Monday, December 2, 2019

Media Bathing Place and Haverford Twp. Holiday House Tour


A postcard of Broomall Lake in Media from about 1906


NOTE: Parks and recreation were very important a 100 years ago as today and Media was no exception, Read Below



Proposition of J. Lord Rigby to Council Approved by the General Public

The proposition made by J. Lord Rigby to Media Borough Council last Wednesday evening to purchase Broomall’s Lake, and some land surrounding it for a public bathing place and park, and which was explained in full on Thursday’s issue of the Times, has awakened the greatest interest in Media.  On all sides it has been commented upon, and there has been very little opposition to the measure.  In fact, no one has come out as absolutely against the plan, but a few people have expressed themselves as rather favoring a plan by which the Lake would be held by private owners and left open to the public under restrictions.
For those who may not have read the article in Thursday’s issue of the paper, the plan is this:  A number of citizens of Media have taken up the matter, have looked into the possibility of purchasing the property and of getting a release from the club which now holds a lease upon it, and at the meeting of council last Wednesday these citizens, represented by Mr. Rigby, asked council to purchase the lake, which covers several acres of ground, and a strip of land near it.  They proposed if council did not feel that the borough is in position, financially, to purchase at this time,, that if council would take favorable action they will purchase the property and is ready to buy, when they will dispose of it to the borough at the cost to them.
In the meantime, they will, at their own expense, have a shallow swimming pool built in the upper end of the lake for the use of children of the borough, this work to be done as soon as the money would be subscribed.
THE ONE THING LACKING – This plan would give to Media the one thing it lacks to make it a beautiful home town.  There is now no park in Media, and among the beauties of the county seat there should be such a place.  There are few places which have the natural beauty of this tract of ground.  To the west of the lake is a high hill, while on other sides are strips of woodland which could at very little expense as compared to the result be converted into a beautiful park with a waterfall, driveways, shady groves, and one of the most beautiful bodies of fresh water in the county.
At this time , rough as is one of the favorite places in Media for Sunday strolls; and Lemon Street which traverses a large part of it, would be one of the principal thoroughfares if the park plan carries.  Then too, the proposition carries with it the plan to have a playground in the park, which would be given an opportunity to romp in the woods and fields

Haverford Township Holiday House Tour

December 8th from 1 to 4 pm

12th Annual House Tour. This Historical Society fundraiser has been a great success in past years. Mark your calendars for this great holiday event. Please call Terri Dougherty for ticket information or questions at 610-449-1571 or email at


Monday, November 25, 2019

The Long and Short of it, Dresses of Course!!! DCHPN Meeting tonight Please come

A group of Chester Ladies at a Sun Ship launching c.1925 Look at the heights of the various dresses.

NOTE: While doing some research on the Chester Times Newspaper Microfilm, I came across
this hysterical article from the summer of 1922 about the changes in women's dresses. Please read!
 DCHPN is having a talk at the Wallingford aka Helen Kate Furness Library tonight, please come. Read below for more information.


