Sunday, May 1, 2016

A " House of Refuge" aka Glen Mills visit 120 years ago and summer camp

The Glen Mills Gymnasium 100 years ago

 

NOTE
In late 1888 some 378 acres was purchased to establish the "House of Refuge" aka todays Glen Mills School in Thornbury. The reform school for boys opened in 1892, the name was changed to Glen Mills in 1911. Below is a look back from almost 120 years ago.
 
 
 

A VISIT TO THE HOUSE OF REFUGE

 The Good Impressions of a Lady Visitor to Glen Mills – An Excellent System Used

               
                “A work that is well worth the trouble of doing is that which is undertaken by the committee who have in charge one of Pennsylvania’s most noble institutions, the House of Refuge.  On the hills at the station called Glen Mills, are situated the buildings, the elegant and commodious cottages where boys live in families.  The large main building where the meetings of the directors are held and where the business of the school is transacted, the chapel where the boys are assembled for religious instructions and for lectures and entertainment; the gymnasium, one of the largest and best equipped in the United States; the various school buildings and workshops – all surrounded by beautifully kept lawns and walks, make one of the most charming pictures imaginable.  The views of the surrounding hills and valleys with their garnered crops and stretches of woodland are magnificent and exert of themselves an untold influence in reclaiming the wayward youth who must go to school here.
                “There are about eight hundred and fifty boys in the school, ranging in age from six to eighteen years.  Their faces, some of them dear, sweet faces, poverty and neglect have hardened and on which the want of love, which every human being needs, has left a desolate look.
                “It was my good fortune to visit the boys with Colonel Hawley, one of the directors, who has ever the good of the boys at heart, and who does not think his duty finished when he has met with his friends and directed how they shall be taken care of, but who goes straight to the boy and interests himself in each one and thinks of something to entertain and interest.
                IN THE KINDERGARTEN – “The kindergarten is managed very much as all good kindergartens are.  The songs and games and work are enjoyed very much by all.  Besides this, they are all being taught to read and write and cipher.  These little boys are kept in a cottage by themselves; their dainty white beds spotlessly clean; their little table with white cloth carefully set, and all their appointments for recreation, work and study, all that the most fastidious could wish; and yet through it all we were sorry for these poor little bits of humanity who could not have known a tender loving mother’s care and devotion.
                “At the gymnasium the boys are under the care of an experienced teacher.  We saw a class in Indian club swinging.  The teachers told us that it was the class of the lowest grade of intellect in the school.  “They were boys that were perhaps sixteen or more years of age who had been either too worthless to learn or had not the opportunity to go to school.  The obedience and quick precision necessary to the giving of movements required by the teachers were very difficult for some.  In the basement of the gymnasium is a swimming pool, the water being warmed to the proper temperature.  The boys are allowed by cottages in their turn, evenings at the swimming pool.  While we were in the basement looking at the miniature lake, we turned and saw a door leading into what appeared an underground tunnel, which it proved to be, all the buildings are so connected, lighted with electric light, and ventilated.  In case of a storm or inclement weather, the boys do not have to go out of doors to their work or to school.
