Monday, September 9, 2019

Forgotten man and his memorial park. Upcoming Mill events and Civil War event

 

I have no old pictures of Baltimore Pike and Chester Rd. This is an old postcard album of Swarthmore from c.1908.

 
 
 
NOTE: Joseph Weeks was just a private citizen when he founded the Keystone Automobile Club in 1906 which merged with AAA in 1965. But his real accomplishment was coming up with the idea of the Penna. State Highway System and how to create and finance it which he did in 1911. Weeks wrote the bill himself which then Senator William Sproul later Governor sponsored. Sproul always gave Weeks the credit for the bill which was copied by other states. Weeks died in 1919.  The Keystone Automobile Club planned a park and memorial which never came about. The park officially known as 'Keystone" is at the intersection of Baltimore Pike, Chester Rd, and Oakdale Rd. It is the triangular empty park next to TruMark Financial Credit Union Bank. Below is the article about the memorial for Weeks.

 
 
 
 

MEMORIAL FOR JOSEPH H. WEEKS

Unique Monument Will Be Erected at Swarthmore on Baltimore Pike

          A tribute to the memory of the late Joseph H. Weeks, who did much to bring
 about Pennsylvania’s first comprehensive state highway system, as well as organizer and first president of the Keystone Automobile Club, is the purpose for the establishment of a beautiful memorial at Swarthmore.
          In 1911 Joseph H. Weeks accomplished one of the outstanding events of his career.  He wrote and assisted in having put on the statute books the most progressive measure ever enacted for the good of motorists in Pennsylvania.  That was the Sproul Act of 1911, which provided for the state’s great primary system of highways and establishment of its highway department.  The entire text of this act was written by Mr. Weeks and the bill was sponsored by Senator Sproul (afterwards Governor, whose name it bears.
          It was this act that ex-Governor Sproul referred to recently in a speech when he said:
          “The real father of good roads in this state is Joseph H. Weeks, the late president of the Keystone Automobile Club.  I had some sort of plan for better highways through a scheme of state aid, but he had devised a comprehensive state highway system and pumped me so full of enthusiasm for it that was finally put through.
          It was during an extensive speaking tour of the state in 1913, when the first fight was being waged to amend the state constitution permitting the borrowing of money for road construction purposes, that Mr. Weeks suffered the physical breakdown which resulted in his death six years later.
          For thirteen years he was the recognized leader for good roads matters in Pennsylvania.  He built up for the Keystone Automobile Club a prestige greatly beyond what the size of its membership (it was slightly less than four thousand at his death in 1919) warranted.  He was openly opposed to the game of graft practice upon the motorist.  For him, there was no closed season as against grafting magistrates and constables or any other of like ilk whose aim was to victimize the automobile owner.
          The Keystone Automobile Club recently purchased the ground at Swarthmore where the memorial is to be erected.  The cost of the proposed memorial $35,000, is to be raised by popular subscription.
          The memorial monument to be erected has as its central feature a large bronze plaque sixteen feet in diameter containing a relief map of the original state highway system as established by the Sproul Act of 1911.
          The plaque is surrounded by light colored stone curbing at the bottom of a sunken terrace circular in form at the top of which is another curb and a surrounding walk from which the tablet may be contemplated.  Surrounding the walk is a circular balustrade behind seats whence motorists may rest and study their routes upon an appropriate street map.  There surmounts each of twelve pedestals an ornamental vase, rising to a height of about eight feet above the walk and giving a distinctly monumental garden effect.  The whole terrace is raised four steps above the surrounding walk on either side of which there are circular clipped privet hedges, which in turn are surrounded by a sloping terrace.
          The main approach is from the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Chester Road and other approaches are located from each of the other intersections, giving three general approaches in addition to the intermediate approaches immediately in front of the circular form.  Large shrubbery bushes planted behind the light-colored stone will give a pleasant relief and at the same time obscure the school building on the other side of the street.  New trees, shrubbery and surrounding walks complete the park, all of which have been arranged so that it will not be necessary to disturb the work when Baltimore Avenue is eventually widened to its full width.
 
 
 
 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Ridley Park's Fighting Men and walking tour

  
 

The Ridley Park Library shortly after it was built in 1912 with funds from Andrew Carnegie Library Fund. One Hundred years ago this weekend the plaque to honor the towns WW1 veterans was added.

