Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Colonial Plantation Easter Egg Hunt and "Pink Hill" talk


This poor photo shows the Hatchet Mill in Edgmont Twp. c.1910
Colonial Plantation
Ridley Creek State Park
Easter Egg Hunt!!
Saturday, April 19th 11 AM - 2 PM, last entry at 1 PM Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to guarantee your child's spot - limited tickets sold! Buy Tickets here! (online ticket sales will close at Noon on Friday, April 18th. All remaining tickets will be sold at the door on Saturday morning.)
Adults & Children: $8
Children under 4 & members are free!
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) 
11:30 (9-12 years)
There will be a puppet show (Segal Puppet Theatre Company) for young children following the hunts. Families are welcome to stay and explore the farm and see the animals. Bring a picnic basket for afterwards. The farm closes at 2 PM.
 As a board member this event is VERY POPULAR

Invites everyone to our 33rd Annual Members Meeting
by Roger Latham, Ph.D., Ecologist & Conservation Biologist
Find out what Pink Hill in Tyler Arboretum reveals about continental collision, extinct megafauna, ancient customs, and much more!
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
Middletown Township Building, 27 N. Pennell Road, Lima, PA
No registration required. Refreshments will be served.
A brief business meeting will precede the program.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Thornbury Breakfast and "Tanguy"


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Christ Church suicide

The Irving Mill at Bullens Lane in Woodlyn, Ridley Township, looking south from Nether Providence. The empty land to the left was the George West Farm in the 1930's. Today it is low income housing at Overlook Heights.
It was the name "Christ Church" that caught my eye, and the date of 1818. Then the name Isaac Culin a Ridley farmer. After reading the deed of Culin donating land for a church on Chester Pike I knew the other name for the church, the "Free Christian Church". They were known locally as the "Battle Axes" and had quite a local following in the 1830's in Chester and Delaware Counties. "Battle Axe. They believed in "free love" and felt there was no need to marry, something like the hipster 1960's. The local minster was Fredrick Plummer and in Ridley Township the group was known as "Plummerites". The main minster was Theohilus P. Gates of Philadelphia and his disciple,Hannah Williamson and they made a deep impression with their views locally. One of his followers was Aaron Morton of Ridley Township. Aaron was a grandson of John Morton and after meeting Gates became a religious maniac. Morton was married and was one of the largest and wealthy landowners in the area. Gates evidently wanted some of Aaron Morton's wealth. Morton who was described as "mentally weak" was totally taken by Gates and Gates had a plan. Gates went to Morton's house in Ridley on Saturday, May 30th, 1840 and told Morton he would have to leave his wife and marry fellow disciple, Hannah Williamson. Williamson, the story goes, was also totally under Gates control and by marrying Morton, who was in his late 60's would give Gates control of his estate. Gates gave Aaron Morton an ultimatum, marry Hannah Williamson by June 5, 1840 or a terrible thing would happen to him. The story goes Hannah Williamson was not the most attractive girl in the area and Aaron Morton was terrified of what would happen. On the morning of June 5th, 1840 Morton cut his own throat with a straight razor. gates who was waiting nearby fled to Philadelphia and barely escaped with his own life. After Morton's death the "Battle Axes" sect fell apart and was never heard from again. the church stood on Chester Pike near where the "'Hack Wilson" Park is in the 1100 block of Chester Pike.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Newtown Square "First Ladies of the United States: talk!

Ok time for a Media Flashback! Anyone recognize this building?

Newtown Square Historical Society
Who is that person sleeping with the President that we don’t elect, but who usually has the most influence on our elected Presidents?
This program is held in the Dunwoody Village auditorium.  The public is always welcome. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided by Dunwoody.  Program starts at 7:30 pm.
Location: 3500 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA

Friday, March 7, 2014

How old is your church?

