Thursday, May 25, 2017

Media Population almost Quadruples in one day! WHY??

The Media Civil War monument on the lawn of the courthouse. One of the rare booklets in my collection is it's dedication.


NOTE: On May 9th 1903, the then sleepy town of Media, population in 1900 census
3, 075 jumped to almost 12000 by most estimates for one day. Why? read below

"Greatest day in the history of the Boro"

so said the Chester Times newspaper
    Every old soldier in Delaware County has reason to feel proud of the success which attended the unveiling of the monument at Media on Saturday.  It is estimated that twelve thousand persons were present, the greatest number ever in the borough at one time.  People living in the pretty town were liberal to a fault in their decorations and this added much to the success of the occasion.  Frequent comments were passed by the visitors about the beautiful display of flags and bunting which graced the buildings.  The program which was published in Saturday’s Times was carried out without a hitch.
            Every organization in the parade which preceded the unveiling ceremonies, looked well. The boys in blue marched as they did in ’61 and as Colonel Henry Clay Cochrane said in making his address on behalf of the Navy, that the men who fought so valiantly for the unity of the country had to be told that they are getting old, and that their ranks are fast becoming depleted.  They showed no evidence of being old in the line of march on Saturday and stepped to the strains of the music with heads erect and looked every bit the soldier.
            Much praise is due the committee, which had charge of the arrangements for the occasion.  Had it not been for the late arrival of some of the Philadelphia G.A.R. Posts, everything would have gone off on time.  As it was the parade was delayed over a half hour, but the crowd was good natured, and were liberal in their applause along the route of march.
            THE FIRE FIGHTERS – The Media Fire Company with over one hundred men in line looked and marched well.  The hose carriage drawn by the two white horses belonging to the undertaker William C. Rigby was much admired, as was the new ambulance of the Clifton Heights Fire Protective Association.  The music was the best which could be secured in this section.  In this connection those who arrived in the borough before 1 o’clock received a great musical treat.  The First and Second Brigade Bands of Philadelphia both arrived on the same train and at the suggestion of the members of the organization played from the station to the Borough Hall.  There were eighty pieces and the music was of a high order.
            Although the parade was set down to take place at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  Hundreds of persons came to the borough on the early morning trains and trolleys.  The restaurants were taxed to feed the hungry crowd, and the trolley companies gave excellent service.  Thousands of visitors came in teams, many in large wagons with and without springs.
            VIEWING THE MONUMENT – The inscriptions on the monument were scanned by hundreds before the parade started.  The inscriptions are as follows:
            East panel – “In grateful remembrance of the soldiers and sailors of Delaware County who fought for the unity of this republic this monument is dedicated that future generations may cherish the principles of civil and religious liberty.”
            South panel – “Our country will ever remember and cherish their deeds of valor.” 
            West panel – “We honor the memory of the noble and patriotic women who aided the defenders of our country.”
            North panel – “Heroes they were from the men who fell in Baltimore to those who stood victorious at Appomattox.”
            EXERCISES AT THE MONUMENT – The scene at the monument was inspiring.  It was a surging mass of humanity which was crowded about the shaft and the stand where the exercises took place.  There was one drawback to this part of the program.  It was nearly 4 o’clock when the head of the procession reached the monument, and Thomas J. Dolphin, chairman of the committee and chief marshal of the parade, started the exercises.  The bands at the heads of the various organizations were arriving and playing all the time, and few except those right near the stand could hear that several of the speakers said.  Added to this during the time that O.B. Dickinson, Esq., was speaking.  Post 51, of Philadelphia, was firing off its cannon nearby the monument, and it was with difficulty that the learned gentleman could make himself heard by those in the stand.
            John Grim, who received the monument on behalf of the soldiers and the citizens, stopped in the middle of his speech and waited until one of the hands got through playing “Old Hundred.”  “I cannot talk against the band,” said he.
            The exercises opened with a selection by the First Brigade Band of Philadelphia after which Rev. David Tully, pastor emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church of Media, offered prayer and asked God to bless the monument.
            THE WELCOME ADDRESS – Owing to the length of the program Burgess A.G.C. Smith of Media, spoke but five minutes welcoming the soldiers and sailors, and the guests of the day to the beautiful county seat town.  He said, “Mr. Chairman, Soldiers and Sailors, Ladies and Gentlemen:  We have assembled this afternoon to perform a long neglected duty which might have appropriately been conceived in the minds of the children, now grown to manhood, of those who sacrificed so much for our greatly beloved country. 
