted to divest itself of the 1724 Court House in Chester.  A committee of interested historians and historic preservationist was formed to meet with representatives of PHMC to explore the options that were available to the 1724 Court House.  In the late summer of 2019 PHMC presented a proposal to the County of Delaware in which PHMC would grant the County a 99 year lease for the 1724 Court House.  However, the lease was not executed prior to the election.  After the election the lame duck members of Council did not feel that they should enter into the lease.  
     After the newly elected Council members were sworn in, PHMC requested a meeting with County Council to present and explain the proposed lease.The vote should be coming in the next few weeks we urge all delco residents to contact, email, and call their county council members to have this approved and bring the ownership back to Delaware County.

Below is a letter prepared by Leslie Potter, a longtime delco researcher and historian from Glen Mills. Copy this letter and please send it to county council, with your name and address. The 1724 Courthouse needs your help


The Honorable Brian P. Zidek, Chairman
Delaware County Council
201 West Front Street
Media, PA 19063

In re: 1724 Court House in Chester

Dear Mr. Zidek:

  It is my understanding that Delaware County Council has not responded to a request by the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission to meet to discuss the proposed lease of the 1724 Court House to the County of Delaware. I realize that the Delaware County Council is busy with the process of taking over the reigns of government. However, I should like to explain why I feel that the preservation of the 1724 Court House is so very important for all of the citizens of this county.

  The 1724 Court House functioned the court house for both Chester and Delaware Counties, as well as, City Hall for Chester before being restored and used as a ceremonial court room, a teaching facility and an historic site, which was open to the public. The simple fact is that the 1724 Court House is the only historical site in Delaware County that is a relevant part of everyone's history.  It bridges all of our social, economic, and ethnic boundaries.

  Like the President's House/Slave Quarters at 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, the 1724 Court House is a place where everyone, both black and white, as well as, descendants of early settlers and recent immigrants can genuinely feel the historic relevance of this building to their own respective personal histories.  The documents created and recorded in the 1724 Court House demonstrate how the brave people of this county made steady progress moving towards the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence. The 1724 Court House deserves to be preserved so that it can be continued to be used and enjoyed by all of the citizens of this county.

  Although the 1724 Court House was given to PHMC for safe keeping approximately 48 years ago, PHMC has deemed that it is not sufficiently historically significant to warrant PHMC continuing to keep the building. So rather than sell the 1724 Court House to just anyone, PHMC has offered to lease it to Delaware County, for whom it should have the most historical significance. I would urge County Council to meet with the representatives of the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission as soon as possible in order to discuss the proposed lease. Hopefully, the lease will be acceptable to the present administration and thus would insure the preservation of the 1724 Court House for future generations.

Thank you for your kind consideration in this matter.

Very truly yours,

cc: Delaware County Council

Below are the emails for the Chairman and vice chair of Delaware County Council.
Please email them with the above letter
Thanks so much
Keith Lockhart


The courthouse after restoration, a postcard from the 1960's

Please visit the Facebook page of DCHPN below for updates on meetings, lectures etc.

Delaware County Historic and Preservation Network (DCHPN)

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The 1794 Blue Laws vs Darby Baseball 100 years ago Easter Egg Hunt coming!!

One hundred plus years ago, boating on Darby Creek was a major recreation spot. I have several pictures of the "Darby Navy" and their docks. Boating was a important getaway.

NOTE: One hundred years ago this September, Darby and Delco baseball games being played on Sunday came to a head. The Darby mayor went to the Norwood District Judge to get arrest warrants not trusting his own to do the job. He also went to the county sheriffs and state police for enforcement not counting on the Darby Police to enforce the "Blue Laws". Darby Churches wanted the "Blue Laws"


                Warrants for the arrest of eight members of the Delco baseball team of Darby, charging then with breaking the Sunday “Blue laws,” have been issued by Magistrate William H. Robinson of Norwood.
                The warrants were issued at the instance of Burgess George Grayson, who, it is reported, swore to them before a Norwood Justice as a result of finding Darby Justices in sympathy with the baseball players and fans who support them.
                Another baseball game has been booked for next Sunday.
                The warrants for the arrests of the baseball players are in the hands of Fred Welsh, a Darby policeman.