                “We visited various school rooms where the classes were being taught according to the best methods, and where they are evidently making rapid progress, for these boys are no stupids.  We visited the various shops, where the boys work in wood and iron.  Those who are old enough are taught a trade, so that they are allowed to know there is no need of them going without employment, as they are skilled in the use of their hands and eyes.
                “As we passed through the different rooms many of the boys dropped for the instant their work to shake hands with Colonel Hawley, who was evidently a great favorite with them.  The bright look which they all gave him was evidently all the reward he desired for his thoughtfulness for them.  ‘Are we to have a lecture, Colonel?’ greeted him on every side.
                “In the printing department the boys get out a daily paper which is a little sheet.  In every department there is evidence of the inborn American genius.  In the paper hanging and wall decorating department some of the designs were beautiful.  In some of the cottages the border on the sitting room wall had been designed and executed by the boys.  It was entitled the ‘Circus’ and it certainly has made more attractive their reading and play room.
                “At 5 o’clock the boys are all lined up in a large room for the purpose of separating them into their families.  During the day they all work according to their ability and aptitude, but at their homes they are classed according to size.  This makes possible very fine drills and military discipline.  I can think of no grander night than that made by this small army of boys lined up in quiet readiness waiting for the order to march to their homes.  There is a friendly rivalry among the different cottages for the report in marching and drill work.
                HOW THEY LIVE – “As it came on supper time we visited the cottages to see how they lived.  The boys had not yet arrived when we went into No. 9 so our party descended to the basement to see them come in.  As soon as the boys were disbanded and could speak to Colonel Hawley they kept us busy shaking hands with them.  One boy was afraid that so many of them shaking hands would soil the ladies’ gloves.  Colonel Hawley had some x-ray pictures in his pocket, which he showed and explained in the great delight of the boys.  One youth had a black cat which he informed me was the mascot of that cottage, and brought them all their good luck.
                “So on through all the various phases of their systematic life we went.  At one cottage we found the boys assembled in their reading room, some reading, some playing checkers and other games.  One of the boys suggested that if one of the ladies would play on the organ a hymn they would sing, and they all united in the singing.  In one cottage where the boys had received a particularly good report, the matron had prepared a treat of molasses candy.
                “Everything through the whole institution was clean, neat and systematic.  The boys are healthy and in good physical condition, and apparently in good spirits.  There would seem no reason why such a training for several years should not serve to correct evil tendencies in all these boys – the training of the head and the hand and shall I say the heart?
                “Only a few people in the world like Colonel Hawley ever think to do these things which would teach these boys to be men, to feel that they have a friend, a human friend, to whom they can go in time of trouble and need.  And that money and the work of devoted teachers can do for these boys is being done there at the House of Refuge.  Yet, they have few friends and little incentive to follow in the path of virtue, other than that which habit gives them, I come away convinced that were we all more mindful of the waifs who have not yet been sent to this school, or if time and opportunity permitted, would take the trouble to become the friend of only one of these poor children, whose condition may be partly due to the poverty of parents, that we would be following in the footsteps of Him who said, ‘Suffer little children to come unto me,’ and we would be better men and women for it.”
 

