Sunday, March 1, 2015

History of Ridley Township Part one this Wednesday

The Glenolden Mill c. 1890
History of Ridley Township - Part 1
March 4 at 6:30 pm
Local historian Keith Lockhart will present the early history of Ridley Township in Part 1 of a two-part series. Did you know that Glenolden, Prospect Park, Norwood, Eddystone and other boroughs were once part of the Township? Learn these and other little-known facts in this presentation, illustrated with original photographs. Keith Lockhart is a lifelong Ridley resident, who maintains 2 websites on local history. Part 1 ...of this series will focus on the early history of Ridley Township. Part 2 will focus on the later history of the Township.

This free program will be held Wednesday, March 4th at 630 pm in Garling Hall in the Ridley Township Municipal Building at 100 E. MacDade Blvd. Folsom.
There are 75 spaces available - Contact: Mary Tobin 610-583-0593




Part two will be on

 Wednesday March 18 at 6:30 pm


Sunday, February 22, 2015



Join the Delaware County Preservation Network on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 7pm in County Council Chambers in the Media Courthouse, side entrance, for this free event.  Come out to this program and find out how to participate.  And if your are not a site or a society, come out and find out how to access and use this great resource. Doors open at 6:30pm.  Meter parking is free and plentiful at this time of night. The Hidden Collections Initiative Program is just the ticket you have been looking for!  Refreshments will be served!

Every local historical society and site has interesting history stored away in boxes at their, documents, memorabilia, etc.  Wouldn't it be cool if someone got funding from a huge foundation and sent professional archivists out to each site to survey them, make finding aids, put them all in a central searchable date base and then issued a FREE report to each participating site recommending how they can better organize and preserve what each site has?  Yes, that would be cool!  AND it is happening!

Now is the time to get onboard and take advantage of this rare opportunity before the funding dries up.

Local Historian and long time Delaware County collector, Keith Lockhart will display some rare items from his collection, including "The Society for the Prevention of Horse Thieves" in Haverford and Radnor Township in the 1850's plus more. Keith will be displaying his items at 64:5 sharp and give a 5 minute talk before the main talk starts




Hidden Collections Initiative of Delaware County

Delaware County Historic Preservation Network presents

Hidden Collections Initiative to Delaware County

Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m.


Delaware County Gov't Center Building, County Council Meeting Room, 201 W Front Street, Media, PA

Hundreds of small archival repositories in the five-county Philadelphia region hold thousands of individual collections documenting a wide range of topics and geographic areas. Private, non-profit organizations with a history-based mission or that have historically significant archival collections, that agree to make their archives available to the public, and that do not employ a full-time, professionally trained archivist are eligible for participation in the project.
Project staff identify small archival repositories in the Philadelphia area, survey and assess their archival collections, and create summary finding aids to these collections. The finding aids are made publicly accessible in an online database developed by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL). Within this single online resource, researchers may search collections held at a wide range of Philadelphia-area archival repositories, from the smallest all-volunteer organizations to the largest professional institutions.
In 2013, DCHPN introduced representatives of the Hidden Collections Initiative to Delaware County historic groups and outlined the services they could offer.  Join us for this presentation on the collections in Delaware County that have been cataloged and find out how your organization can be involved in the Initiative’s continuing effort to add additional collections to the online database. Participating organizations receive a report on improving their collection.
An added bonus to the event will be a display of unique and rare Delaware County books and artifacts from Keith Lockhart's collection for everyone to enjoy before the event as you mingle with colleagues and friends. Give will give a 5 minute talk at 645 about some of the items.
Free and open to all.  Please register at or 610-891-4910. 
Refreshments will be served

Sunday, February 15, 2015

How old is your house? and the Dark Lens of Vietnam in Newtown this week



This house is from Rose Valley looking for an address or location


How old is your house ?

   The older a house is the harder it is to determine a date of erection. Title searching is still
the only way to go unless you are blessed and your house has a date stone. Today I want to
talk about post Civil War housing. Doing a title search at the court house is not hard and on
the bottom of your current deed it will tell when the person you bought the house from and
when it was purchased and it will also give you the book and page. All you have to do is just
go back till when your house was built. The deed will mention just a lot and the price for
just a lot will be in the hundreds not  thousands of dollars. The price is the best way along
with reading the deed itself. But many people do not realize just because people bought an
empty lot does not mean they built the house right away. They might have waited months and
even years before building. So how do you find out? The local newspaper. All local
newspapers prior to 1950, and that is a very approximate date, newspapers had all
the  local information inside. Besides all the local gossip, local building and owners
 and builders were very important. I have worked with many local papers but
the Morton Chronicle is one of the best for south central Delaware County.
The editor covered all the local building news from Chester to Darby and all the
way to Media. The Morton Chronicle newspaper spoke of when the building began,
who the builder was and home owner and sometimes even the architect for the building.
In some cases I found out what day the home owner moved in. The Chester Times
also carries all this information. Beginning  circa. 1890 the Times had separate
columns on different towns and townships and discussed everything from birthday
parties, vacations to buildings. So if you are looking for that date when your house
was built or just that odd bit of information check the local newspapers, many are on
line thru the Delaware County library system website. There were  many other local newspapers
that no longer exist today. The Delaware County Historical Society has the most at their
museum in Chester and they are being scanned and digitized and in many cases being
made searchable. So take a look, you may be very surprised.