            It has been the custom for many centuries to erect monuments to the distinguished dead and to mark important historic events and places.  The ancient Druids had their cairns, the Arabian his mastaba and the Egyptian erected the obelisk and pyramid to the memory of the Pharaohs.
            The deeds of brave men have been recorded in the earliest history of mankind and literature is full of interesting examples.  The early tendency to pay tribute to the lives of great men and hand down to prosperity accounts of their great deeds is shown by the ancient Greek and Latin writers in their mythological productions as illustrated in Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid.  It is also illustrated in the legendary story of William Tell.  Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” and Longfellow’s “Evangeline” relate touching incidents of bravery and sacrifice.  Caesar Rodney’s Ride and Paul Revere’s Ride of Colonial days and Sheridan’s Ride of the Civil War are recited from many public platforms.  The Star Spangled Banner, inspired at the bombardment of Fort McHenry, thrills every American heart when sung and what old soldier will not raise his voice in song when he hears “Marching through Georgia?”  These are a few of the monuments erected in literature, history and song to keep fresh in our memories the men and events of nations.
            Many men of wealth today are erecting monuments to their own memory in establishing great institutions of learning, large libraries, hospitals and like institutions and by endowing those already established.  This is a grand work and many will rise up to call them blessed for the help they have received from their generous gifts.
            I believe that the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War have unconsciously erected to their own memories, monuments more enduring than those of granite, literature and institutions to which I have referred.  Many of us can recall the father’s affectionate leaved taking with his family, receiving with the parting kiss of his devoted wife her “God bless you,” of the son’s farewell with a like benediction and the lovers’ equally tender separation.  How anxiously each looked for the morning mails and newspapers to learn of the safety of their dear ones and how many hearts were saddened by each day’s news.
            Monuments of love and affection for the brave deeds and self-sacrifice of the defenders of the Republic have been erected in the hearts of the American people and at the firesides and in the public schools, the greatest institution of which the nation can boats, the foundations of these monuments shall continue to be laid strong and deep by the parents and our faithful teachers, that they may never crumble or decay.  As one evidence of it, listen today to the patriotic enthusiasm with which these children will sing our national airs.
            Another monument to the brave deeds of the men who served our country on land and on sea is this great nation.  “My own, my native land” preserved intact, bought by them at the sacrifice of business, great hardship and thousands of lives – a nation whose industrial development is scarcely equaled by any other nation in the world, whose mineral resources are among the richest, whose educational institutions are liberal and efficient and best of all, a  national heart beating strong for peace and overflowing with sympathy for the suffering and oppressed, and a longing desire for the diffusion of all those principles which shall bring enlightenment to the nations of the world.
            But I am reminded by a letter from the chairman of the committee or invitation that the program must conclude at a fixed hour and I must not trespass upon your time.  We are delighted to have with us today these representatives of the brave boys in blue and their many friends.  As representing the citizens of Media, and I may say Delaware County.  I extend to you a most cordial welcome to this beautiful spot and congratulate you upon what promises to be one of the most interesting events that has ever taken place in the county.
            May God bless you all.
            Following this several hundred school children of the Media public schools, under the leadership of Miss Henrietta Smedley sang a patriotic song.  Catherine Gorman, a little girl, assisted with the cornet.  With the band playing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”  Captain Caleb Hoopes, the oldest living veteran in Delaware County, pulled the rope which held the veiling and the shaft stood forth in all its glory.  The audience sang, “The Star Spangled Banner,” while hundreds of little flags wafted through the air from the top of the monument.  These were eagerly sought by those about the shaft.  Captain Hoopes wore his regalia and was as young as any about, notwithstanding he is past 87 years of age.  It was a
Proud moment in his life when he pulled the string which presented to view for the first time to many of those present this fine testimonial to the valor of the soldiers and sailors.
            O.B. Dickinson, Esq., who presented the monument to the people of the county on behalf of the G.A.R. committee who had charge of its erection, spoke as follows:
            THE DICKINSON’S SPEECH – The moralist would doubtless be very much surprised and in an equal degree chagrined to learn how many even of the very best of human actions are prompted by the instinct of selfishness.  He would surely condemn the teaching which would ascribe every good deed to the promptings of selfish interest and yet he could scarcely deny the fact that the essential difference between a good and bad man, is often only the difference between what each believes and deems to be for its own best interests.  We are here today to land the sentiment of patriotism and yet patriotism is the outcome if self-interest.  It is our flag, our country and our homes that we love.  That land has ceased to be the abode of a genuine patriotism whose confines are so enlarged that the whole land does not feel the thrill of a common joy or the throb of sympathy in a common misfortune.
            If we would cultivate true patriotism we must weld our people together in a common interest and make them truly one.  The sentiment of patriotism though a selfish sentiment is a selfishness so purified and ennobled, sanctified and hallowed that our interests are list in the common weal and our feelings absorbed by the common concern.  There comes a time in the history of every people when the call goes forth for the best brawn and brain and blood which the nation can produce.
            Well is it when the call is heard by a people in whom the sentiment of patriotism is unchecked by the feeling that it is only the fool who responds to his country’s needs.  The man who loves his country only when it pays to do so is a traitor already at heart, but that man is no less a patriot whose patriotism is rewarded by the plaudits of his grateful countrymen.  It is the part of wisdom in us to hold out the highest rewards for those who strive successfully for their country’s good and that people who makes it pay to be patriotic will not lack for patriots.
            The desire for posthumous fame, the feeling that to our deeds our children and our children’s children may point with swelling emotions of pride as a reward to which the best of men aspire and the least ambitious of men responds.  We have divine sanction for according praise “to them that do well.”  The “storied urn and animated bust,” the marble shaft and the figure of bronze have a hard-hearted value beyond their material cost.  The statue of Nelson in Trafalgar Square; the tall shaft of the Washington Monument and the marble which now gleams white on the battlefields of Antietam and of Gettysburg express not merely the grateful sentiments of a gratified people, but they are investments which will pay handsome and ample dividends in future deeds of heroism.
            Believing in the wisdom as well as the justice of paying this tribute to the heroes of the great Rebellion the public authorities have authorized the expenditure of the taxpayers’ money in the erection of this monument.
            The time which has been allotted to me in these ceremonies is about exhausted but I cannot close without speaking one word of caution and sounding one note of warning.  No one knows better than the veterans of a great war and particularly of a civil war that nothing so shocks the fervor of patriotism as the manifestation of that spirit of sordid commercialism by which too many are actuated.
            Believing that those who did the real work of the war not only in the camp and on the march, and against their foes on the open battlefields, but who fought no less vigorously against the rascally contractor and the traitorous politician and would wring a selfish gain from the agonies of a nation, will fight the same sordid spirit whenever it seeks to gain a profit from the nation’s gratitude. I am commissioned on behalf of the public to commit this monument, erected and dedicated to those who loved and made sacrifices for their country to the loving care and custody of the Associated Veterans of the War of the Army and Navy.
            RECEIVING THE MONUMENT – The monument was received by John L. Grim of Post 21 of Philadelphia, who related the hardships of the men who fought in defense of their country.  After singing by the school children, Prof. John Russell Hayes of Swarthmore College, read the ode, which he composed and dedicated to the monument:
            COLONEL COCHRANE TALKS – The children sang “The Old Flag Shall Never Drag the Ground.”  The chairman announced that the speech of Judge Isaac Johnson on behalf of the navy.  He said that the navy offers great opportunities today.
            “You can enter the bridal door and reach the cabin, if you have the ability, for the first time in the history of our navy.”
            Speaking of the war, the Colonel said that no matter to what risks the naval man is put, he is always sure of a bed to sleep upon at night, a luxury which was not enjoyed by the men who fought so valiantly in the war of ’61 to ’65.
            Col. Cochrane referred to Dewey Schley, Sampson and other great naval men and said that this country always has men for all emergencies.  He said that the young men should be taught to take the places of their forefathers.  The Colonel was heartily applauded.
            THE CLOSING EXERCISES – The exercises were brought to a close by all present singing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” after which Department Chaplain Rev. John W. Sayers, pastor of Trinity M.E. church, Chester, pronounced the benediction.
            Many of the visitors remained over for the camp fire in the evening in the courthouse.