Experience Hands-On History this Summer at the Chadds Ford Historical Society!

The Chadds Ford Historical Society is excited to announce two different summer camps this year! Returning again is our American Girl™ Doll Camp for two sessions. Learn about history through the eyes of Kaya, Felicity, Josefina and Addy. Camp activities include sewing, weaving, woodworking, cooking, dress-up, candle-making, Colonial games and more! Participants will end the camp with a special tea party. Recommended for children starting 2nd grade or older (7 years of age to start the camp). There are two sessions for the camp: June 20-24 and July 25-29 (this is currently sold out – waiting list only). The camp runs from 8:45-2 pm. Cost is $225/non-members and $200 for members. For further information and to download a registration form, please visit: http://www.chaddsfordhistory.org/education/american-girl-doll-camp/
Our second summer camp is new for this year, our Hands-On History Summer


 
 
 
 
 
               


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Glenolden Mill's "Dusty Miller" and Lansdowne Theatre Show

 
The ruins of the Glen Olden Mill which burned in February, 1896, The ruins today would be in the middle of Delmar Drive as you enter Folcroft Boro from South Ave.
 
NOTE
 The mill was built by Thomas Shipley in 1755 and came into the hands of Elisha Phipps in 1808
which is the setting of this story. Ephraim Inskeep bought the mill in 1828. Inskeep married Mary Olden (1795-1875) from New Jersey, a widow with a daughter, Margaretta. Margaretta married WIlliam Ridgeway and they moved to Chester County and had several children including  Ephraim Inskeep Ridgeway. In August 1849 both Margaretta and William Ridgeway dies from cholera and their children went back to the mill to live with their grandparents, Ephraim and Mary Inskeep. Sometime in the 1860's  Ephraim Inskeep Ridgeway took over the mill. He named the mill, Glen Olden, Glen for the pretty Muckinipattus Creek valley and Olden for his mothers maiden name.
THE CRUISE OF THE DUSTY MILLER
 Famous Voyage of a Delaware County Manufacturer and Navigator – He Was Mourned As Dead – Elisha Phipps, the Miller of Glenolden Mill, Who Sailed the Muckinipattus on the High Seas in a Quest for a Market, Found It and Came Home With Gold in his Pocket
The advantages of this site for manufacturing purposes caught the eye of one of the earliest settlers, who came long before Penn, as the Ridgeway family, the present owners, have deeds going back to 1653 when the point of land washed by the Darby and Muckinipattus creeks was given the name of Calcon Hook, but nearly a century elapsed before a member of the sturdy family of Shipley from Darby, staked out the foundations for his mill in the wilderness.
             LITTLE TO FEAR FROM INDIANS – Despite the presence of a few predatory hands of Indians the farmers had pushed well in to the forests and meadows inland and Shipley had little to fear from any visits of red men, most of whom had retreated before the advance of the white man, while those that remained were too lazy or too cowardly to fight.  The squaws soon learned that Shipley’s hoppers ground wheat and corn with much less labor than was included in the aboriginal method and were among the earliest customers, though on the free list.
            Through all the Revolutionary period the wheels of Glen Olden Mills churned on and many a Colonist hauled his gram from the Chester and Darby Pike down the Calcon Hook path to the mills.
            Peace came, the young Republic was fairly on its way when a character who gave a distinct personality to the grist mill became its owner.  He was Elisha Phipps – sturdy, stolid, indefatigable.
            Phipps was not only the owner and operator of the mill, but his own shipmaster and commission agent.  He built a ship which he christened the Dusty Miller and used it to convey his flour from his mill wharf to Philadelphia and New York.  Phipps combined the trails of a Girard, a Captain Cook and a Letter, for his bins burst with grist and his boat was in for barters at many points.
            DUSTY MILLER DISAPPEARED – One day in August, the Dusty Miller well freighted, weighted anchor from the mill floated out from the Muckinipattus into Darby Creek and Phipps hoisted sail from New York.  Days went into weeks and Mrs. Phipps still looked in vain for the sail on Darby Creek. Then she made the stage journey to New York, but the Dusty Miller had not been in port, and none of the merchants with whom Phipps dealt had seen him.  Carrying a heavy heart, the wife returned with the consciousness that she was a widow.  Evidently the Dusty Miller was a wreck on the desolate New Jersey Coats.
            But still the wheels ground out the grist, farmers brought their grain, neighbor came to render sympathy, and John Pilmore, with tender sympathy for the bereaved woman, entertained the notion that time would assuage her grief and likewise make him owner of the prosperous mill.  Even disaster and death bring their competitions.
            FATE OF ELISHA PHIPPS – And, Elisha Phipps – manufacturer, navigator, trader – what of his fate?  When the Dusty Miller reached the capes of the mouth of Delaware Bay on an August day, he conceived the notion that the West Indian ports offered better markets than could be found in New York, he headed his boat southward, and with favoring winds made a rapid voyage to Havana, Cuba.  His cargo of flour and cornmeal was quickly exchanged for one of molasses and rum, with a goodly number of Spanish doubloons for the locker of Phipps’ cabin; then the path of the Dusty Miller was headed north.  Rum and molasses formed a ratio for a ready sale in New York and after taking on some household necessities, Phipps’ boat plowed the Narrows before a stiff breeze on the way north.
            SAILED BACK TO PORT AT LAST – One day in the latter part of October, as the sun was nearing the western horizon, a sail appeared off the mouth of the Muckinipattus, and a few minutes later the Dusty Miller moored to the mill wharf.
            Then Phipps nonchalantly walked into the house, tossed his hat into a corner, sat down to the supper table that had just been spread, and ate the evening meal with no more concern than if he had just returned from a social call upon a neighbor.
            The Glen Olden Mill changed owners from time to time, then came into possession of Ephraim J. Ridgeway, by who it was operated, but one fateful night a few years ago an incendiary opened the torch and one of Pennsylvania’s historic mills, around which the association of two centuries was simply a ruin and a memory of ancient Calcon Hook.
 