                The conflict between the long skirt and its knee-length sister is steadily growing bitterer and more desperate.
                It has degenerated, as it inevitably must into a contest of streets – a battle between Fifth Avenue and Broadway.  And sisters just because Fifth Avenue is Fifth Avenue and Broadway is Broadway, don’t rush in too early and decide that it’s all over but the cheering.  Fifth Avenue has been defeated before in this never-ending contest for style supremacy and may be again despite the fact that Paris is definitely allied with the “Avenue” folks.
                The “comeback” of the long skirts is not popular with Broadway, because Broadway works and the ease and comfort of the short skirt has earned and indelible place for itself in the mind of the American girl.  The knee-length skirt is “smart;” it has “snap” and ginger.  It’s not hard to see it requires less goods and frankly, there are very few women living who do not believe but that they present a much more effective appearance in the short skirt than in its trailing prototype.
                That is why the short skirt persists.  Paris decreed its death almost a year ago.  London meekly followed.  But while the long skirt has unquestionably been making some popular praise, largely through the subterfuge of the side panel, yet, excepting that this veneer of people who take Parisian decrees as if handed down from the ultimate court of good taste, the long skirt has not yet been “put over.”
                And what makes this popular adherence to the short skirt even more remarkable is that it has occurred in the face of the desperate efforts of American and European dress manufactures who have exhausted every effort on the part of press agent and ballyhoo to make it appear as if the abbreviated skirt was doomed to be relegated back to the beaches and the chorus.  To date, however, the American girl has not been appreciably stampeded.
                CONTRAST IS SHARP – The contrast was sharply illustrated recently at the opening of the fashionable race meeting at Belmont Park. In the boxes Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt, Mrs. Payne Whitney and John Whitney and Mrs. F. C. Convere all showed their loyalty to the long skirt.  Mrs. Convere’s skirt was particularly long, sweeping the very grass just as her mother’s did back in the days of the bustle and train of 1893.
                On the other hand another group including Miss Barbara Brokaw, Miss Beatrice Batterman and Miss Marion DeRahm, appeared in short skirts, slip-on sweaters and mushroom hats.
                The brutal facts in this long and short skirt contest are that the “young” ladies past thirty-five are generally found supporting the long length ideal, while the “flapper” and those just growing out of the flapper period are still able to see much of an attractive nature about the short skirt – and, of course, in this they are not entirely alone.
                If the question of the short or long skirt were placed before the Town Meeting it’s almost a certainty that the “eyes” would have it.
                FASHION NOTES – Slip-on sweaters of chiffon, alpaca and Shetland are popular.
                There is a rumor that one of the New York corset and brassiere manufacturers is going to produce a new form-fitting brassiere.  Women who wear brassieres have never been content with the tight straight bandeaux and brassiere that give one that shapeless appearance.  This new brassiere promises to support the bust and at the same time leave an indentation at the center from which any figure should have.
                White sandals with blunt toes that are like children’s shoes with cut work over the toes are popular with sport clothes.
                Many of the summer sunshades are small and doomed-shaped.
                At the Greenwich Village Fashion show the most noticeable novelty was the hand-painted legs.  Many of the models were stocking less with designs of batik painted upon their limbs.  Why paint the lily?

DCHPN Meeting Tonight

All Welcome!!

Join us at the Helen Kate Furness Free Library,100 North Providence Road, Wallingford, PA 19086 on Monday November 25, 2019, 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Chadwick Auditorium (Lower Level), with the Delaware County Historical Preservation Network. ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY OF PRESERVING HISTORIC PROPERTIES will be presented by Shelley Ashfield of the Chester Historic Preservation Committee.
How can we forecast economic conditions and trends for historic properties? What tools are available to help you identify your historic property? What regulations are in place to preserve local properties? How do building conservation, preventative maintenance, and adaptive re-use figure into the picture? Local expertise from the Delaware County Planning Department will be on hand for question-and-answer after the photo presentation.
Whether you're a long-time resident with deep roots in the area, or a newcomer just becoming familiar with the history of the Delaware Valley, this lively seminar will entertain, inform, and re-invigorate your interest in where we live.
Our speaker: Shelley Ashfield brings a unique set of disciplines to her membership with Chester Historic Preservation Committee, including building construction, site planning, engineering logistics, and historical analysis. Current projects include the story of Third Presbyterian Church on Ninth and Potter, which this June merited a place on the National Historic Register. From Buffalo, NY, Shelley trained as an engineer at NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred. She served as Tennessee Gas Transmission's first female groundskeeper in Coudersport, PA; performed engineering analysis with a Federal-level survey team of every public and commercial building in the Richmond, Indiana and Muncie area; as draftsman/site planner with Dennis Duffy Associates in Absecon, NJ.
In 25 years at Boeing Helicopters, she prepared Comanche LHX proposal, produced illustrations for Chinooks, and performed logistics analysis for the V-22 Osprey. Retired, she now performs with Tapestry historic dance ensemble for audiences throughout the Delaware Valley.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Funeral Car for Lawn Croft Cemetery in 1910 and Civil War Medicine talk


The Lawn Croft Cemetery at 1000 W. Ridge Rd. in Marcus Hook about 1920. The cemetery opened in 1904. 


 Note: The story below is from 1910 and talks about Lawn Croft Cemetery's idea of having a funeral car. The funeral car idea aka hearse was the first in the tristate area if not further. Read the entire article, the hearse was quite the size.




