Monday, October 14, 2019

Legion Library for Norwood and Norwood Talk this Thursday October 17th!!


The Wesley Cross Legion Post on Cleveland Ave. in Norwood. The Library started here in 1925 backed by the Legion members

NOTE: Like many other early libraries, Norwood was open just one day a week. Early libraries relied heavily on local residents to donate books to the library for others to read. I will be giving a talk this Thursday, October 17 at 7pm. Please come!!


John Wesley-Cross Post Inaugurates New Civic Enterprise

          John Wesley Cross Post, American Legion, always first and foremost in matters of civic betterment, has organized a public library which will be thrown open to the public for the first time on Tuesday evening of next week.  The library is to be located in the Legion building on Cleveland Avenue and each Tuesday evening will be open from 7 to 8 o’clock in order to give the residents an opportunity to take out books.
          The library will be under the supervision of a joint committee of the Post and its Auxiliary and there will be both a Legion and Auxiliary member on duty each evening the library is opened.  The rules formulated by the Committee will permit any resident taking out a library card upon filling out an application stating a willingness to comply with the rules and be responsible to the extent of the payment of $1.00 for any books not returned. In the case of minors this responsibility to be assumed by the parent or some adult.  Books may be kept out for a period of two weeks after which time a charge of one cent per day will apply.
The above article is from May 1925 the one below is from October of 1926

The public library which was opened last summer by John Wesley Cross Post No. 507, American Legion now contains over 1000 volumes and has over 150 residents of the community taking out books.
          Most of the books have been received from residents of the borough.
          The library is free and anyone may become a member by filling out an application card.
          There is a very good assortment of books both for adults and children, and may be kept out for a period of two weeks after which a charge of one cent a day is assessed.
          The Library is open each Tuesday evening from 7 to 5 o’clock, and is located in the Legion Headquarters on Cleveland avenue north of Chester Pike.
          Those having books which they desire to donate to the library are requested to notify any member of the committee and they will be called for.
          The committee includes:  William Y. Irwin, C. R. Moore, W. L. Paul, Harvey Sparks, Harry White, Mrs. George F. Cassell, Miss Catherine Cross, Mrs. Wilson Grant, Mrs. W. L. Paul, and Mrs. Clara Roy.

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Description The Mission of the Delaware County Historic & Preservation Network (DCHPN) is to provide support and advice, to coordinate communications and to encourage personal contacts and build relationships among the 80+ historic and preservation organizations and their leaders in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
Listserv The DCHPN Group at Yahoo Groups is a mailing list, website and gathering place in cyberspace for historical societies, historic site managers and owners, historical commissions and HARBs located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We all have similar interests, similar goals, and similar problems in maintaining our sites and growing our organizations. Through a mailing list and website, we can facilitate discussion among ourselves, ask for advice and share good ideas and success stories that may help other member organizations to have the same success.
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Website The DCHPN website has a list of all upcoming history-related events in the Greater Philadelphia region. It is updated regularly. It also includes publications from seminars and links to important information regarding history and historic preservation and much more.

Monday, September 30, 2019

New Lansdowne Trust Co. opens!! More Mill activities coming!!

The first building of the Lansdowne Trust Co. was in the area of 27 S. Lansdowne Ave. This picture taken about 1910 is looking south toward Darby. In the background is the Penna. R.R. Bridge. In 1926 the Trust Co. built a new building at 1 West Baltimore Ave. Today that building is a Walgreens.

Note: A hundred years ago many Delco towns had their own banks and trust companies, just about all are gone now. Some of the buildings are still used for banking others are restaurants etc. 