 
 


Monday, April 18, 2016

The Norwood Park Lawsuit and Bobby Rydell Concert Benefit, tickets going fast!



Norwood Park in the early 1900's. The park was almost lost to the boro thru a lawsuit over ownership.

NOTE

 In the early 1890's, when a Norwood contractor began building a home in the middle of Norwood Park residents were outraged! Local lawyer, Joseph Calhoun, claimed title to the park, thru a lawsuit against John Cochran the original developer of Norwood. Calhoun purchased the Park from the lawsuit winner. What followed was several years of hearings and lawsuits by the Boro against Calhoun. Incredibly Calhoun lived in Norwood at the time. The suit was finally settled in April 1897.

Chester Times

            NORWOOD’S PARK

 

 Judge Waddell Confirms the Report of the Master, David F. Rose, Esq. – Opinion of the Court

            In an opinion handed down by Judge W. B. Waddell on Saturday, in the case of Commonwealth vs. William Calhoun, et. al., the report of Master David F. Rose IS CONFIRMED.  This was virtually an action to test whether the citizens of Norwood were entitled to have the use of three lots given by John Cochran in 1872 and 1873 as a place for a public park, or whether the parties who purchased them after they were sold at Sheriff’s sale were entitled to the right title and interest in them.  According to the Court’s decree confirming the Referee’s report the public still maintains the grant given by Mr. Cochran.

            The report of the Referee set out that the three lots in question were owned by Mr. Cochran and that it was his intention that they should be set apart for public use as a park.  No deed of dedication was then made nor has any been made since.  To bear this out a number of sales of lots about the three in question took place and at each Mr. Cochran gave notice that they had been dedicated to public use.  The public character of the lots was recognized by the turnpike assessors, who made no assessment of them for the purpose of taxation.

            In April 1878, Hon. John M. Broomall obtained judgment against John Cochran for $2000.  This was obtained on a judgment note which was marked to the use of George Broomall.  On June 11th, 1833, these park lots were sold under an execution on said judgment and were purchased by George Broomall, to whose use they had been assigned.

            Prior to the Sheriff’s sale a number of the citizens of Norwood, alarmed at the danger of losing the park lots, held a meeting and organized for the purpose of protecting the rights of the park lots.  Mr. Calhoun, one of the defendants in this suit, took an active part in these meetings and contributed to the fund raised to employ counsel.  Then the day of the sale came a notice was read of this action by Mr. Galloway.

            On September 15th, 1891, George Broomall sold the three lots in question to William Calhoun and later he sold part of them to Charles Lynch, B. Mitchell Newbold and Charles K. Swift.  In view of this fact the referee said the question arose had George Broomall notice of the dedication of those lots for public park purposes?  He goes on to cite how this could be obtained and decided that he had sufficient notice.  He decided that the defendants should be restrained from having the use or occupation of said lots and that the costs of the proceedings be paid said defendants.

            OPINION OF THE COURT – Judge Waddell’s opinion says:  “We think the facts found by the Referee are justified by the evidence, and its conclusions are the legitimate result of those findings.  Such findings of fact are conclusive upon us unless clear mistake, misconduct or manifest error be shown.  No such error is apparent here.  It is true his conclusions are not entitled to the same weight and may be reviewed with more latitude by the Court but to reverse the Referee his conclusions must be clearly wrong.

            “We cannot say that of the conclusions of the Referee in this case.  They seem to be properly drawn from the facts found:  Entertaining these views we must dismiss the exceptions filed by the defendants, confirm the report and sign the decree submitted.”

 



Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Media Armory 108 years ago and I'm giving a talk on Thursday!

 
 
 
The Media Armory on State Street right after it was built in 1908. The armory is now Trader Joes.
 