As a board member of the Colonial Plantation in Ridley Creek State Park, I would like to invite you to our concert next week! Please come and have a great time!!


Monday, May 22, 2017

Early history of the Delco W.C.T.U.


The Swarthmore Woman's Club Bldg. at 118 Park Ave.


Early History of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Delaware County

     In 1885, the year our Delaware County Woman’s Christian Temperance Union was organized, we celebrated at the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union convention held that year in Philadelphia the one hundredth anniversary of the temperance movement in our land, which dates from the time Dr. Benjamin Rush gave to the world his remarkable essay entitled, “The Effects of Ardent Spirits on the Human Mind and Body.”  Dr. Rush felt called to write his essay because of the deplorable excessive drinking customs in social life at that time.  The temperance reformation was then begun and has kept moving on ever since.  Temperance societies of various kinds were soon formed in different States, and among the first were the National Temperance Society and the Good Templars.
            MADE MAINE DRY – In 1851 through the efforts of that grand man, Neal Dow, a prohibitory law was passed by the state of Maine and this law has never been repealed.  In 1873 the Woman’s Crusade Against the Liquor Saloon was started in Hillsboro, Ohio, and soon spread to other towns.
            Through the blessed influence of these faithful praying women many saloons were closed and a great work for temperance was done.  The earnest women very soon realized that much could be accomplished by an organized force of workers so the next year, 1874, a call was sent out for all who were interested in the temperance movement to meet in Cleveland, Ohio in November of that year, and at this gathering the National W.C.T.U. was organized with our Frances E. Willard as corresponding secretary, and from that time on she devoted her time and thought and all she had to this society of “white ribboners.”  It was Miss Willard who planned the department systems we are using and which have always been found so effective.
            During the following year, 1875, the Pennsylvania W.C.T.U. was organized and very soon county organizations were effected through our great State.
            CHESTER W.C.T.U. ORGANIZED – As the original members have told you, it was in 1885 that Delaware County W.C.T.U. was founded:  “on May 29th an all-day meeting was held in Chester for that purpose.  Three “white ribboners” came from Philadelphia W.C.T.U. to help with the organization.  They were Mrs. Rose E. Patton, Mrs. Mary H. Jones and Mrs. H.H. Forrest.  Thirty women signed the constitution adopted, but only one local union was reported – Chester W.C.T.U.
            “After a good lunch” the county officers were elected:  Mrs. R.K. Carter, president; Mrs. Henry Martin, vice president; Miss Carrie N. Wilson, recording secretary; Mrs. H.B. Harper, corresponding secretary, and Mrs. P. Hill, treasurer.
            Four departments of work were adopted and these superintendents were appointed: Sunday school, Mrs. Agnes Ocheltree; Temperance Literature, Mrs. McConnell; Scientific Temperance, Mrs. McCauley, Unfermented Wine, Mrs. Thompson.
            The county Executive Committee met in July with six members present.  The Evangelistic Department was added with Miss Carrie N. Wilson, superintendent.
            The Darby local union had been organized one month before this executive meeting and the president gave a hearty invitation to hold the first semi-annual county convention in Darby.  This was held there on November 19th, 1885, and in the record we find that Mrs. McConnell, president of Darby W.C.T.U., gave a hearty address of welcome that will ever be a reminder of the pleasant time at our first county meeting.”  Five minutes were given for pledge signing at this meeting.  The department reports were all good and committees were appointed on Resolutions, Plan of Work and Finance.
            THE FIRST CONVENTION – The first annual convention was held on May 19, 1886, in Prospect Park M.E. church.  So much good temperance organizing work had been done that seven unions were represented – Chester, Darby, Thurlow, South Chester, Chester No. 2, Chester Y.W.C.T.U. and Ridley Park.
            Two more departments were added, Franchise and Purity.
            When the executive met on April 20, 1887 a county banner was ordered and for it $10 was donated from the county treasury.  There was also consent to give $2.00 to each superintendent “as far as the money in the treasury would go.”  There was some juvenile work done from the beginning, but in 1888 five L.T.L’s were organized with 580 members.
            At the third annual convention, May 25th 1888, Mrs. Thomas McCauley was elected president; Miss Carrie N. Wilson, vice president; Mrs. Agnes Ocheltree, treasurer.  The county banner was finished in 1890 painted by Miss Anna Shaw.
            Mrs. S.M. Gaskill was elected president in 1892, and Miss Carrie N. Wilson for 1893 and 1894.  Mrs. Mary Sparks Wheeler was our leader in 1895 and for the next four years Mrs. Clara B. Miller was our county president, then Mrs. Mary B. Russell was president, then Mrs. Mary B. Russell was president for five years.  In 1905 Mrs. Shrigley became president after serving as recording secretary for thirteen years.
            Through all these twenty-five years annual and semi-annual conventions, executive meetings and special county gatherings have been held and enjoyed.
            Our members have increased from 30 at the organization to 752 at our last convention.  We have 22 local unions, two branches and 20 departments with able superintendents.
            SALOONS DECREASING – Did time permit, an account of the steady growth of temperance sentiment during these 25 years would be most interesting.  About one-half the population of our county sis now living in saloon-less territory and fifteen millions are living in States with prohibitory liquor laws.
            During these years some of our best workers have passed on to the higher life and I know that many of you are thinking of faithful white ribboners who can meet with us here no more.  Of those who served as county officers we recall with live and gratitude Mrs. Thomas McCauley, Mrs. Malin, Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Ocheltree, who was vice president and for several years, treasurer; also, Mrs. Katherine McKnight, who was called home last year after serving as corresponding secretary for 19 years.  We still feel their influence and inspiration while we continue to carry on the work of the W.C.T.U. they so dearly loved.
            FOR A GREATER WORK – A twenty-fifth anniversary is always a most important period and for our county W.C.T.U. let us make it the beginning of even greater work for humanity than we have before attended.
            The words of our beloved national president at the close of her address in 1899 seems most appropriate to us today.  I repeat them:  “We know not what the future may bring to us of discouragement or cheer, but we never doubt the righteousness of our cause and we know that time is now on our side as it has been with all of the just reforms of the past, and we know that the great social forces and the forces of God and of right are moving on toward victory.  How soon that victory shall come depends much upon our faithfulness.  Let us be loving, hopeful, faithful.
                        “The dawn is not distant,
                        Nor is the night starless;
                           Love is eternal!
                        God is still God, and
                        His faith shall not fail us;
                           Christ is eternal!”
Our Seventh Annual Military Might is May 27th!