Christ Church Sellers Ave. Ridley Park from the late 1940's

As I showed in last weeks column, church histories can be a nightmare. Most church histories tend to be very good, EXCEPT for age and that is what I want to talk about today. Some churches date there church from when members first began to meet to start the church, some churches when they were chartered, and others when the church was officially dedicated. The difference between the first couple meetings and the time a church is dedicated can be years. My church was dedicated in 1879 and the 100th anniversary was held in 1979, even though newspaper accounts showed meetings to organize the church were held in the summer of 1877. As a historian I always have thought when the church first starts meeting to organize, is when the a church "officially" starts, but many people do not buy into that theory. A church I was just researching is a perfect example, it started prior to 1836, bought property and built the church in 1838, BUT their anniversary date is 1840. WHY?  because that is when the church was finally dedicated. Even when a church first began meeting can cause heated discussion. I was doing research on a Chester Pike church and they had everything, the first minute books etc. all you could ever want. Well, almost everything. I was in the newspaper looking for something else and came across in article about the church. The church had been meeting for over 6 months before anyone ever thought to take notes. Lastly,  some churches seem to pick a date right out of the blue. I have run into several churches, whose anniversary date of it's founding matches none of the above criteria. They just picked a date . The church had been built and there were meetings but nothing special happened on that date. It was just a date they picked. That simple.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Getting it right

Does any one recognize this building and it's location? THANKS Keith
Doing historical research in Delaware County and elsewhere can be fun or a nightmare! As simple as Google or opening a book, or hours spent at the courthouse looking up deeds and wills etc. I always consider deeds the final answer in many cases. Sometimes for all your work, there are no definitive answers. But getting the history right is IMPORTANT. Some do a lot better than others.
Lately I have been working on a number of Delaware County church histories, almost all have websites with all the information you could ask for, but church "J" left a lot to be desired. ALOT
Church "J' 's history stated it started in June of 1902, when a wealthy man built a library in memory of his dead son, but the church in their history had no idea of the son's name. The first minster was "Mr. Smith". The church is over 100 years old and the entire church history consisted of just eleven lines? HUH!
I knew it was time to do a little bit of research, it took me all of about twenty minutes. It was amazing what the church had wrong! All the information I got was from the Chester Times newspaper, all current accounts from 1902 and 1903.The church history says their benefactor was Mr. Charles Brock, the newspaper states numerous times it was Robert C. H. Brock of Walnut St in Philadelphia. He did not just build a library in June of 1902 but a combination library and chapel. The building did not open in June of 1902 according to the Chester Times, it was empty for a whole year till June of 1903 when church services started not 1902 as the church history says. The first minister was not "Mr. Smith" but Rev. Edward Hardcastle from Phila. Robert Brock's son the reason the church was started, the one the church did not have the name of ? Colman Brock!
It was nice to get all the history right. I emailed the church last week with all my "new" information and the dates in the Chester Times where the information could be found. I checked their church history page today and nothing has changed. Hopefully Colman Brock will not be forgotten a second time.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lots going on Talks and lectures this week

Who recognizes this orphanage?
The Municipal Building is located on Pennell Road just south of 5 Points and next to TD Bank. The Building is handicapped accessible.   Robyn has had 10 historical markers erected in Pennsylvania.  Her first marker was in West Chester to recognize the 1852 Women's Rights Convention held there and most recently at the Williamson Trade School.  These markers are by the approval of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.   Ms. Young will present lively and  interesting information and exhibits to the Society. Please join us!  This event is free and open to public. Volunteers and donations are always welcome.
Friday, February 21, 2014* 6:30 PM - 10:30 PM
@ Jeffords Mansion in Ridley Creek State Park   Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at the door How to Buy: Purchase your tickets using check, credit card, cash or PayPal!**   Proceeds from this event will go to CPP's Emergency Fund.  The Emergency Fund is maintained for use during a time when there is an unexpected expense or lack of income and allows us to continue our daily operations and mission uninterrupted.   Festivities include: Sample colonial libations Enjoy good food (BBQ & Vegetarian options) Toast to George Washington Ticket box auction Sing-a-long Dancing Door prizes Visit the event page for more info!   *Snow Date: Friday, March 7th   **Payment options Checks - can be mailed or dropped off  at the office Credit Card - called in or stop by the office Cash - dropped off at the office Paypal - link from our homepage:
Where to Go for What You Want to KnowResearching your family history, your house, your hometown...? Learn about the records
and other treasures available to you at the Delaware County Archives, the Courthouse,
Delaware County Historical Society, and our own Nether Providence Archives
Delaware County Archivist Bob Plowman
Sunday, February 23rd at 2:00 pm at The Helen Kate Furness Free Library
100 N. Providence Road, Wallingford

The program is free and open to the public.