 

 

Note: Ridley Park was one of the first towns in Delaware Co. to recognize and honor their town veterans from  WW1. They also included men from other towns whose post office was Ridley Park.

 

Ridley Park Victorian Fair Walk

I will be given 2 tours September 7 at the Victorian Fair in Ridley Park. One at 11am and the other at 1pm. Tour will cover parts of Swarthmore and Sellers Ave. and take about one hour. Price ten dollars. We will start at the old Wells Fargo Bank parking lot. I only take about 10 or 12 people on each tour so let me know if you would like to go. Just send me an email at keith106@rcn.com and I will add you to the list. You can register on September 7, but space may be limited. Thanks Keith


 
 
 
 

RIDLEY PARK’S FIGHTING MEN 

War Heroes and Service Men Honored by Citizens of the Borough With a Handsome Bronze Tablet

                Fighting sons of Ridley Park were honored by the citizens of that borough on Saturday, when the handsome bronze honor service table was unsettled and dedicated.  The tablet will stand as a perpetual memory to the 149 names carried and to the four boys who made the supreme sacrifice that democracy may live.  Several hundred persons witnessed the unveiling and dedication in front of the Public Library.  The majority of service men of the borough were among the throng and assisted greatly in the success of the ceremonies.
                At 2 o’clock the pageant swung away from Borough Hall, headed by Captain F. F. Turner and the colors of the Ridley Park Citizens Corps.  The Swarthmore Military band of twenty pieces followed, their patriotic airs and march numbers inspiring the hundreds gathered to pay homage to the soldiers, sailors and marines.  The Borough officials headed by Burgess G. M. Stull, Boy Scouts, Training Corps, Girl Scouts.  Citizens, firemen and the service men went over the route, which was from the Town Hall to Ware Street to Sellers avenue to Swarthmore Avenue to Chester Pike to Ward Street and thence to library.  The service men were marshalled by Colonel Frank B. Maltby.
                At the Library the paraders formed an honor square for the service men while the band discoursed “Stars and Stripes Forever.”  Burgess Stull with other borough officials then took over the steps leading to the handsome library building.  The entire assemblage rendered, “Long, Long Trail,” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”
                Rev. Francis B. Barnett, former pastor of the Ridley Park Methodist Episcopal Church, and who was a Chaplain in the service, made the invocation.  Prayers were sent up for those who lost their lives, those who returned, those who suffered from the war, the President and the Congress and the good citizens of Ridley Park.
                The service honor tablet was then presented to the borough by Joseph H. Hinkson, Esq., a long-time resident and also solicitor for the borough.  In his address, Mr. Hinkson called attention to the work done at home and abroad, laying stress to the accomplishments of Delaware County in war work and shipbuilding and of sending so many boys into the service.  He was greeted with rounds of applause.  He paid a glowing tribute to the four who made the supreme sacrifice, Edward R. Hammer, George B. Hoffman, Henry F. Mitchell and Joseph E. Pierce.  In speaking of the work done abroad and at home by the Ridley Park boys, homage was paid to those who were awarded decorations and those who through their vacant service won promotion, among these being Lieutenant Colonel Maltby and Colonel Charles C. Pierce.
                At the conclusion of the address, Mr. Hinkson briefly gave a dedicating address, at which time, Miss Fernando M. Stull, grasped the handsome silken American flag and unveiled the beautiful tablet.  Miss Stull was charming; she wore a beautiful, but plain dress of white organdie and a large blue hat with pale pink facing.  Applause greeted her when she mounted the step to unveil the bronze masterpiece.
                With the tablet unveiled and dedicated, every voice rendered, “Onward, Christian Soldiers.”  The blended voices pleased many in the large assemblage, some being effected by tears, while others forced smiles to keep away the tears that were wont to be shed.  Burgess Stull received the tablet for the borough in an eloquent address, touching on obligations as Americans.  He was applauded.  The singing of “America” closed the afternoon.