Morgan Log House, 850 Weikel Road, Lansdale, PA 19446

Come learn about the history of America at war and honor the sacrifices made for our freedoms at our Military Might Day!

Join us on Saturday, May 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for our Military Might event! 
The day includes artifact displays covering America's history at war, reenactors, demonstrations and more! It is a perfect start to your Memorial Day weekend and provides a place to learn about the history of the nation and to reflect on the sacrifices made to secure our freedom.

Many of the artifacts on display are from private collections. Our Executive Director, Tim Betz, wrote our latest Log Blog about a personal collection he is sharing at Military Might and easy things that can be done to preserve personal collections. To read it, click here.

Military Might is free and open to the public.

For more information, please call 215-368-2480 or email

This year's temporary exhibit, 
"How It's Made: Furnishing the Log House,"
looks at some of the objects that the families living in the Morgan Log House would have owned and how they would have been manufactured in the colonial period.

The exhibit is sponsored in part by Printworks and Co here in Lansdale. You can view it on a house tour--Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Sunday noon to 3 p.m., with the last tour of the day leaving at 2.

Join Our Team
Volunteers Come in All Shapes and Sizes!

Did you know the Morgan Log House is a volunteer driven atmosphere? A very small professional staff is aided by a larger cohort of dedicated volunteers, who help bring history to life at the Morgan Log House throughout the year! And you can help!

For more information, click here.

If you're interested in volunteering, please contact Tim Betz, Executive Director, at
 or 215-368-4280.
Colonial Game Day
Come out and have Some fun, eighteenth century style!
On Saturday, June 17th, join us for a day of colonial games and fun! Learn what people used to do occupy their time and unwind through a variety of hands on games and activities. It's a great way to experience the past! The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.           

Tavern Night
Mark your Calendar!

Our Fifth Annual Tavern Night will be held on Friday, September 15! It will feature great food, great drinks, and great fun. It's also a great way to help support the Morgan Log House!

Be sure to mark your calendar so you can be a part of the festivities! September sure comes fast!

Interested in sponsoring the event? Please contact Tim Betz, Executive Director, at
 or 215-368-2480 for details!
Did you know that becoming a Museum Member is a great (and easy!) way of supporting the Morgan Log House? It comes with great perks, too!

For more information about a Morgan Log House Membership, please click here.
Morgan Log House, 850 Weikel Road, Lansdale, PA 19446
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Constant Contact

Friday, May 19, 2017

A view of the Sun Oil Plant from about 1918. In the old days a barrel plant was very important. Before big tankers and cisterns, barrels was the mode to transport oil.

Read Below



 Makes Big Addition to Its Marcus Hook Plant - Five New Buildings

            The Sun Company, refiners and exporters of oils, which has a large refinery.  Terminal at Marcus Hook, is erecting a large barrel factory at that place.  The new works will cost approximately $25,000.  The plant will consist of a main building 160 by 90 feet by 18 feet high, with a wing 90 by 70 feet, one story high of brick, structural iron and fireproof;’ a boiler and engine house 90 by 70 feet one story high, of the same material; one kiln of brick, 125 by 70 feet, two stories high, of bricks, structural iron and fireproofed; a large brick stack 100 feet high and one cooling house 70 by 70 feet.
            The new plant is situated along the lines of the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad, within one hundred yards of the Marcus Hook station.  It will furnish employment for 100 men.
            Work has been pushed rapidly on this plant and while it has only been a few weeks since the building operation was commenced the larger number of the buildings are ready for the roofs.  The improvement coming as it does just at this time when Marcus Hook is experiencing a boom that has never before been known in that borough is very gratifying to the residents.
            In addition to establishing this new plant at Marcus Hook, the Sun Company is also erecting a $10,000 building in its yard to be used for different purposes.  This building, which is situated at Second Street and Hewes Avenue, will be 110 by 160 feet by one story high.  It will be of brick, structural iron and will be fireproof.
            This new structure will be used as a pipe shop, tool shop, store room, steam shop and blacksmith shop.  The foundation has already been commenced.  The work will be pushed as rapidly as possible, as it is understood that the growing business of the Sun Company gives rise for the immediate need of the building.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Beauty of Rose Valley 100 plus years ago


Boating on Ridley Creek in Rose Valley, about 1910 before it became a Boro



 Remarkable Progress of a Pretty Hamlet in Lower Providence Township and Some of Its Interesting Features