Lansdowne Trust Co.’s Home Inspected Today by Public

          Lansdowne Trust Company’s magnificent new bank building will be opened to the public this afternoon and evening, when President C. Russell Arnold, and other officers and directors of the banking institution will greet patrons and visitors, and show them through the splendidly equipped banking house.
          The bank building is large and designed in such a manner that nothing has been left undone to make the banking and transaction of business a pleasure for the patrons.
          The building itself is ornate in appearance and the structure adds materially to the business section of Lansdowne.
          The bank will open for business on Monday morning.
          The structure, built of Indiana limestone, tapestry brick and polished Dear Island granite, is two stories in height and its dimensions are 80 by 60 feet.  The interior of the banking room, which faces on the street, is finished in Knoxville marble, and the woodwork through the institution is of solid mahogany.
          The main vault is of the very finest modern vault construction, walls 18 inches in thickness, and treated with a special process that makes them absolutely impregnable, equipped with massive doors nearly one foot thick, and weighing 17,800 pounds, is also equipped with a burglar alarm, is fireproof, and its locks are electrically controlled.
          The safe deposit department is proportioned from the corridor by bronze grill, and containing a vault similar to that of the main one.  It is also divided into two sections, one for boxes, and the other for bulky valuables.  It is also equipped with five coupon rooms and a larger consultation room ensures privacy for patrons.
          There is a public ladies’ room on the corridor.  There is also the title department on this floor, consisting of the officers’ rooms and two settlement rooms.  This is the joint little department of the Lansdowne Trust Company and the Drexel Hill Title and Trust Company. There are, however, three settlement rooms at Drexel Hill Title and Trust Company. There are, however, three settlement rooms at Drexel Hill.  The employees in this department consists of nine girls and four men.  This is one of the largest departments of this kind in this county, and during this year there have been over 1200 settlements made, involving $20,000,000.
          The trust department, which has commodious quarters, and the Building and Loan department, which is built of marble and separated from the banking department, is equipped with teller’s windows.  The trust department carries a total fund of over $3,000,000.
          At the head of the main marble stairway, opposite the safe deposit department, is the balcony, containing the telephone exchanges which are modern in every detail.  One feature of this exchange is that the operator is concealed, but has a clear view of anything taking place in the bank.
          The directors’ room, which is at the opposite side of the upper corridor, and at the head of the stairway, is the latest in design and construction, being paneled in mahogany and furnished with massive table and high-back chairs.  The entrance to this room is made through a set of double plate glass doors.
          The advertising department contains all the printed matter, and multi-back chairs.  The entrance to this room is made through a set of double plate-glass doors.
          The advertising department contains all the printed matter, a multi-graphing, address-graphing machines, etc.
          The bank also contains a large community room, which has a seating capacity for 150 persons.  It contains a stage and retiring room, and can be used for civic or charitable purposes, absolutely free of charge.  The Women’s Federation and other societies have already made reservations for this room.
          In the basement is located the afterhours vault, where deposits may be made during any hour of the night.  This is done through a small vault door and chute inside of the building along the front entrance.
          A careful selection has been made in the arrangement of up-to-date equipment, the purpose of this being efficiency and labor-saving. Deposits of the bank are now over $34,000,000, with an additional $3,000,000 of trust funds, and about $2,250,000 of Building and Loan money housed under the same roof.
          The bank is equipped with the most modern of office supplies, and also has a marvelous lighting system.
          Business was started in a temporary building at 22 South Lansdowne Avenue on January 15, 1903. Business was transacted in a single room with an old-fashioned coal stove to heat the bank and an old iron safe to hold the deposits.
          Miss Mary L. Kennedy, new assistant treasurer of the Lansdowne Trust Company, was an employee when the bank first opened.
          In August 1903, the bank moved to a new building.  Deposits were then $213,498.
          In 1907, the bank easily weathered the financial panic which spread over the country prior to the creation of the Federal Reserve System.  Deposits then were $628,801.
          In 1916 a safe deposit addition was built to the bank.  Deposits then were $908,768.
          For the Liberty Loan campaign, President White was chairman of committee. Subscriptions totaled $2,034,200, nearly twice the quota.  The bank was awarded a five-star honor flag by the Secretary of the Treasury.
          In 1886, the Darby Saving Fund was organized by fourteen leading citizens in Lansdowne.  Daniel S. White, uncle of George Foster White, was made treasurer.  Business was conducted at Harlan Cloud’s drug store, Darby, with Mr. Cloud as receiving teller.
          In 1890, the first National Bank of Darby was founded and funds of the Darby Saving Fund were transferred there.
          A few years later the question of a bank for Lansdowne was discussed, and it was decided that deposits of the Darby Saving Fund, then $54,100, should form the nucleus to start the Lansdowne and Darby Saving Fund and Trust Company.
          The residence of Frederick Lang, Lansdowne Villa, alongside the P. R. R. station, was purchased by the new bank in July 1902, and a banking house was built on the site.
          In 1902 a charter was granted on September 11.  The capital stock was $125,000.  The first directors were:  Lewis L. Smith, George Foster White, Joseph T. Bunting, Dr. William P. Painter, Samuel S. Pennock, V. E. Bond, George B. Painted, Edward V. Kane, Morgan Bunting, Albert P. Hill, Charles L. Serrill, Dr. Edwin T. Darby, John M. Shrigley, W. Lane Verlenden and Enos Verlenden.  Six of the original directors are still on the board.
          George Foster White was elected first president, treasurer and trust officer; W. Lane Verlenden, first vice president; Joseph T. Bunting, second vice president, and Morgan Bunting, secretary.
          In December 1918, the deposits totaled $1,533,901.  The capital stock was increased to a quarter million dollars and 2500 shares were sold in blocks of not more than ten shares at $200 per share.
          George Foster White resigned as president in January 1925, which was on his seventy-eighth birthday.  Mr. White retired after twenty-three years’ service, and he was made chairman of the board.
          C. Russell Arnold, vice president of the First National Bank of Chester succeeded Mr. White and Henry L. Price was made treasurer.




Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Beechwood Park and DCHPN meeting on Wednesday in Marple

This rare postcard from 1907 shows Beechwood Park in its heyday. The park stood opposite of the current Beechwood Station on the Norristown High Speed line.


 NOTE: Trolley companies from 115 years ago would do anything to improve ridership in what was then a rural Delaware Co. That included building parks to increase ridership. Thanks to the Haverford Twp. Historical Society for the following information. The Park opened Memorial Day 1907 and closed Labor Day of 1908.  It was only open in the summer months from Memorial Day to Labor Day of those 2 years.  The property went into foreclosure and was sold at auction by Samuel T. Freeman on Jan. 19, 1909.  It was stated that the park was losing $700 per week since opening.  The financial "panic" of 1907 affected the ability of people to afford the luxury of a trip to an amusement park. 



Handsome Amusement Grounds Almost Completed Will Be Known as “Beechwood Park”

 Contracts All Awarded

            Philadelphia is to have another park this year.  It is known as “Beechwood Park” and is located on the main line of the Philadelphia & Western Railroad, three miles west of the Union passenger station, Sixty-Ninth Street and West Chester Pike in Delaware County.  All contracts have been awarded for the completion of the park which will be along the lines of the amusement parks in New York, Chicago, and other large cities.
            The park is divided into two sections one of which will be enclosed and developed wholly to amusements of the highest order.  The outer portion will be used for picnic parties and ample table and seating facilities will be provided for public and Sunday school parties that are already engaging dates for outings during the summer.  The amusement park, which is enclosed, consists of about ten acres property laid out and devoted exclusively to the best attractions and high class music while an additional ten acres of prettily shaded woodland comprise the picnic grove.
            A force of about 150 men is at work erecting the numerous buildings of the amusement park.  H.L. Messmore who built Electric Park Detroit, has the contract for the administration building, the restaurant and ballroom, and for the “fire-fighting” display which is his own invention.  This will be one of the important features.  A Philadelphia concern has the contract for the carouse and the Ingersoll Construction Company is erecting the Figure 8, while the Franklin Amusement company has the contract for installing the Canals of Venice and the Circle Swing.  A beautiful Japanese village is being laid out by F.U. Shitchl and Kango Moriya.
            The park attractions will be formed in a hollow square.  A boardwalk, 40 feet wide, will afford easy access to all amusements without the discomfort of great clouds of dust or muddy pathways.  The capacity of the park is estimated at 15,000 to 20,000.  The policy announced by the management prohibits the sale of the management prohibits the sale of liquors and special care will be given to women and children unaccompanied.
            Like the parks after which Beechwood is patterned, its lighting will be a feature.  Located opposite the immense power house of the Philadelphia & Western Railroad, sufficient power for thousands of electric lights has been secured.  More than fifteen hundred brilliant electric lights adorn the administration building which forms the front of the park and which is the first scene to greet visitors as they alight from the electric trains.  Within the grounds, thousands of lights cover the various buildings while many are lights illumine the promenades.   
            Every effort is being made to have Beechwood ready for opening on Decoration Day.  The Philadelphia & Western railroad will receive this week the first consignment of its passenger cars and the remainder of the equipment will arrive a few days later.  The railroad’s management is cooperating with the park management in planning to handle the big park crowds and many sidings are being installed at the park by which to load and unload the crowds.
            “Twenty-five minutes from Broad Street” will be the slogan of the railroad and park managements and the Market Street elevated road will operate sufficient additional cars to handle the increased crowds of the season.  The run from Broad and Fifteenth Street to Union Station and Sixty-Ninth and West Chester Pike will be made in nineteen minutes, while an additional six minutes will take one into the park.
            This new amusement place is being built and will be operated by the Beechwood Park Amusement Company, of which E.E. Downs is president and manager; Frank H. Libbey, treasurer, Don W. Libbey, secretary, and Horace S. Meese, assistant manager, President Downs has been engaged in managing electric railroading and railway parks for fifteen years.  Mr. Meese comes from Wonderland, Boston, and is well known to the amusement people.
            Two features of the park will be its music and its firefighting apparatus.  Bands of wide reputation are being secured for weekly engagements; the list of which will be announced shortly.  The firefighting display will consist of two fire engines, ladder trucks, hose carts and ninety men.  This force will also constitute the parks’ regular fire department for the season.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Media Street Names and Civil War and Pirates this Weekend!!