                The service tablet is a work of art.  It is made of the best quality bronze.  At the top a wreath in which a star and crossed guns, attract the eye.  Beneath is both the insignias of the Army and Navy while a ribbon bears the inscription in large plain letters, “Honor Roll.”  Under the ribbon, the following is inscribed:  “Erected by the citizens of Ridley Park in honor of its patriotic sons who were called to the colors by the United States of America, when it entered the World War to maintain its independence and sovereignty and establish, the blessings of Justice, Liberty, Peace.”  The frame work of the tablet is of wreathed design and at the bottom under the names of the sons who participated in the World War, are the names of four citizens honored for war service, namely, George C. Barber, 3rd, George C. Hetzel, J. Howard Reber and H. Furness Taylor.
                THE SERVICE MEN – Described on the tablet are the following names of the borough’s service men:  Charles D. Allen, Charles L. Andrews, Donald Anthony, Harold T. Atticks, Walter H. Baird, Joseph O. Baker, Francis B. Barnett, Joseph H. Brackett, Stanley A. Brown, Vernon C. Brown, David A. Brooks, Frederick R. Buse, John J. Campbell, Mauro Caromeno, Raymond Carrick, Lester C. Cobb, Walter R. Cochran, Herbert Collins, Joseph B. Comerford, Robert A. Comerford, A. LaRue Commins, Albert E. Cengdon, Jr., Chalon E. Corson, Charles B. Cox, Frederick Cramer, Charles B. Culhane, William P. Culbert, James Davies, Elwood S. Deakyne, Earle W. Deppisch, Murrell E. Derry, Bennett L. Disbrow, Clarence H. Edmundson, Jas. Ennis, Jr., Enoch S. Farson, James S. N. Farson, E. Loren Fenn, T. Legare Fenn, Warren S. Fisher, Robert H. Foreman, Jr., Earle H. Freeman and Henry B. Freeman.
                Augustus J. P. Gallagher, Henry D. Garrett, Benjamin H. Getzs, Jay Gilmore, Frank S. Given, William H. Given, Jr., Hacop C. Gorcodian, James P. Haldt, James S. Halkett, Edward R. Hamer, Cortlandt A. Hamm, John T. Harrison, Roger Daydeck, H. Biddle Hayes, James A. Hayes, Jr., Harry F. Heineman, Everett C. Hemingway, Carlton C. Henderson, William E. Hetzel, Jr., Joseph H. W. Hinkson, George B. Hoffman, J. Gordon Holt, Norris J. Huffington, James H. Hurtt, 3rd, Earle H. Jardine, J. Byers Johnson, Arthur E. Jones, Llewellyn E. Jones, Luther H. Ketels, Louis a. Klein, Frederick S. Limerick, Arthur W. Lincoln, and Edward C. Lukens.
                Also John D. McClure, William Rodman McHenry, William McKenna, John F. McKernan, Frank M. B. Maltby, Charles E. Mann, John W. Mann, Pensyl Mawby, George Meckert, Henry F. Mitchell, John D. Mifflin, William w. Miller, Lucullus N. D. Mitchell, James T. Moran, John T. Napler, Allen Osborne, Earl Page, Roy Page, William F. Parcells, Jr., Charles C. Pierce, Joseph E. Pierce, Clarence S. Platt, Harry G. Plimpton, Richard S. Pomeroy, Jr., William M. Pomeroy, James E. Purcell, Thomas L. Purcell, James P. Ralph, Horace W. Rice, William J. Rice, William J. Rice, George W. Rinehart, Cecil R. Robertson, Winnie B. Setzer, Lester P. Shafer, Stewart R. A. Shurter and Henry M. Sloan
                Charles Smith, Winfield R. Solomon, Carl H. Stewart, David C. Stewart, Horace W. Stewart, Lawrence F. Stewart, Harold H. Stirling, Edwin L. Stouffer, Robert P. Strine, Jr., Clark D. Stull, John L. Tate, Donald C. Thompson, Harold B. Thompson, Charles S. Thorn, Robert A. Torrens, Stewart J. Torrens, George Trees, Richard Trees, Jr., Victor Turkington, Robert E. Tyson, John W. Vismer, Frederick L. Welsh, Herbert E. Williams, Vauclain R. Williams, Harry R. Wilson, Walter J. Wilson Charles L. Worrell, A. Duncan Yocum, Jr., and Harry E. Young.
                Service men who were decorated for the valiant services during the world conflict were the following:  Major Charles H. Pierce, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and thence to Colonel.  Received the Legion of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.
                Lieutenant Colonel Frank B. Maltby wears a Croix de Guerre and Distinguished Service Medal.
                Thomas Legare Fenn wears a Croix de Guerre and Distinguished Service Medal.
                Winifred B. Solomon wears a Croix de Guerre.
                Jack Campbell was honored with the Croix de Guerre and Distinguished Service Cross.