            Rose Valley, near this city, which ten years ago was a dream in the minds of two men, is now a very solid actuality, reports the Philadelphia Record in a recent issue.  Then it had a population of eight people living and working in two old remodeled mill buildings, now there are some 60 souls who belong to its are coterie.  These live in a score or more of charming cottages and stately mansions scattered over the grounds.  And, besides, there are a large number of unaffiliated people, who, attracted by the beauty of the place and the social atmosphere, have built country homes in an outer ring around the estate.  This last has grown from eighty to three hundred and fifty acres.  The scenery included within these precincts is of undeniable loveliness and charm.
            In the country around Philadelphia there are many scenes of wider prospect, some of great picturesqueness of single incident, but it is doubtful whether there is anywhere more varied in so small a compass.  It has mountain characteristics in miniature.  There are budded knolls and dells between; foothill ridges with varied outlines and high heaving hills behind; three little tarn-like lakes, a long stretch and then a doubling curve of the Ridley Creek in the middle of the picture.  There are forest-clad slopes, great trees in clusters, curving roads with bridges, gateways and hedges.  And all these details are visible from nearly all the houses which dot the grounds and which themselves have either been transformed by some Aladdin touch from old farm houses and barns or are new erections whose architecture is admirably suited to the surroundings.
            NAMED BY BISHOP WHITE – Rose Valley proper is a rather wide, irregular winding ravine opening from the Ridley Valley.  It was given its name by Bishop White early in the last century from the profusion of wild roses which decked its wood-clad slopes, some of which still flourish.   Bishop White sent his family here during the prevalence of one of the yellow fever plagues in Philadelphia, while he remained in the city to administer to the sick and dying.  The old stone house in which he lived has been restored and remodeled.
            The Rose Valley transformation has been the work of Messrs. Price and McLanahan, architects.  It might be said that in a spiritual sense John Ruskin begat William Morris, and William Morris begat these gentlemen.  Being engaged in large architectural works they found it impossible to secure the co-operation of artisans who possessed at once training and individuality.  Mill and machine work had crushed out all originality in such men.  They were driven, therefore, to the study of methods for reviving hand and brain work.  The underlying principles of their colony were thus the same as Ruskin enunciated and Morris carried into practice.  These were, first, the gathering of workers into little guilds for mutual stimulation under terms of social equality, and second, the transfer of operations into the country where the surroundings would be healthful and inspiring.  Something of the same kind was attempted back in the forties by the Brook Farm enthusiasts of New England.       
            REVERSING THE TRAVEL TIDE – Messrs. Price and McLanahan have in contemplation the removal of their main office from the city to Rose Valley.  On a knoll in the center of the place, overlooking two pretty little lakes, a building is to be erected for their force of draughtsman.  Here they can work under ideal conditions and on the hill slope can experiment with the various forms of gardening and plant life which are the concomitants or architecture.
            This move opens up a pleasing suggestion of people in the future going down into the country every morning to business.  The stream of travel may be reversed.  In these days of telephones and swift transportation there seems to be no reason why newspapers should not be published in sylvan dells or stock exchanges have their habitat on wooded heights.  In the latter case, in the intervals of calling quotations, the bulls might graze on their native fields and the bears retire into their natural rocky dens.
            Owing to the demand for houses the old mill, which was originally used as a guest house, has been transformed into three residences.  A row of very old-fashioned cottages opposite has been made over with but little alteration into quaint dwellings in a semi-circle at the head of the valley five or six elaborate country homes, with tile and cement walls and red tiled roofs are being built.
            One of the most interesting features of the valley is a group of pretty cottages built entirely by the hands of the owners.  To illustrate the initiative and independence of the place these young men should have a front place in any record of the colony.  They are:  Will Roberts, himself a bookbinder, and his wife, an illustrator; William Walton, superintendent of architectural construction; John Besieger, head draughtsman for Price and McLanahan; Henry W. Hetzel, teacher in a manual training school and Henry Troth, a landscape photographer, whose work is familiar to readers of the magazines.  John Maene, the master carver of the woodworking plant, lives in an old house on the hill top, surrounded by a vineyard which recalls to him his home in the south of France.  From his hand came the grotesques and gargoyles of our University buildings.  Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Black, metal workers in silverware and jewelry, live in one of the old, but now transformed cottages.
            PAWNEE BILL WANTED PANELS – Mr. Stephens, artist, and student of Indian life, with his wife, Mrs. Alice Barber Stephens, the well-known illustrator, live in a large house on the top of the hill in the rear of the valley.  This dwelling was originally a barn, but has been remodeled and added to, until what with its size and artistic treasures, and collection of Indian relics – probably the most valuable place in America – it would take a long time to describe.  Mr. Stephens was asked by Pawnee Bill to paint decorative panels for the latter’s house in Oklahoma.
            Other artists of the place are Mrs. Shaw, who lives in the old Bishop White’s house, and who was a pupil of Whistler for some years.
            Mr. Schoen, whose inventions of the steel car and the compressed steel car wheel, may almost be said to have revolutionized modern transportation, has a large manor house looking dwelling.  Here he lives all the year around.  He has built an office and workshop for metal work on the slope below his house.  He has also planted a good many acres of orchards.