A baseball game at Darby yesterday was halted in the early stages of the contest when Chief of Police Clark back up by a score of armed police after listing names of the players ordered the teams from the field.
                State police headed by Lieutenant Smith, and a delegation of deputy sheriffs in charge of Sheriff A. R. Granger stood in readiness to aid the Darby police in the event of trouble.   It had been rumored that baseball was not to be interfered with, or there would be trouble.
                Feeling in Darby is bitter as a result of the Sunday baseball question.  This was demonstrated yesterday when a crowd of fans hooted a reporter whose paper, fans claim, championed the cause of the church people opposing Sunday playing.
                Yesterday’s game was between the Delco team and Cramp’s Champions of Philadelphia.  The game had progressed only an inning and a half when Chief of Police Clark put in appearance.  The policeman called the managers and informed them that he was acting under instructions of Burgess Grayson and was going to stop the game.
                When uniformed State police and deputy sheriffs standing about the managers after some discussion called the teams from the field.
                Warrants will be sworn out today for the baseball players and hearings will be held sometime later in the week.  On the other hand the baseball fans have promised to retaliate by issuing warrants for the arrest of golf players and some of the church who drove to services in their machines yesterday.  The fans claim that automobile riding is a violation of the Old Blue laws and in the same class as baseball.


 Baseball Lovers Seek Their Inspiration in Orangeade
                “The Darby Borough Baseball Blues” is the title for a syncopated ditty Irving Berlin might have been inspired to dash off had he paid a visit to Darby yesterday afternoon.  Great gobs of blue cluttered up the atmosphere.  Darby’s baseball players were wearing their Sunday clothes – blue serge.  Wild flowers and blue grass were untrampled on the baseball diamond at Fifth and Main Streets.  For the first Sunday this summer, the blue laws of 1794 were battling nearly .400 in Darby, and the blue-stockinged champions of the Sabbath chortled with glee.
                But even blue laws have a silver lining.  The Darby fans were not to be denied the privilege of a Sunday afternoon ball game, not even if they had to leave the borough, as all of them did.  And when the baseball fans leave Darby, the place is another “Deserted Village.”
                At “Dad”, Shaw’s confectionery shop, which is the hub of Darby’s athletic element, the fans and players had congregated early in the afternoon to drink their contempt for the blue laws in brimming beakers of orangeade.  There wasn’t even a church service they could attend until after dark, and it’s a fact that every one of the players is a church member.
                Then the Darby fans decided there was but one thing to do.  So they took another drink of orangeade, called up their girlfriends and walked across Cobbs Creek, which separates Darby from Philadelphia and witnessed the first of a series of three games for the championship of West Philadelphia.
                The bitterest pill of all for the fans was that Darby was about the only large town in Delaware County where a ball game wasn’t in progress.
                The game just across the creek from Darby was between the St. Clement’s team and the Paschall nine and was played on the grounds of St. Clement’s Church, Seventy-Second Street and Woodland Avenue, before the biggest crowd that has been there this season.  The Paschall players won the first game of the series by 5 to 2.
                ADVISED NOT TO PLAY – Samuel Shilladay, manager of the Delco team, spoke for Darby’s fans and players, he said, when he assured the newspapermen that the game wasn’t called off because of any profound respect for the blue laws or because the players feared arrest.
                “We were advised by our counsel, John J. Stetser of Chester not to play while our case is pending in court,” said Shilladay.  “Otherwise our game with the Woodland All-Stars would not have been called off.”
                A petition has been filed in the Delaware County court appealing from the decision of Magistrate Robinson, who fined eight of the players $4 each for playing on the Sabbath.
                Another phase of Darby’s baseball war promises to develop tonight.  At the instance of certain citizens, the editor of the Darby Progress weekly, on Fridays), has called a citizens mass meeting to take place at the Odd Fellows’ Hall, where a law and order society will be organized.  The Darby fans, 500 odd say they will be there to help elect officers.