Managers of Lawn Croft Decide Upon Modern Methodism Conducting Their Business Manager While There

            The Interstate Cemetery Company, owners of Lawn Croft, report the purchase of a Packard, three-ton truck, upon which will be mounted a funeral car to carry the body, six pall bearers, and twenty-four mourners.
            E.F. White, the vice president and general manager, says:   “I have realized for two years that the present methods of conducting funerals must be modernized and since my connection with Lawn Croft, I have born this idea constantly in mind.  After working out the proposition from many standpoints, I have come to the conclusion that in order to conduct funerals in most of the modern methods at the least cost, that it would be necessary for us to have some sort of an automobile conveyance.  After exhaustive investigation, I finally laid before the Board of Directors a proposition of which the purchase of a funeral car has been the result.  My idea is to get away as far as possible from the old style hearse and dead wagon appearance.  To this end we are having constructed a body which will be in appearance, excepting for its size, exactly like that of a four-door limousine.
            “The body will be carried in a compartment next to the driver’s seat, immediately behind that will be a compartment constructed to hold six pall bearers will be a compartment which will hold from twenty-four to twenty-eight mourners.  The body of the car will be eleven feet long and six feet wide outside of the driver’s seat.  It will be in dark blue, with black mountings and moldings with all of the metal parts visible, silver plated.
            “The speed of the car will be governed to twelve miles an hour, so that no excessive running will be possible thereby insuring safety and comfort for the passengers.  I expect the advent of this car with revolutionize the funeral business, because I believe this is the most advanced vehicle which has ever been ordered, and its appearance and construction will certainly warrant the outlay, which by the way is the largest price that has ever been paid for an individual truck of any type, the price being $7500.
            “All of the cemeteries by reason of the growth of the cities are continually being located a greater distance away from the towns which are contributory to them, and some method of transportation was necessary whereby we could get to these places with the least possible discomfort and exertion on the part of the people who are interested in the funeral.  By means of the truck we will be able to carry a funeral party from Chester or Wilmington in an hour’s time, hold interment at the grave and return the people to their homes without a single effort on their part, other than of entering and descending from the vehicle itself.  Although this may seem somewhat advanced for this part of the country, at the same time I believe the people of this vicinity will be interested in it.
            “This will be the first vehicle of the kind ever built.  It has been talked of by Mr. White, but nothing ever came of it until recently when the design was prepared and the contract awarded.  In Philadelphia, it has excited much interest among undertakers and cemetery managers and there is little doubt that the new truck will be in use shortly in that city and New York.  Chester may be considered a little slow in some things, but in this instance it has started an enterprise that promises to become general throughout the country.  The interior woodwork will be of mahogany, lined with black leather and finished in black cloth.”



Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Darby "Yellow Cab" named for man not car color. Radnor Talk on Alexander Hamilton

A post card of the 800 block of Main St. Darby looking west toward Chester Pike. The postcard is from about 1930


Darby "Yellow" Cabs

Note: In 1926 the Darby Yellow cab Co. was sued by the Phila. Yellow Cab Co. over the name Yellow Cab. Darby claimed to have been using the name "Yellow" for years before Phila. and the name Yellow was the nickname of one of their first drivers. The article below is from the Chester Times.