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Rose Hill Farms, an orphanage and upcoming events

Looking for information on the above picture from c.1920. Looking for a location and if it is still standing etc. Thanks Keith

 

Note: While doing some research I came across this newspaper article about this orphanage summer camp in Upper Providence Twp. Looking for a location and any information.

Thanks Keith

 
 
 
CHESTER TIMES  September  1923
 
 

 SUMMER CAMP OF ORPHAN ASYLUM 

 Visit to St. Joseph’s Institution for Girls in Upper Providence

          The bell in the belfry of the chapel at the summer house of St. Joseph’s Orphan Asylum for Girls, located a little to the west of Rose Tree, Upper Providence Township, was summoning the Sisters of Charity to evening prayer, just as William J. Sweeney, Thomas J. Ross, Jacob Schaffer and a Times representative drove up the winding driveway that leads to the stately old mansion on the grounds, which forma part of the grounds, which forms a part of the summer camp of the institution.
          The four Chesterites were invited to visit the chapel and join in the silent prayers offered up at the end of another perfect day.  Twilight was shedding its fast folding rays into the beautiful chapel, surrounded by trees of mammoth growth.  The flickering tapers and glow of the sanctuary lamp, gave a touch somberness that made the scene all the more enchanting.
          The chapel, which was a frame structure built in recent years, has a seating capacity of two hundred. Its appointments are of an order that at once serves to give peace to the mind, and it is here that ninety orphan girls and the ten Sisters of Charity in charge attend daily mass and at other times of the day offer up their supplications to God.
          Father McDermott, the Philadelphia priest, who only recently awakened a lively interest in civic matters of that city, presented the beautiful estate to St. Joseph’s Orphan Association for girls, situated at Seventh and Spruce Streets, eight years ago.  Ever since then the children of that institution have enjoyed from four to five months of the year real country life, under most pleasant conditions and surroundings.
          There are fifty-eight acres of land, which includes a beautiful woods.  The cultivated ground produce enough vegetables to supply the children and those over them in their needs of that kind.  From June to October each year the orphan girls get close to nature and escape the noise and heat of city life.  There are all sorts of amusements provided for them, including two Shetland ponies, “Billy” and “Nellie.”  These were lately presented to the orphanage, after the son and daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia had grown too big for them.  “Billy” will let any good little girl ride him, but no boy, be he good or bad, has been able to stay on his back.  He never knew any rider, other than the little mistress by whom he was raised.  With “Nellie” it is different.  Both boys and girls are welcome to ride on her back and she never “kicks up.”
          A most striking and beautiful piece of ornamentation to the grounds is a moral mound in the center of which is a life-sized snow white statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Blooming petunias of variegated colors, make a beautiful show, and when the ninety little orphan children gather at this spot for evening prayer and sing their good night hymn, under the glare of an electric light, the picture presented is on not soon to be forgotten.
          The one-story dormitory, with its snow white cots, brings tired little feet too rest, for by eight o’clock Standard Time, all are expected to be in dreamland.
          The visitors also had the pleasure of meeting with Sister Laura, daughter of Mrs. Joseph Messick, of this city.  She has been in the sisterhood for twenty-one years, eighteen years of which she has spent at St. Agnes’ Hospital, Baltimore, Md., nursing and caring for the sick and injured.  Sister Laura is at the above summer camp for two weeks, taking a much needed rest and meeting with friends from home.
          Father Tarahsie, who is of Spanish origin, has a cute little portable bungalow, which he occupies close by the chapel.  Much of his spare time is given over to the study of English, in which language he is becoming quite proficient.
          Mother Vincent, who is tall and stately and looks as if nothing was a trouble to her, has the responsibility of the camp on her shoulders, which responsibility will shift to the city home, when camp breaks up.
 I'm president of this group and we promote all upcoming history events in Delco. Please sign up and join to be kept in the loop of upcoming events etc.
 

Ridley Park Victorian Fair Walk

I will be given 2 tours September 7 at the Victorian Fair in Ridley Park. One at 11am and the other at 1pm. Tour will cover parts of Swarthmore and Sellers Ave. and take about one hour. Price ten dollars. We will start at the old Wells Fargo Bank parking lot. I only take about 10 or 12 people on each tour so let me know if you would like to go. Just send me an email at keith106@rcn.com and I will add you to the list. You can register on September 7 but space may be limited. Thanks Keith

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Glen Mills Paper Mill closes Upcoming mill talks and tours see below

A very early rare aerial view of the Glen Mills paper mills before they closed in 1922. Ruins can still be seen along Chester Creek. Lots of mill talks and tours this Fall, see below.