I'm on the board of the Colonial Plantation and our Easter Egg Hunt is a lot of fun and we get a great turnout. Please come out and see the Plantation and enjoy the hunt. Please get tickets in advance, the hunt is very popular.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt on the Farm
Easter Egg Hunt on the Farm
Saturday, April 11, 2020
11:00am – 4:00pm

(Newtown Square, PA) The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation will host an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 11, 2020 starting at 11:00am. Doors will open at 10:15am, with entertainment, visits with the Easter Bunny, historic demonstrations and crafts for our visitors until the first hunt begins. Children 12 and under are welcome to search the fields of the farm to find eggs with treats and surprises in them. Three hunts, divided by age group, will begin at 11:00 (1-4 years), 11:15 (5-8 years) and 11:30 (9-12 years). There will be a puppet show for young children following the hunts, as well as egg-related crafts and activities and even a meet and greet with some of Ridley Creek State Park’s native wildlife! Pre-registration is strongly recommended to guarantee your child’s spot and expedite entry onto the farm. We expect this event to sell out. Families are welcome to explore the historic house and see the farm animals after the egg hunts.
The Plantation’s hours are 11:00am to 4:00pm. Hunts will only occur at the times specified above, but crafts and activities will continue throughout the day.
Admission: Admission is $9.00 for adults and children ages 4 and up. Ages 3 and under are free. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased in advance at 

Last admission is at 3:00 pm.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Essington Co-operative Evangelistic Society vs the bad guys !! Newtown talk

This glass plate negative is from about 1905. It is from a group of glass negatives I bought a number of years ago. I have no idea where this building is in Tinicum and what it was used for. Looking for some help.

NOTE: From the 1890's till prohibition kicked in in 1919, Tinicum Twp. was the place to party. Gambling, all night parties, women etc. especially along the Darby Creek boathouses, kept local police, sheriffs etc. busy especially during the summers.


 Regardless of Jeers Co-operative Evangelistic Society Continues Gospel Services
Moral suasion has won the first skirmish in the campaign against rum and vice in Essington’s boathouse colony.

Despite the jeers, taunts and ridicule, heaped on the moral forces when they began the campaign last Tuesday, officials of the Essington Co-operative Evangelistic Society asserted yesterday that the lawless element is weakening.
“We are beginning to note a change in the actions of the midnight revelers,” James Taylor, president of the society, said.
“Strange as it may seem, the revival meeting that we are holding every night in the old quarantine station are exercising an influence over the rowdy element.
“Perfect order has existed for the last two nights, and if Sunday is quiet, we will celebrate a victory.  Our cause is gaining strength among the townspeople and every day brings new recruits.
“The meetings have served to arouse civic pride and have stirred the citizens to action.  After standing for the antics and immoral actions of certain members of the boathouse colony for years, the townspeople have determined to uproot the evils.
“There was only one solution, namely, to band the Christian people together for civic and religious service.  We are teaching the young girls and moral lepers who entice them to the camps the error of their lives.
“Christian brotherhood is more powerful than the mailed list.” 
Aside from the immorality in many of the camps, Taylor charges that rum is sold openly on Sunday and carted from a bottling establishment to the camps in the afternoon.  Among the charges made against the colony by Taylor are the following:
That in three of the houses women from the Philadelphia tenderloin promenade about the grounds garbed in flimsy nightgowns.
That men wearing union suits embrace women and treat them to beer and whisky on the cottage verandas in plain view of children, who are attracted to the colony by the noise.
That on last Sunday an old man walked about the colony carrying a 16-year-old girl in his arms.  Both were clad in light summer underwear.
“We have witnessed scenes so vile in character that no newspaper could print them,” Taylor said.
Essington, according to Taylor, has become so famous as a rendezvous for values have been greatly reduced.
“Many men,” he said, “not wishing to rear their children in such an immoral atmosphere, have moved away, but we will change conditions.”

THE WOMEN OF PENN’S WOODSWednesday, March 18th at 7:00 p.m.

The Newtown Square Historical Society invites you to our monthly program on Wednesday, March 18th at 7:00 p.m. at the Newtown Township Building to hear Robyn Young speak on honoring some of the great women in Pennsylvania’s history.