NEW ARMORY FOR COMPANY H., N. G. P., IN COURSE OF ERECTION AT MEDIA

                The new Armory in the borough of Media, as it will be when completed, the future home of Company H. N. G. P.  This new structure which is in the course of erection, is located at the corner of State and Church Streets, in one of the most prominent points in the borough for a building of this kind.  The good citizens of Media who interested themselves in raising the $5,000 necessary to secure the Stat appropriation for this purpose are being congratulated on all sides.  The building will be a credit to the town when completed, which will be in the near future.  If nothing unforeseen happens the Medial soldier boys should be comfortably ensconced in their new home before the snow falls.
                Major Frank G. Perrin was one of the active spirits in bringing the new armory to the borough, and he is doing all in his power to give to the soldier boys whom he formerly commanded one of the coziest homes in the State.  The Media company has the distinction of having the addition to Major Perrin, Charles Lawton, who is Battalion Sergeant Major.  The officers of the company are:  Captain Walter R. Johns; First Lieutenant, William Westcott; Second Lieutenant, Robert F. Engle.
                The officers and men are hard at work at present to make a good showing at the coming annual encampment.  It will be no fault of Captain Johns if the company does not receive a high rating on inspection.
                An excellent account of the armory is published in a current issue of “Our State Army and Navy.”  The following is the description of the building”
                The structure is being built of local stone, and the purpose of the building is at once expressed by its heavily buttressed walls and low flanking towers.  The walls are surmounted by broken battlements of stone.
                The building when complete will provide ample quarters for the officers and men, with a Drill Hall at the rear, open for the entire height of the structure. This hall will have between walls a clear space of ninety by sixty feet.
                The basement, which will extend under the entire Armory, will provide for ammunition vaults and camp storage for the Company.  Here also will be placed the kitchen, toilet room and heating plant.
           The space under the Drill Hall will at some future date be fitted up for a modern rifle range, with space reserved for bowling alleys, etc.
                Upon entering the building one passes through the Sally Porte directly into the Drill Room.  Opening upon this corridor and adjacent to the Drill Room, is the locker room, which will provide lockers and accommodations for sixty men.  The lockers installed here will be of pressed steel pattern with arrangement for ventilating.
                At the front of the building on the right, will be placed the officers’ quarters, while o the left-hand side will be the company library or reading room.
                On the second floor will be located the quarters for the quartermaster and first and second sergeant.  Next to these and extending across nearly the entire front of the building will be placed the Company Room.
                At the end of the Drill Hall at the second floor level will extend a spectator’s balcony running the full width of the Drill Hall.  As this will be directly hung from the trusses above, no inconvenience at the drill floor level will result from supports underneath.
                The building will be finished with all modern improvements and will be heated with steam and lighted with electricity and gas.
                The interior finish will be of hard wood.
 
 

 


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Delco Politics 116 years ago, AND special Quaker Genealogy talk this Thursday




Media Courthouse about 1905.