"The Dark Lens of Vietnam"

on February 18

at 7:30 pm

40 years after the fall of Saigon, join popular MNHS history teacher Arch Hunter who will speak on "The Dark Lens of Vietnam". He will review the background history of Indochina through WWII, and the colonial war of Ho Chi Minh & the French. He then picks up on the initial involvement of the U.S. in Vietnam from the Geneva Conference of 1954 thru the fall of Saigon in 1975. Most of the focus will be placed on our military involvement, the role of our military , and the misconceptions of the American public about our military in Vietnam, concluding with how the experience of Vietnam has clouded the "Vietnam Era" generation.

And, if time permits , what lessons did we learn from the Vietnam War? It is a topic that stirs up old divisions among those who lived through the era. With 40 years of hindsight, have we moved closer to a consensus on Vietnam, or will that judgment be made by future generations?All programs are held at the Dunwoody Village auditorium, 3500 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA  19073 beginning at 7:30 p.m.  
Admission is free.  Refreshments are served.  Come out and meet your history minded neighbors and learn and be entertained! 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

How old is your organization? and cooking at the Colonial Plantation

Does anyone recognize this street scene? I have no idea. Thanks

How old is your church, organization??

 The age of any organization is open to personal judgment, every organization has different criteria on how old they are. Churches are the worst, some churches base they age on when their dedication was held or when their church was chartered. I always base the age of a organization when  the first meeting was held to get things going. My church, Prospect Methodist dates the church to June 1879 when the church was dedicated. But meetings and church services began to be held in the fall of 1877. Another church bases it's founding on when the church officially selected it's official name and was organized. But for 6 months before the "official name" the church went by another one. Even official records can be deceiving. The one church had the first minute book of the first meeting in March of 1889 and that was the date they used as the churches founding. Correct? Not exactly. While doing some other research I discovered the church had actually started meeting 4 months before. The newspaper had dates of the meetings and where etc. The problem?  no one took any minutes for the first four months.
  Fire companies can be difficult too. Many companies base their age on when the company was chartered which is not correct. One fire chief thought I was crazy when I told him his company was two years older than the date on the company emblem. When I showed him newspaper articles that the company had a home, equipment and was fighting fires two years before the charter was signed and filed he was shocked.
  The Masons of Prospect Park trace the age of their organization to 1889 when the cornerstone of their building was laid. I asked one of them if a group of men who did not know each other, met one day and decided to build a home? sure. So how old is your organization?

Colonial Plantation


Ridley Creek State Park

Join us for our first workshop of the year and learn to cook a whole meal from start to finish in our kitchen!
Colonial Cooking WorkshopSaturday, February 21st10 AM - 3 PM
$25 members/volunteers $35 nonmembers
Limit 10 participants. Must register in advance! Call me at the office: 610-566-1725


Joy Scott
Office Manager

Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sharing history well

As you can see this picture is from Rose Valley. Looking for an address

Sharing history well


  The old expression, " I didn't share well as a child" is applying to me a lot more these days. As a 40 year collector of Delaware County memorabilia and counting the new generation of "collectors" do not understand. They say they want a "copy" and I say sure it will cost you this much, they are dumbfounded. Why should "I" pay? they say, well I did. No one gave me my extensive collection, it took years of collection and thousands of dollars. The "right click" generation does not seem to get it. When the internet, face book first came out it was great to post pictures and hear the comments. Then I saw my pictures on other sites and other people claiming it was "their" picture. Yeah that right click thing again. Some people have been nice and have asked permission, but most do not, they just take it. Then they wonder why you get upset. My friends who are serious collectors all have their stories. The college student who wanted to copy all my friends work and pictures for his school paper, no credit, no nothing and just could not understand why my friend would not just give it to him. I turn people down all the time and they just do not get or care of all the time, work and money it cost to put my collection together. The funniest and yet scariest was the lecture I want to several years ago. My buddy was talking and showing pictures about Delaware County transportation, trollies etc. My buddy is in his early 70's still in good shape and after the talk we were standing around he was answering questions talking to different people. All of a sudden he ran over to his computer were a young guy was standing. My buddy said nothing and hit the guy so hard he decked him and this guy was 40 some odd years younger. At first no one understood what was going on, the young guy just got up and ran out of the building. Then we saw it. He had been using a portable hard drive to try and steal all my friends pictures and luckily he had spotted the thief from across the room just in time. So next time you want a historical picture? just ask and bring some cash. I do share.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Colonial Plantation Summer Camp, Never too early

This picture is believed to be in the Aston Area. Please take a look and share
Looking for location and address

Ridley Creek State Park

Colonial Plantation

NEW - Pirates, Spies & Rogues Summer Camp
We don't know about you, but we here at the Plantation have certainly been thinking a lot about summer lately! We're excited to announce a brand new summer camp session called "Pirates, Spies and Rogues" for ages 7 - 13. We'll also have our flagship "Colonial Life" camp and the second year of our "Native Americans and the Natural World" camp, for ages 7-13 and 9-13. 

You can read more about our summer camp sessions and download a registration form on our website:

Also on the webpage is an easy-to-read grid on which camps are available for your child's age group to help you pick the right camp!