Pennsylvania marks its most important historic sites with blue and gold commemorative markers, and local historian Robyn Young had been working for years in seeking approvals from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for 21 roadside markers to honor the accomplishments of the women of Pennsylvania.
Her program includes a slideshow of photos of the historical markers, their locations, and the women who are honored. Young will discuss these important women who were scientists, artists, doctors, and suffragists. Her book, Women in Penn's Woods: A History of Women in Pennsylvania will be available for purchase after the program.
All programs are held at the Newtown Township Building, 209 Bishop Hollow Rd, Newtown Square, PA 19073 beginning at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free. Refreshments are served.
Come out and meet your history minded neighbors and learn and be entertained

Sunday, February 23, 2020

No Gas for Ridley Park !! Residential and commercial districts the fights Please join DCHPN!

Chester Pike at Sellers Ave. looking west toward Stewert Ave. about 1923. Chester Pike was a two lane toll road till June , 1921 and for the next four years the state spent hundreds of thousands of dollars paving Chester Pike and  making it a four lane highway


NOTE: When Eastern and Central Delaware County exploded with housing and business developments in the 1920's all sorts of construction happened. Some boros and townships allowed housing and businesses to build anywhere others did not. This was a time when residential and business districts were being created and boros and townships were trying to add to their tax base by keeping homeowners and business owners both happy, It was not easy. Ridley Park had a three year fight that ended finally in state court with no businesses on Chester Pike in the boro.



 Judge Broomall Restrains Owner From Erecting Proposed Establishment

Judge John M. Broomall today handed down a decision in which he restrained Ira J. Smith, owner of a property at the northeast corner of Sellers Avenue and Chester Pike, Ridley Park, from erecting a gasoline filling station upon that plot of ground, stating that the district is residential and that the operation of a gas service station would be contrary to the welfare of the community.  This decision ends a lengthy litigation that has continued over a period of almost two years between property owners along Chester Pike and Smith.
Sixteen individual property owners in the immediate vicinity of the Smith holdings joined in contesting against the erection of this proposed station in the midst of what they termed a neighborhood residential in character and that to allow of its construction would be a violation of the provisions of certain restrictions on the land owned by Smith.  They also contended that for more than twenty-five years the Chester Pike in Ridley Park has been strictly residential of high-class dwellings with extensive lawns, valued from $20,000 to $30,000 each, and that at present there are no business establishments operated in that section which have changed in any manner the general appearance.
The contestants also cited that the operation of a business similar to that which Smith intended to supervise would result in an increased fire hazard, that the oils and gas would produce offensible odors, and that at night the glare from the headlights would be productive of much unpleasantness.
Smith contended that the community in question was not residential in character and that it was about due to change completely into a business district owing to the increase of traffic and demand for business establishments.
“An oil and gasoline station is not a nuisance in itself but may become so” Judge Broomall declared.  “It is not agreed that the damages are inevitable but only contingent on operation and use because the facts found would not possibly warrant such a conclusion.  The innovated incident to a public garage or public service station regardless of its construction or operation, are such to require its exclusion from residential neighborhoods.
“We cannot comprehend and do not understand at the time the testimony was taken how there could be any possible question but that Chester Pike in Ridley Park is a residential community.  However, defend and has raised the question, and while we could not help but find it a fact under the evidence, still, we must pass upon it.  We do not see that the character of the traffic on Chester Pike has anything whatever to do with it; that it is heavy cannot be denied and if we are to indulge in mere conjecture on the future as some of the witnesses did in their testimony as to the increased value of the land for business purposes, we could be required to say that this condition, if objectionable, may be changed in the future by the proposed parallel through highway to Chester Pike, by the proposed commercial highway along the riverfront from Philadelphia to Chester.
“We have already decided that Ninth Street in Chester, which is a continuation of Chester Pike for through traffic, at the intersection of Concord Avenue and Kerlin Street, is a residential section and we there restricted the establishment of an oil and gasoline station.  It is the immediate vicinity in which we are interested, and if it is residential in character, it matters not that the district as a whole is industrial in character.
“There are many places where an oil and gasoline filling station can be established without damage to residential section and we there restricted the establishment of an oil and gasoline station.  It is the immediate vicinity in which we are interested, and if it is residential in character it matters not that the district as a whole is industrial in character.
“There are many places where an oil and gasoline filling station can be established without damage to residential property, and, if necessity for such service exists, it is unfortunate that the defendant did not secure a location which was not subject to restrictions.