REMINISCENCES OF DELAWARE COUNTY POLITICS

116 years ago
Author Unknown
     A short time ago I celebrated the fifty-first anniversary of my birth and my mind naturally drifted back to Delaware County, where I was born, and the political changes that have taken place in the county since I first entered politics.  I was but 18 years of age when I caught the political fever, and I have not gotten entirely cured of it yet.  For some years I was partially cured, but I got a second attack and I have about made up my mind that there is no physician in the land who can entirely cure me.  My friend, the late John Russell Young, claimed that I had a nose for a political squib as a ferret has for a rat.  I must confess that I am never happier than when I run up against some big or little politician that I can get a thought from to give to the public who read the world of politics.
                My first tempter was worse that eve was to Adam, the tinted-haired sage of Media, Tom Cooper.  Cooper’s strong point when he entered the political arena, was to capture the young men and he early caught me in his net.  The old stock in Delaware County at that time who ran the political machinery for years, the Brooks’, Serrills, Broomalls, Y.S. Walter, the Rhoads of Newtown and others of their class, who have almost all gone to their last home where there are no politics discussed, had a dislike for Cooper and were determined that he should never come to the front, but Cooper had the aid of such men as the late Amos Gartside, Richard Young, Captain B.F. Miller, Joseph G. Cummings, Joseph A. Thompson, William Carson Sr., Morris P. Hannum, S.F. Pretty, William H. Martin, the late Congressman William Ward, John H. Kerlin, Benjamin W. Crother, Thomas Seth, Col. W. May, Harry Abbott, Robert Chadwick, Judge Johnson, Charles W. Mathues, Doctor A.W. Mathues, ex-Sheriff John D. Howard, former Sheriff William Mathues, who, in my estimation, is the boldest leader the county has ever produced.  I consider him in county politics what the late Bob Mackey was in State politics.  This push, with the aid of the young men of the county, knocked out the “old gang” in the first round, and Cooper and his following were monarch of all they surveyed for about 30 years; but eventually Cooper ran his course.
                AN AMBITIOUS YOUNG MAN – There was an ambitious young man pitched his tent in Delaware County without much cash, for when I first got acquainted with him he was canvassing the county for Senator James G. Blaine’s book, going from place to place, from Haverford to Lower Chichester, with dust on his shoes endeavoring to make an honest dollar.  This young blood was fighting Jack Robinson.  I early took a fancy to him.  I thought he was a pretty good sort of a fellow to tie to, as Coopertism was on the wane, and I will never forget when the deal was made to make him editor of the Delaware County Gazette for I was one of the parties instrumental in getting him there.  Jack never had an organ of his own before to buck against the Delaware County American.  He could write what he pleased and from this start, Jack gained entrance to the House at Harrisburg and from there to the Senate and while Senator went to the halls of the Congress for three terms.  By and by Jack fell by the wayside, he was lost sight of but he again comes on his feet as United States Marshal, appointed by President McKinley, and Cooper re-enters politics and will go back to the House at Harrisburg where he first started in political life.  He and Jack, who fought each other for years are now dwelling together in unity.
                This reminds me of an incident that happened at the fiftieth wedding anniversary of John B. and Mrs. Rhodes in Aston Township a few months ago.  Among the number present that night was Uncle George Drayton.  Some 25 years ago, Uncle George, whenever he met me would say:  “If you don’t break away from that man Tom Cooper politically, he will ruin you,” for at that time Uncle George hated the name of Cooper; but now, after being over 50 years of age, that night he declared openly and above board that he was for Cooper for the Legislature.
                Truly politics make strange bed fellows.  It is certainly pleasant for a former resident of the county to see peace reign supreme in the county where he was born and still has an interest in; to see all factions united again in one common cause to the Presidential year, when President McKinley is to be elected for a second term.
                MAKING THEIR MARK – Delaware County boys are well represented in the Police Department in Philadelphia.  Edward Mailin who was born and raised on a far at Glen Mills has been a Captain in the Police Department for years.  Lieutenant John Latimore, who first saw the light of day at Glen Riddle has been promoted from Lieutenant to that of Acting Captain, and inside of 30 days he will be appointed permanent Captain.  Edward Lyons, a Chester boy, who at one time kept the American House at Sixth and Market Streets, has been a Lieutenant of Police for about twenty years.
                Delaware County boys were also quite prominent in the Republican Convention which nominated McKinley and Roosevelt.  General Powell Clayton, a Bethel Township boy, was a delegate from Arkansas, while Heyburn, a son of a Birmingham Township former, who went to Idaho some twenty years ago, was chairman of the Idaho delegation.  S Everett Sproul, whose father resides in your city, and a brother of Senator Sproul, was a delegate from Virginia, and last, but not least, Simeon Cotton, Jr., brother of James Cotton of your city, who was born in Aston Township was chairman of the Alabama delegation.
 
 
 


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Glen Mills School 125 years ago & new book on Ted Meredith, Delco native and Olympic gold winner