            All told, indeed, the colony has about two thousand apple trees, seven years old, and about 1500 are to be set out this year.  Grapes, too, are grown in large quantities, and the colonists do not hire people to gather them and make them into wine, but do it themselves.  Adjoining the Schoen house is some rather remarkable garden architecture, real Italian pergolas and a tank tower which has brought praise from judicious critics.
            The homes of the two leaders of the colony – Will L. Price and Hawley McLanahan- are separated by the whole width of the valley.  Both are old houses remodeled.  That of Mr. McLanahan, which stands in the very forefront of the picture, has charming views both of the valley of the Ridley and that of Vernon Run, which flows through the central ravine of the place.
            A considerable number of people have built homes neighboring the Rose Valley domain.  Among these are Rev. Anna Shaw, president of the American National Suffrage League, with whom resides Miss Anthony, niece of Susan B. Anthony; Albert Cook Myers, who is editing the definitive collection of the works of William Penn; W.K. Mitchell, William Wright, Nathan Kite and J. Haines Lippincott.
            In the landscape of the Rose Valley domain the attractions of water are very apparent.  The Ridley, flowing under the shadow of its wood-clad hill, furnishes a good stretch of boating and two of the Vernon run lakes are large enough for boating and skating.  A third, Lotus Pond, is covered in summer with lilies and lotus plants.
            There is not even wanting a ruin for the embellishment of the place.  The walls of a large, old burned-out mill are standing, and enwreathed with vines and overshadowed by trees, give a note of contrast to the bright new life of the settlement.
            The central hearthstone, as it were, of the valley, is the Guild Hall. This, an old mill, is not yet remodeled externally, though it is expected that work will be taken up on it soon.  The interior, however, has been changed, and that entirely by the hands of the Rose Valley people themselves.  They have laid down the new door, plastered and stained the walls, built the stage, constructed benches and furniture and generally made the building suitable for their purposes.  There is something of the charm, the zest of a desert island existence in all this; a reversion back to first principles, if people wanted things, they proceeded to make them with their own hands.  It is really a heartless way to hire everything done.
            The auditorium of the Guild Hall is about eighty by thirty feet and will seat three hundred people.  There is plenty of local talent, musical and dramatic, in the place.  They give plays and regularly produce two light operas each year.  Many concerts are also given.  The place is the club room and assembly hall of the association.  The art coterie forms a sort of folkmote. They meet to discuss business, form plans decide on entertainments.  Every one, men, women and children has a vote for all are concerned.  The necessary funds for the purpose of this internal government are raised partly by the proceeds of the various entertainments.  The social life of the place really centers in the Guild Hall.  People can give parties or entertainments there.  Most of the meetings wind up with a dance and they don’t like the Shah of Persia, hire somebody to do their dancing for them.  They even make their own posters, and as these are done by Mrs. Stephens and Mrs. Roberts and Mrs. Shaw, they are pretty certain to be works of art.
            Several days in the year are celebrated by the whole colony.  At Christmas the Guild is decorated and a great tree is loaded with presents for all the children of the place.  At Halloween there is a grand fancy dress ball, and remembering the artistic talents and treasures of the members of the coterie, there need be no doubt that these spectacles are really worthwhile.  The costumes are accurate and valuable.  The Charter day of the association is June 17, and on the Saturday nearest that date a festival is given, picnic or garden party fashion if the weather is favorable; in the Guild Hall, if conditions do not permit outdoor entertainment.  There is an open air theatre where a play is produced on such occasions, water sports are indulged in, and at night the lakes are decorated with lanterns and colored lights and there are lectures or readings.
            Vernon Run is dammed to supply power to pump artesian water to the highest points in the valley.  The water is pure and cold and does not need icing. Moylan station is a short half mile from the settlement and the Darby trolley line runs through it.
            WHAT IT STANDS FOR – Without advertising, blowing of trumpets or charlatanism the Rose Valley Association has made a step forward in the vexed human problem of today.  Something has been done, and example has been set.  The artistic taste which saw in the hideous huddle of old mill and farm buildings with their squalid surroundings originally at this place the possibilities of the present little landscape paradise, which presided over the transformation of the old, and dictated the building of the new structures, may indeed be highly praised.  Yet this is after all a small part of the matter.  A rich man might presumably do as much elsewhere.  He might even start a plant of some kind and place a number of workers in comfortable surroundings.  But to give a soul to such a creation, to give it cohesion, to inspire enthusiasm in the breasts of all who are concerned – this is quite a different affair.  Apparently it has been done, apparently all the members of the association feel they are having the time of their lives, that they are eating their white bread, as it were.  No matter what the artistic product of the enterprise may be, it is a great achievement for such an association to have fostered independence and good fellowship among its members, and to have enabled them to get so much out of their lives.  And the artistic product as far as can be judged by the architectural work in evidence at the place itself, is distinctly a success in getting sane and original and American homes.
This is a fundraiser for the Norwood Library, I will be talking for free and the library will be asking for donations. Please come and support the library!!