I'm president of the organization below, if you like local history Please join.

Want to Connect to Historical Organizations throughout the County?
Join the
Delaware County Historic & Preservation Network
To share good ideas and success stories that may help other member organizations to have the same success.

 Listserv site:

To subscribe:

Group Description
The Mission of the Delaware County Historic & Preservation Network (DCHPN) is to provide support to coordinate communications and to encourage personal contacts and build relationships among the 80 + groups, and preservation organizations and their leaders in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
The DCHPN website has a list of all upcoming history-related events in the Greater Philadelphia region. It is updated regularly. It also includes publications from seminars and links to important information regarding history and historic preservation and much more.


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Trolley Real Estate development in the 1920's!! Delco Sports legends book is out!!

A postcard of N. Lansdowne Ave. looking north toward Garrett Rd. The exact location is unknown. This picture is from about 1910 when Lansdowne was still a "little country town".

Note: The article below is from the early 1920's, when trolley lines ruled eastern Delaware County and contributed to the 1920's building boom. Trolleys left 69th St. Terminal at that time and ran on Chester Pike, MacDade Blvd., Baltimore Pk. and West Chester Pike etc. including the routes today. The building boom lasted till 1929 and the depression. Please visit the trolley page on my website, for more information.



Though Demand For Houses is Large, Prices Are Being Kept Down



          Prospective home buyers will reap the benefits of the big building boom which is now under way, according to the consensus of opinion among the big builders of the county.
         Notwithstanding the fact that the demand for homes at the present time is large, the number of homes going up all over the county is such that it will more than meet the demand.  In this way it is hoped to keep the prices of homes down to a level within the reach of the working man who is disposed to buy.
          It is the working man, more so than any other class of people, who is desirous of owning his home.  Not in many years, according to builders and real estate men, has the everyday working man put in so many applications for the purchase of homes, as is the case at the present time.
          Building and loan associations will also vouch for this statement, and the demand on these organizations for loans has been such that a number of new associations have been founded and conducted profitably.
          The amount of building in the eastern end of the county, especially Upper Darby Township, continues at an exceedingly brisk pace.  Large tracts of what was formerly farm land are being developed as fast as grades are established and excavations made.  South of Bywood, on the big tract which runs from that community to the property line of St. Vincent’s Home, at the corner of Lansdowne Avenue and Garrett Road, one of the biggest building operations in the Township is now under way.  There is already a small town adjoining Bywood known as Beverly Hill, and so rapidly have the homes on this development been bought up and occupied that the Philadelphia and West Chester Traction Company has established a stop at the point, bearing the name of the development.
          Right on down to the small stream known as Naylor’s Run, and up the Orphanage property line, operations are continuing.  Many big old trees had to be cut down and the stumps dynamited to make way for the building.
          Streets are being cut through and all improvements, including cub and gutters are being laid as fast as the concrete is mixed.
          With the completion of the work on Garrett Road from Sixty-Ninth Street to Lansdowne Avenue, it is expected that the large tracts abutting on the east side of the thoroughfare will soon witness big building operations.  This land is selling high, the old Powers estate, directly in the rear of the Upper Darby Township building is reported to be held for $20,000 per acre.
          ACTIVITIES IN LANSDOWNE – In Lansdowne the erect ion of new homes is still continuing with slight change, despite the fact that many of Lansdowne erstwhile vacant tracts are now adorned with beautiful homes.
          One of the big operations is that of W. Percival Johnson on Baltimore Avenue west of Windermere Avenue.
          Here the old building known as the “Windermere” and which stood for many years in a frightfully dilapidated condition, is undergoing alterations of a most extensive character, and is rapidly taking on the appearance of an entirely new building which is practically will be when completed.
          The old structure is being remodeled into an apartment house and according to reports, there will be nice, large and roomy apartments within its four walls.
          A street has been cut through off Baltimore Avenue, south towards the railroad, and abutting on this new thoroughfare.  Builder Johnson plans to erect a number of pretty homes.
          At a cost of approximately $250,000, the new Rolling Green Golf Club, situated on State Road above Springfield Road, in Springfield Township, will be laid out.  Work on the new project has already been started and will be pushed through as rapidly as possible.  The property of 177 acres was recently sold by John J. Dougherty of Sixty-Ninth Street to a number of Delaware County golf lovers.  The course will consist of 18 holes with what is expected to be the largest and most beautiful clubhouse in the county.
          OPERATIONS IN MEDIA – Media is witnessing more building now than has ever been seen before in the town’s history.  New operations and alterations to old properties are going on almost unceasingly, and the county seat community is rapidly growing, both in the number of its homes as well as population.
          Probably the largest building is the new apartment house going up on the corner of Olive and Jasper Streets, owned by W. Roger Fronefield and Howard M. Lutz, prominent lawyers.
          Owen T. Hughes owns the garage building and apartment which is now being completed at the corner of Baltimore Pike and Providence Road.
          George Schuchardt expects to remove into his new barber shop on Orange Street about Christmas.  The operation, which was begun a few weeks ago, it is understood, is an outlay of $10,000.
          The Estate Development Company has renewed operations at Pine Ridge, laying sewers and cutting through streets.
          J. W. Holton’s new homes on Lincoln Street at the foot of Orange Street, near Media station, are almost completed, there are about a dozen homes in this group.
          Lavin Brothers are erecting two houses of two stories each on East Franklin Street near Providence Road.
          Edward Snyder is building on South Avenue between Jefferson Street and Franklin Street.
          Samuel Rhodes’ operation plans to erect fifteen new homes on his tract on Manchester Avenue.
          James J. Boyer is building an apartment house and store building on East State Street.  There will be five rooms in the apartment.
          Plans are now being completed for the new Wallingford Junior High School on Allen’s Hill overlooking the lower end of Nether Providence Township.  Work on the new institution will be begun just as soon as possible.