 
The Harrison Gymnasium at Glen Mills School about 105 years ago
 
A VISIT TO THE HOUSE OF REFUGE –
The Good Impressions of a Lady Visitor to Glen Mills – An Excellent System Used
                Alice A Roberts in the Norristown Herald, has the following kind words for a well-known Delaware County institution and a popular resident of Media who is connected with it in an official way:
                “A work that is well worth the trouble of doing is that which is undertaken by the committee who have in charge one of Pennsylvania’s most noble institutions, the House of Refuge.  On the hills at the station called Glen Mills, are situated the buildings, the elegant and commodious cottages where boys live in families.  The large main building where the meetings of the directors are held and where the business of the school is transacted, the chapel where the boys are assembled for religious instructions and for lectures and entertainment; the gymnasium, one of the largest and best equipped in the United States; the various school buildings and workshops – all surrounded by beautifully kept lawns and walks, make one of the most charming pictures imaginable.  The views of the surrounding hills and valleys with their garnered crops and stretches of woodland are magnificent and exert of themselves an untold influence in reclaiming the wayward youth who must go to school here.
                “There are about eight hundred and fifty boys in the school, ranging in age from six to eighteen years.  Their faces, some of them dear, sweet faces, poverty and neglect have hardened and on which the want of love, which every human being needs, has left a desolate look.
                “It was my good fortune to visit the boys with Colonel Hawley, one of the directors, who has ever the good of the boys at heart, and who does not think his duty finished when he has met with his friends and directed how they shall be taken care of, but who goes straight to the boy and interests himself in each one and thinks of something to entertain and interest.
                IN THE KINDERGARTEN – “The kindergarten is managed very much as all good kindergartens are.  The songs and games and work are enjoyed very much by all.  Besides this, they are all being taught to read and write and cipher.  These little boys are kept in a cottage by themselves; their dainty white beds spotlessly clean; their little table with white cloth carefully set, and all their appointments for recreation, work and study, all that the most fastidious could wish; and yet through it all we were sorry for these poor little bits of humanity who could not have known a tender loving mother’s care and devotion.
                “At the gymnasium the boys are under the care of an experienced teacher.  We saw a class in Indian club swinging.  The teachers told us that it was the class of the lowest grade of intellect in the school.  “They were boys that were perhaps sixteen or more years of age who had been either too worthless to learn or had not the opportunity to go to school.  The obedience and quick precision necessary to the giving of movements required by the teachers were very difficult for some.  In the basement of the gymnasium is a swimming pool, the water being warmed to the proper temperature.  The boys are allowed by cottages in their turn, evenings at the swimming pool.  While we were in the basement looking at the miniature lake, we turned and saw a door leading into what appeared an underground tunnel, which it proved to be, all the buildings are so connected, lighted with electric light, and ventilated.  In case of a storm or inclement weather, the boys do not have to go out of doors to their work or to school.
                “We visited various school rooms where the classes were being taught according to the best methods, and where they are evidently making rapid progress, for these boys are no stupids.  We visited the various shops, where the boys work in wood and iron.  Those who are old enough are taught a trade, so that they are allowed to know there is no need of them going without employment, as they are skilled in the use of their hands and eyes.
                “As we passed through the different rooms many of the boys dropped for the instant their work to shake hands with Colonel Hawley, who was evidently a great favorite with them.  The bright look which they all gave him was evidently all the reward he desired for his thoughtfulness for them.  ‘Are we to have a lecture, Colonel?’ greeted him on every side.
                “In the printing department the boys get out a daily paper which is a little sheet.  In every department there is evidence of the inborn American genius.  In the paper hanging and wall decorating department some of the designs were beautiful.  In some of the cottages the border on the sitting room wall had been designed and executed by the boys.  It was entitled the ‘Circus’ and it certainly has made more attractive their reading and play room.
                “At 5 o’clock the boys are all lined up in a large room for the purpose of separating them into their families.  During the day they all work according to their ability and aptitude, but at their homes they are classed according to size.  This makes possible very fine drills and military discipline.  I can think of no grander night than that made by this small army of boys lined up in quiet readiness waiting for the order to march to their homes.  There is a friendly rivalry among the different cottages for the report in marching and drill work.
                HOW THEY LIVE – “As it came on supper time we visited the cottages to see how they lived.  The boys had not yet arrived when we went into No. 9 so our party descended to the basement to see them come in.  As soon as the boys were disbanded and could speak to Colonel Hawley they kept us busy shaking hands with them.  One boy was afraid that so many of them shaking hands would soil the ladies’ gloves.  Colonel Hawley had some x-ray pictures in his pocket, which he showed and explained in the great delight of the boys.  One youth had a black cat which he informed me was the mascot of that cottage, and brought them all their good luck.
                “So on through all the various phases of their systematic life we went.  At one cottage we found the boys assembled in their reading room, some reading, some playing checkers and other games.  One of the boys suggested that if one of the ladies would play on the organ a hymn they would sing, and they all united in the singing.  In one cottage where the boys had received a particularly good report, the matron had prepared a treat of molasses candy.
                “Everything through the whole institution was clean, neat and systematic.  The boys are healthy and in good physical condition, and apparently in good spirits.  There would seem no reason why such a training for several years should not serve to correct evil tendencies in all these boys – the training of the head and the hand and shall I say the heart?
                “Only a few people in the world like Colonel Hawley ever think to do these things which would teach these boys to be men, to feel that they have a friend, a human friend, to whom they can go in time of trouble and need.  And that money and the work of devoted teachers can do for these boys is being done there at the House of Refuge.  Yet, they have few friends and little incentive to follow in the path of virtue, other than that which habit gives them, I come away convinced that were we all more mindful of the waifs who have not yet been sent to this school, or if time and opportunity permitted, would take the trouble to become the friend of only one of these poor children, whose condition may be partly due to the poverty of parents, that we would be following in the footsteps of Him who said, ‘Suffer little children to come unto me,’ and we would be better men and women for it.”
               