I have posted this picture before trying to get a location. It is from a Media Boro photo album I have from the 1890's. Please take a good look, Thanks


Many Borough Thoroughfares Named After Great Men in History

          The names of the streets of a town and where they came from makes very interesting information and the town of Media is no different in this respect from the thousands of towns throughout the United States.  Just where did Media get her names for its streets?
          Most of the important streets in Philadelphia, aside from the regularly numbered streets which run north and south were named by William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, for trees which were planted along the byways at the time the city was laid out.  Thus we come to have Walnut Street, Chestnut Street, Locust Street, Pine Street and numerous others.
          Media did not get her street names from trees, although there were, and still are, plenty of different kinds of trees, and perhaps enough different kinds to supply names for all the streets of Media.  The little county seat, which was born seventy-five years ago, got its street names from two main sources.  One was from great men in American history and the other was from the names of fruit.
          Media doesn’t have very many street and those names after great American fruit trees, together with the number streets, include more than half of the streets of the town.
          The main street of Media, unlike most towns, does not take the stereotyped name of Main Street, but is called State Street, after the government of the people.  This street, together with the lower part of the “L” forms the business section of the county seat.  Beginning at the south end of Orange Street, the business section extends to State Street, where it turns east on State Street.  There are very few business houses anywhere else in Media except on the “L.”
          There are four streets running parallel to State Street on the south side which are named after great Americans.  Next to State is the street named after the Father of Our Country – George Washington.  This street is part of Baltimore Pike, which is a direct route from Philadelphia to Baltimore, and is known only as Washington Street through the borough.  It is a much-traveled street.
          Next to Washington is Jefferson Street – named after Thomas Jefferson, the third president of this country.  Next is Franklin Street, given its name after Benjamin Franklin, the great Philadelphian, whose accomplishments are so diverse that it would be hard to list them.  Abraham Lincoln comes in for his share of honor in the names by the street which is the furthermost south.
          Another important street in Media, but running in a perpendicular direction to the other streets is Jackson Street, the dividing line of the two east and west.  This street derived its name from “Old Hickory,” great general and president of the United States.  James Monroe, the fifth president of this country, gave his name to another street parallel to Jackson which extends north and south and runs into the State Road.
          NAMES FOR FRUITS – The streets which took their names from fruits are all north-south streets and are quite close together.  They are all located on the west side of Jackson Street and are Orange Street, Lemon Street, Citron Street, Olive Street and Plum Street.  The numbered streets of the town running from Front Street to Eighth Street, beginning with Front Street in front of the court house and going north to Eighth Street at the northern end of town.  Another street which might be classed with the fruit streets is Mulberry Lane, in Bowling Green, which begins in Media and runs east and north through that settlement.
          North Avenue and South Avenue, of course, derive their names from their location in respect to the court house.  South Avenue, which is the street on which most of the lawyers have their offices, begins at the front of the court house and extends south to the borough limits.  North Avenue lies between Second and Third Streets, directly opposite South Avenue.
          There are several other streets in the town which are quite important and gained their names in different manners.  Baker Street, which is believed to have gotten its name from the old Delaware County family by the name of Baker, was formerly part of the Baltimore Pike.  At one time, the route ran over what is now known as Baker Street.
          Providence Road secured its name from the pike which runs from Chester to Lancaster Pike and at one time was known as the Providence Great Road.  This road is now a very much used road and the Borough of Media never changed the name of the section which passed through the town.
          Manchester Avenue received its name because it was a direct road to the Pennsylvania Railroad station now known as Moylan-Rose Valley.  At the time the street secured its name, that little station and section was known as Manchester, having been named, it is believed, after the old town in England.  This avenue has retained its name, even though the station and settlement have been given a different name.
          Church Street, which is interrupted on its course north and south by the Presbyterian Church located on Washington Street, is so named because of this fact and also because the Catholic Church of the Nativity Blessed Virgin Mary is also situated on it.  West Street, of course, was named because it is the street on the western boundary of the county seat.


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.



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 and I will add you to the list. You can register on September 7, but space may be limited. Thanks Keith



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


 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 and I will add you to the list. You can register on September 7 but space may be limited. Thanks Keith