 The Sports Legends of Delaware County (SLDC) Museum will hold a series of Delaware County library presentations for their recently published book,

 “Tales From the Museum.”

The purpose of the book is to recognize the athletic excellence of Delaware County athletes, and to preserve its sports heritage.

Below is a list of dates and locations for these events.
        Wednesday February 19 Ridley Township Library 6:30 pm
         Sunday February 23 Upper Darby Sellers Library 3 pm
  • Wednesday February 26 Haverford Library 7 pm
  • Tuesday March 3 Darby Free Library 7 pm
  • Wednesday March 4 Norwood Library 6:30 pm
  • Thursday March 5 Marple Library 7 pm
  • Monday March 9 Middletown Library 7 pm
If you have questions, contact

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Delco Growth 100 years ago along with 667 Farms!! Upcoming events!!

Even in the 1920's Media was trying to keep it's farm appeal alive. A unknown farm in the Media area. A postcard from the 1920's. Look below for a great State St. Media picture.


Note: One hundred years ago Delaware Co. was growing by leaps and bounds. Railroads and trolley lines were opening up areas that had been farms for hundreds of years. Towns were springing up everywhere. BUT at the same time there was still 667 farms in Delco. Working Farms!!! Please read both articles and look at all the pictures. Keith


In the 1920's Upper Darby Twp. still had plenty of open ground, look in the background of this picture. I do not know where this greenhouse was in Secane, looking for some help. Thanks Keith



Home Development Along Sixty-Ninth Street to Media Increases

          Gradually the farm acreage lying along the Media Short Line from Sixty-Ninth Street to Media is being bought up for home development.  Even now there is very little acreage left in this area which is not held either by spectators or suburban home operators with a keen eye to the future.  If the trend of real estate development holds its present in-country direction and transformation in a decade more the stretch from Media into Sixty-Ninth Street will become an unbroken line of suburban dwelling.  Already the Sixty-Ninth Street construction development is linking up with that of Bywood, and Bywood is stretching out its neighborly hand to welcome across Naylor’s run to Drexel Hill, and Drexel Hill is spreading onward to the Springfields, and the Springfields are destined to link up with Media, perfecting the annealing process in this interurban chain.
          Within the territory lying between Baltimore Pike and the Media Short Line right of way to Media very little acreage remains under actual farm cultivation.  There is acreage a-plenty, of course, but in the real estate man’s parlance, it is mostly tied up and salted away by developers and speculators awaiting its turn to be placed upon the market in small allotments of home sites.  The latest sale of this farming land was made public Friday of last week when the Jacob Schoch farm of sixty-three acres changed its ownership.  Frank Lawyer, Bywood, and Mr. O’Rourke, Newtown Square, associated with a Philadelphia syndicate, purchased this acreage.  The consideration is not given, but the purpose of the purchasers is given as speculative.  The Jacob Schoch farm lies on both sides of Bishop Avenue, in the Addingham district, south of the Aronimink Golf Club holdings, and is accessible from the Baltimore Pike or State Road.