 
 
 


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Summer Camp 120 years ago and Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday!!

 
Religious summer camps were the rage 120 years ago read below and see if you and your kids would like to go
 

Summer Religious Camp

 
TWIN OAKS CAMP – Open Air Worship by the Holiness Christians – Religion IN the Grove – Rev. Jonas Trumbauer and His Followers Tenting on the Old Camp Ground – The Opening Ceremonies Were Conducted Last Night
            The annual camp meeting under the auspices of the Holiness Christian Association commenced last evening at Thorpe’s Woods, Twin Oaks, and will close on Sunday evening, July 5th.
            The opening ceremonies commenced at 8 p.m. led by Presiding Elder Rev. Jonas Trumbauer, who delivered a very earnest talk, and spoke of the great expectations for a more glorious time than ever before experienced.  Several other of the brethren then followed in short and earnest addresses, after which a consecration meeting was held.  God’s blessing being invoked on the camp, and all the brethren and sisters were exhorted to duty and to diligence.
            This morning the usual six o’clock prayer meeting was held, and there was “A shout of a King in the camp.”  There will only be one other meeting held today, and that will be at 2 p.m., in order that all may have a chance to get moved and settled in their tents.
            The hours of service, daily, will be as follows:  6, 9, and 10:30 a.m.; and 2, 3, 7, and 8 p.m.   All the services will be held under the large tabernacle.
Baptisms will take place daily from 6 to 7 p.m., in the creek near the grove.
            There are forty-one tents, arranged as usual in a semi-circle, and they are well occupied, there being many familiar faces, and a number of new ones.
            The large dining tent, in charge of Rev. James Redgraves, is splendidly equipped, and will comfortably seat about 80 people.  Mrs. Josephine Keifer, of Conshohocken, is the head cook, and her ability in the culinary art is well known so that she needs no further recommendation.  Miss Ida McCullough of Chester is manager of the tables, and she will be assisted by a corps of competent waiters.
            The prices for board are:  $4 per week; 75 cents per day; dinner, 35 cents; breakfast or supper, 25 cents.
            The B. and O. Railroad Company will sell return tickets good for the entire season, and has also kindly consented to convey camp equipage free of charge.
            The woods are in splendid order, and the favorite well of water is also in good shape.
            The Chester Times, as usual will be served on the grounds, and will contain daily accounts of the proceedings.
            Among the preachers are expected:  Rev. C. W. Ruth of Indianapolis; Rev. E. L. Hyde of Conshohocken; Rev. C. C. Brown of New Carlisle, Ohio; and, Rev. George W. Powell pastor of the M. E. Church at Gloucester City.