Sunday, May 7, 2017


The Crozer Hospital in the distance and the Crozer Home for the Incurables in the foreground were originally two separate entities. A picture from about 1910.

NOTE: Several readers confused the Crozer Hospital with the Crozer Home for the Incurables. They were originally to separate units. In later years they merged together.
Articles below should be of interest. Keith
October 31, 1898 – CHESTER TIMES
            CORNERSTONE LAYING – Ceremony Connected With the Erection of the New Crozer Home – No Public Display Made
            The cornerstone of the Crozer Home for Incurables was laid on Saturday afternoon with a plain and simple ceremony that made it all the more impressive by its simplicity.
            The laying of the corner piece completed the foundations which are massive in proportions and give an idea of the solidity of the superstructure that is soon to rear its stately walls.  The joists for the first floor are all in place and when the surroundings are viewed from that height the beauty of the location is all the more apparent.  Woodland city and the broad expanse of the Delaware River stretch out before the eye, while within plain view is the ceaseless pulse of trade on the great trunk lines whose trains thunder through the county’s metropolis.
            THE COMPANY PRESENT – As no publicity was given to the proceedings only a few people were present.  They were:  Mrs. Mary Crozer, Samuel A. Crozer, R.H. Crozer, John P. Crozer, Mrs. Sallie Robinson, Gustavus W. Knowles, Mr. and Mrs. William G. Knowles, Mrs. Richard Stotesbury, Mrs. James Stotesbury, Rev. H.G. Weston, D.D., William B. Broomall, Esq., Mrs. Munger, Miss Munger, Miss Dora Weston, Rev. and Mrs. F. M. Taitt, Dr. E.H. Johnson, Miss Laura Hard, Mr. and Mrs. J. William Lewis, Professor and Mrs. A.W. Reynolds, Samuel T. Pretty, Rev. F. C. Woods, Rev. Dr. and Mrs. B. C. Taylor, Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Milton G. Evans, Rev. Dr. and Mrs. H. C. Vedder, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond P. Ingersoll, Miss Maud Votec.
            The homeopathic medical fraternity of Chester was well represented.  The physicians present were:  Dr. R. P. Mercer, Dr. Samuel Starr, Dr. C.W. Perkins, Dr. George W. Webster, Dr. Isaac Crowther, and Dr. D. P. Maddux.
CHESTER TIMES – May 30, 1902
            The Times presents to its readers today a prospectus of the handsome new Crozer Homeopathic Hospital, which is to be erected on the site adjoining the Crozer Home for Incurables on Seminary Hill.  The contract for the erection of this structure was awarded some days ago to the firm of J & T Oliver, contractors and builders of this city who have already staked out the ground and commenced operations on the excavations.
            The building is to be constructed of granite from the Leiper & Lewis quarries at Avondale, this county, and the main structure will be two stories high, with one story wings on the north and south elevations.  The first floor is devoted to the women’s surgical and medical wards, similar wards for men, reception room and office, a receiving room and headquarters for the head nurse.  The men’s and women’s wards are separated by a long, wide corridor extending the length of the building and communicating with the wings.
            The operating room, surgeon’s room, etherizing room, sterilizing room, recovery room and antiseptic hall are all in the north wing and will be handsomely finished and equipped for surgical and hospital purposes.  The wards are also supplied with accommodations for the nurses, linen closets, and all the necessary conveniences and accommodations.
            Particular attention has been paid to the ventilation and sanitary arrangements in the preparation of the plans and in this respect it will be one of the best institutions of the kind in the State, if not in the country.  No expense will be spared in the equipment and furnishing of the various wards and apartments.  The second floor will be occupied by private rooms and quarters for the doctors.
            Diet kitchens, bath rooms, toilet rooms and all such conveniences are provided for and cement and wooden floors where they are deemed most advisable from a sanitary point of view.  A tunnel will communicate to the Crozer Home and the new building will be heated by means of this arrangement from the adjoining structure.  The roof will be covered with red Spanish tiles and when completed the entire building will be a handsome monument to the late J. Lewis Crozer.