 

NOTE:

      I will be given 2 tours September 7 at the Victorian Fair. One at 11am and the other at 1pm. Tour will cover parts of Swarthmore and Sellers Ave. and take about one hour. Price ten dollars. We will start at the old Wells Fargo Bank parking lot. I only take about 10 or 12 people on each tour so let me know if you would like to go. Just send me an email at keith106@rcn.com and I will add you to the list. You can register on September 7, but space may be limited. Thanks Keith

:

 
 
September 5, 1922

GLEN MILLS PAPER MILLS A MEMORY

 Plant Being Dismantled and Machinery Moved Elsewhere


                It now looks, reports a correspondent, as though the Glen Mills Paper Mills will soon be only a memory of industrial life in that section of Delaware County, the Chester Creek Valley.  The big paper plant has been shut down for several months, but now the machinery is being removed and shipped away and the place dismantled, which would seem to indicate that the Glen Mills Paper Mill will soon be a thing of the past.

                For many years this industry was operated day and night, and was always a hive of industry, providing employment to a small army of contented workers, most of whom live in tenement houses on the premises.  The Glenn Mills Paper Mill was built in 1838 by James M. Willcox who was at that time operating the paper mill at Ivy Mills, built by his ancestors in 1729.  In this factory at Glen Mills was made all the paper used in making currency and bonds for the United States Government, for Mr. Willcox had invented a secret process in making paper which made counterfeiting very difficult.  So great was the success of this new invention that the government had many guards and secret service men on duty all the time at Glen Mills, to prevent any tampering or loss through any of the paper getting into other hands.  Orders were also turned out for foreign governments, and until the Willcox paper was improved upon by the New England mills, all the paper money in this country was made at Glen Mills.

                So great was the demand for it that another mill was built there, but that has fallen into ruin from disuse many years ago.  When the Glen Mills mills were built in 1836, there was more paper made in Delaware County than in all the rest of the United States combined.  The natural water power and clear water made this creek the source of the country’s paper supply. 
The present Yorkshire Mills were then making paper, John B. Duckett being then the maker.  It was he who built the present big mansion now on the premises.  The West Branch mills were also then operated by the Mattsons, as a paper mill.

                For the past twenty-five years the Glen Mills paper mills had been conducted by the Dohans, under the trade name of Glen Mills Paper Company, whose offices are in the Drexel buildings in Philadelphia.  Its last product was a patent parchment paper, used for butter and sausage wrappers, etc.  The making of this paper required a lot of acid, and at periods this acid would escape into Chester Creek and poison thousands of fish, or all the fish then in the stream.

                The factory would make an ideal location for almost any manufacturing industry, as it is in fair condition with many houses for help, and having a modern steam power plant.  But it is not probable that paper will ever be made there again, and the passing of the Glen Mills paper mill removes the last exposition of the community’s one time all-important branch of industry.
 

 
 



Sunday, August 11, 2019

Tully Golf Course and Slinky Historical Marker

The above aerial view shows a little part of the Tully Golf Course that included the putting greens. The parking lot and white building are still standing and many of you pass it everyday especially on Sunday. Any guesses? You will be surprised where it is.

 
 
 
 

Note: Starting with the Springhaven Golf Club, golf courses began to pop up everywhere in the 1920's in Delaware Co. Most of the courses are still here but some like Ridley Park, Glendale and Tully are no longer with us. The Tully Golf Course in Darby Twp. was unusual because it was owned by the Tully Memorial Church in Sharon Hill. It closed about 1950. Anyone who caddied there, I would like to talk to get a rough idea of the layout of the course which covered the Briarcliffe section of Darby Twp.