State St at South Ave. looking East about 1926. If you look close at the sidewalks, you can still see places to tie up your horses for visiting farmers






Total Farm Population Is 3269, and Acreage Is computed at 42,125

The second triennial farm census recently completed in Delaware County, shows 667 farms, 565 of which are operated by owners, eighty-six by tenants, and sixteen by managers, according to L. H. Wible, director, Bureau of Statistics, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
The county has a total farm population of 3269, according to the census, and a total acreage in farms of 42,125, of which 14,249 is used for the principal field crops.  The acreage devoted to these crops is as follows:  Corn for grain, 3282; for silage and fodder, 963; wheat, 1661; Oats, 1,144; rye, 62; potatoes, 601; alfalfa hay, 1,612; all other tame hay, 4,924.
The extent of fruit growing is indicated by 23,729 apple trees of bearing age and 13,954 of non-bearing age, 21,416 peach trees of all ages, and 6532 pear trees of all ages.
The livestock industry is represented by 1,409 horses including colts, 100 mules including mule colts, 3,760 milk cows and heifers, two years old and over, 551 heifers, one to two years old, 723 other cattle and calves, 580 sows and gilts for breeding, 2,681 other swine, and 917 sheep and lambs.
The count shows 43,041 hens and pullets of laying age, 19,277 other chickens, and 178 hives of bees.
Modern equipment and conveniences on farms are as follows:  396 farm homes have running water in kitchen and 346 have furnace heating systems.  The farms have 11 milking machines in use, 671 automobiles, 321 trucks, 127 tractors, 254 gas engines, 342 telephones, 320 radios, and 119 silos, 27 of the farms have their own electric plants, and 301 receive electricity from a power station.

 The Sports Legends of Delaware County (SLDC) Museum will hold a series of Delaware County library presentations for their recently published book, “Tales From the Museum.”

The purpose of the book is to recognize the athletic excellence of Delaware County athletes, and to preserve its sports heritage.
Below is a list of dates and locations for these events.
  • Saturday February 1 Crozer Chester Library 1 pm
  • Wednesday February 5 Radnor Library 7 pm
  • Thursday February 6 Prospect Park Library 7 pm
  • Thursday February 13 Folcroft Library 6 pm
  • Wednesday February 19 Ridley Township Library 6:30 pm
  • Sunday February 23 Upper Darby Sellers Library 3 pm
  • Wednesday February 26 Haverford Library 7 pm
  • Tuesday March 3 Darby Free Library 7 pm
  • Wednesday March 4 Norwood Library 6:30 pm
  • Thursday March 5 Marple Library 7 pm
  • Monday March 9 Middletown Library 7 pm
If you have questions, contact
Jim Vankoski, President of the SLDC Museum

What do Cadbury Chocolate, The Jersey Devil, and the 18th century transgender preacher known as the Public Universal Friend have in common? 

They were all born Quakers!  This lecture will review the lives of some famous Quakers like Lucretia Mott and Bayard Rustin, as well as less well-known Friends and some  "Friendly" almost-Quakers.

To learn about this and much more, join Aston Township Historical Society in welcoming local historian Celia Caust-Ellenbogen of the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College on Thursday, February 13th, 2020, at 7 PM.  Doors open at 6:30 PM so you can enjoy the new displays featuring the many interesting Women of Aston and the patriotic Veterans from Aston at the Aston Township Community Center located at 3270 Concord Road, Aston, PA 19064.
This event is free and open to the public.  However donations are always welcomed.  Ask about their volunteer opportunities, too!  In case of a snow storm, the event will be rescheduled.