 
 
 
 
 
CHESTER TIMES – April 29, 1925

 CHURCH COUNTRY CLUB TO OPEN

Tully Memorial Congregation to Play Golf by July 4

          Grading work and other detail necessary in providing a country club and golf course, which is the plan of the Tully Memorial Church, Sharon Hill, is progressing rapidly and Rev. Alexander Mackie, pastor of the Sharon Hill Presbyterian edifice, hopes to have the recreational center opened on July 4.
          The proposed golf grounds are located at Ashland Avenue and Academy Road, Darby Township.  The plot, which is owned by the church, comprises forty-seven acres.  The grading of the grounds is now under way.
          The plan was developed by Rev. Mackie and as was first told in the Times several months ago, it is intended to open the clubhouse and course at a small fee to members of the congregation and to residents of the Sharon Hill section.
          “We purchased an old farm a short time ago near Glenolden,” Dr. Mackie said today, “to see what could be done best to interest the people of our church in out-of-door life.
          “I believe it is the function of a church to minister to the physical as well as to the spiritual needs of humanity,” he said.
          According to Dr. Mackie, it is the first attempt on the part of a church and congregation to effect the building of a golf course as a part of the church program, although the Episcopal Church of Saint Luke and the Epiphany, Philadelphia, several years ago, opened a church farm at Broomall, this county.
          The officers of the new club are as follows:  President, John G. Brainerd; vice president, W. H. Kirkpatrick; treasurer, H. C. Bock; secretary, John A. Smith.
          A golf course, a Baseball field and half a dozen tennis courts are to be made a part of the new center and later it is hoped to have a swimming pool built.  James Reid is in charge of the property at the present time.  It is planned to convert the old homestead on the grounds into a modern first-class clubhouse.
         
No photo description available.
 


Monday, August 5, 2019

Woodrow Wilson Park dedicated in 1924 !! or 1929? Please read


 I want to see how many of you recognize this building which is still standing and what it is today. The building looks the same and is on a major road. A postcard c.1925

 
 
 
 
Note: I have been doing research on WW1 memorials in Delco for upcoming articles and came across the one from November of 1924. The official Nether Providence Twp. website information on Woodrow Wilson Park and the memorial is directly below, it appears the township has some misinformation. 
 
 
 
 

Woodrow Wilson Park

Ronaldson St & Allen St
Wallingford, PA 19086
This half-acre pocket park at Ronaldson and Allen Streets in South Media was officially established in 1979 as a memorial for those who served in World War I. The tract was originally presented to the township in 1929 by prominent attorney and township resident A. B. Geary and his family. It offers playground equipment. 
 
 
 
 
 
          CHESTER TIMES – November 10, 1924

PERSHING PRAISED AT DEDICATION OF COUNTY MEMORIAL 

 Judge Dickinson Speaker at Nether Providence Playground

          “Out of every war there has come a great man,” said Judge O. B. Dickinson of the United States District Court, speaking at the dedication Saturday afternoon of the new playgrounds presented to the Nether Providence Township by A. B. Geary and family.  “As yet the American people have failed to give recognition to the man who so valiantly led our boys to victory, a man who I consider as one of the greatest generals who has ever lived, and that man is no other than General John J. Pershing.  As yet the American people have failed to give the recognition he so rightly deserves.
          Judge Dickinson was the principal speaker at the exercises.
          The park, which bears the name “Woodrow Wilson Park” is located in South Media opposite the South Media School and is to be used as a recreation park by the girls and boys of the township.
          Mr. Geary, in presenting the grounds to the school board and the service men recalled the days back in 1917 when the boys were leaving for the various camps.  It very often became his duty to accompany these men to camp and he made a resolve that he would do something for the boys when they returned and in doing this something he resolved to do a thing which would perpetuate their memory for all time.  When the boys were back he explained this desire to Mrs. Geary and his son and daughter and they expressed themselves as being in perfect accord with his plan to make this remembrance in the form of a recreation park.
          Mrs. Geary then explained the contents of the deed to the property stating that the park was to be used as a recreation park and was to be under the supervision of the school board and the serviced men “because while the service men will be with us for a great many years to come, they must at some time pass away but our school board will be succeeded by another and so on down through the history of the nation there shall always be someone to see that this memory of the boys will be perpetuated.”
          In accepting the playground on behalf of the school board, John C. Hershey, president of that body paid the highest tribute to Mr. Geary and his family for the beautiful thought they had expressed in making the gift and admonished the children of the township to use the park for the purpose intended for by so doing they could carry out the wishes of the doers and at the same time they would be building up their minds and bodies in a manner which would enable them to better cope with the many obstacles that will present themselves in their future lives.
          T. Earle Palmer then made the speech of acceptance on behalf of the service men of the township.  Mr. Palmer brought out the point that the duty of the service men did not end with the signing of the Armistice but stressed the importance of helping to carry out the principles under which this county was founded and of the necessity of ever adhering to the high ideals of the Constitution.
          The closing address was delivered by Judge Dickinson, who took as his topic the poem of Longfellow, “The Village Blacksmith,” explaining that behind the surface of this masterpiece there was a wonderful lesson.  “The poem is symbolic of three things, first, the tree represents this widespread nation, second, the shop is symbolic of the resources of the nation and last and most important, the mighty smithy represented the manpower of the nation.
          “It is by just such places as this playground that this manpower is produced and it was this that made Greece one of the most powerful nations that ever existed, for that nation required that each of its subjects must be physically fit.”
          Speaking further the judge recalled a verse he had recited in his school boy days, the closing lines of which were a testimonial of the faith of the people in the institutions of the nation, that they would survive the unrest that prevailed at that time.  “And so,” said the judge, “I am firmly convinced now as then the country will live on and her institutions will survive any unrest that might prevail now.”
          The ceremony opened with the singing of America by all present, the signing being led by Watson Davis, community song leader of Frankford and who was attached to the Y. M. C. A. during the war.  There was an interesting musical program in which two members of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra took part.  Rev. Edward Reily, pastor of the Wallingford Presbyterian Church offered the opening prayer.
          In the North West corner of the playground is a beautiful granite boulder bearing the inscription, “Woodrow Wilson Park” under which appears the following:  “Erected to the memory of the boys from Nether Providence Township, who served in the World War.”


Monday, July 29, 2019

Mill Year in Delco!! Glen Mills Paper Mills closes

A rare aerial view from the 1920's of the Glen Mills Paper Mills right before it closed.

 
 
 
 
NOTE: This year is Delco Mills History year. Later this year there will be talks, tours etc. of old mills in Delaware Co. The Glen Mills paper Mills one of the oldest the county closed almost 100 years ago.
 
 
 

GLEN MILLS PAPER MILLS A MEMORY

Plant Being Dismantled and Machinery Moved Elsewhere

                It now looks, reports a correspondent, as though the Glen Mills Paper Mills will soon be only a memory of industrial life in that section of Delaware County, the Chester Creek Valley.  The big paper plant has been shut down for several months, but now the machinery is being removed and shipped away and the place dismantled, which would seem to indicate that the Glen Mills Paper Mill will soon be a thing of the past.
                For many years this industry was operated day and night, and was always a hive of industry, providing employment to a small army of contented workers, most of whom live in tenement houses on the premises.  The Glenn Mills Paper Mill was built in 1838 by James M. Willcox who was at that time operating the paper mill at Ivy Mills, built by his ancestors in 1729.  In this factory at Glen Mills was made all the paper used in making currency and bonds for the United States Government, for Mr. Willcox had invented a secret process in making paper which made counterfeiting very difficult.  So great was the success of this new invention that the government had many guards and secret service men on duty all the time at Glen Mills, to prevent any tampering or loss through any of the paper getting into other hands.  Orders were also turned out for foreign governments, and until the Willcox paper was improved upon by the New England mills, all the paper money in this country was made at Glen Mills.
                So great was the demand for it that another mill was built there, but that has fallen into ruin from disuse many years ago.  When the Glen Mills mills were built in 1836, there was more paper made in Delaware County than in all the rest of the United States combined.  The natural water power and clear water made this creek the source of the country’s paper supply. 
The present Yorkshire Mills were then making paper, John B. Duckett being then the maker.  It was he who built the present big mansion now on the premises.  The West Branch mills were also then operated by the Mattsons, as a paper mill.
                For the past twenty-five years the Glen Mills paper mills had been conducted by the Dohans, under the trade name of Glen Mills Paper Company, whose offices are in the Drexel buildings in Philadelphia.  Its last product was a patent parchment paper, used for butter and sausage wrappers, etc.  The making of this paper required a lot of acid, and at periods this acid would escape into Chester Creek and poison thousands of fish, or all the fish then in the stream.
                The factory would make an ideal location for almost any manufacturing industry, as it is in fair condition with many houses for help, and having a modern steam power plant.  But it is not probable that paper will ever be made there again, and the passing of the Glen Mills paper mill removes the last exposition of the community’s one time all-important branch of industry.