 P. R. T. Complaint Against “Yellow” Taxis Develops Novel Excuse

That the word “Yellow” in the name “Darby Yellow Cab Company” is merely a nickname for the general manager of that company, was testified yesterday afternoon by Frank L. Leinhauser, trading as the Darby Yellow Cab Company, at a hearing in Philadelphia before Examiner Russell Wolfe of the Public Service Commission.  The matter before the examiner was a complaint brought by the Yellow Cab Company of Philadelphia, a subsidiary of the P. R. T. against the Darby company, alleging that the latter was painting its cabs in the same color and design as those of the Philadelphia company and also objecting to the use of the words “Yellow Cab Company” in the defendant’s title.
          It now appears that Mr. Leinhauser named his company for his former driver and present general manager, Earl Fettercliff, who since boyhood has borne the nickname of “Yellow” OR “Big Yellow.”  The Darby Yellow Cab Company is now operating in the borough of Darby and vicinity under a certificate granted to Mr. Leinhauser last year.  He has operated in that section since 1921.
While Mr. Leinhauser was on the witness stand he was asked how he came to adopt the work “Yellow” as a part of his company’s name.  Harking back to the days when he was still new in the taxicab business, Mr. Leinhauser replied:
          “At that time I had a fellow driving who was known by all the people in that locality as “Yellow.”
What was his real name?” the examiner asked.
“Earl Fetterolff,” replied Mr. Leinhauser.  In further statements he said that as a result of his driver’s nickname his bus service had always been known as the “Yellow.”  “It was always known as “Yellow” ever since I operated it,” he declared emphatically.  Upon further questioning he said that Mr. Fetterolff was now his general manager.
Mr. Fetterolff later backed up Mr. Leinhauser’s statement.  “I have had that nickname since I was 10 years old,” he said.  He also said that the service had been operating as the Darby Yellow Cab Company since 1921.
About the time that the P. R. T. Company bought out the Yellow Cab Company of Philadelphia, it was contended that the particular kind of orange yellow that distinguishes Yellow taxis was worth about $1,000,000.  Mr. Leinhauser was asked yesterday to describe the color of his yellow taxis.
“The top,” he replied, “is a light green and the body a sort of lemon color, a real light yellow.”  On each cab appears the name Darby Yellow Cab Company, and in the front is a lighted sign bearing the word “Darby,” he said.
          Counsel for the Yellow Cab Company attempted to show that Leinhauser’s cabs have been operating not only in Darby and vicinity, the field authorized by his certificate, but also in Philadelphia.  Mr. Leinhauser replied that his drivers were not supposed to pick up any passengers outside of his district, under penalty of discharge.  He admitted that there were times when he thought it was quite proper to send his cabs into Philadelphia for passengers.
In the course of this examination of Mr. Leinhauser, Examiner Wolfe remarked:  I don’t believe this man started on any deliberate campaign to invade Philadelphia.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Tinicum Township new homes with "spacious closets" !!

I'm hoping one of my readers recognizes this picture of Smith's Landing in Tinicum. I bought a number of glass negatives of Tinicum several years ago and this is one I can not identify. Any help would be appreciated.


NOTE: While working on another project I came across this article on Essington and the new town being built, Westinghouse Village. The description of the houses is a riot! Please read



 New Homes

          Essington, Delaware County, is a lovely town site, situated on the highest ground that can be found between Darby Creek and the Delaware River, located on a large tract of land owned by the Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing Company, and lies 4 miles from this city, and 10 miles from the City Hall, Philadelphia, on the Chester (Subway) Short Line.
          The new town site is beautifully erected and is intended to house many engineers, mechanics and other employees of the Westinghouse.  After the economic and social affairs of the residents are considered in the heart of this new town, wide and paved streets, cement walks, parks for playgrounds and athletic sports, churches, schools, stores, gardens, flower beds and attractive, modern and comfortable houses.
          The houses are constructed of brick and concrete, and contain four, five, six and seven rooms.  These rooms, lighted by electricity, modern fixtures, neatly decorated.  Each bedroom contains a spacious closet.
          The equipment of the bath room is white porcelain throughout.  A large supply of hot water, during the winter months, is assured as the hot water tank is connected with the hot air furnace, located in the cemented and dry cellar.  A gas jet is attached to the water tank for use during the summer months.
          The kitchen and its equipment of a combination coal and gas range, large pantry, porcelain sink, and two stationary wash tubs are so arranged that no time is lost in preparing a dinner or doing a family washing.
          The large back yard can be divided into a garden and a grass plot depending upon the choice of the tenant.
          Essington’s history is in the making as only part of the comprehensive plan is completed, it now has a population of nearly 3000.  The various improvements contemplated for this progressive town will be gradual as it is a permanent town and will grow in size with the development of the large and modern industrial plant known as the Essington Works on the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co., which is located just across the way.

I'm President of DCHPN please read and join!

Want to Connect to Historical Organizations throughout the County?
Join the  

Delaware County Historic & Preservation Network

Group 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.
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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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, October 28, 2019

"Common Fame of being a witch" and more mill talks and tours

An aerial view of Seville Ave. and the Eddystone Print works c. 1930

NOTE: Halloween is here and witches will appear! The only witch trial in Penna. occurred in 1683 and she was from Delaware Co. imagine that. The entire trial was preserved in the Penna. Colonial Records published in the 1850's. Margaret Mattson was found guilty of the "common fame" of being a witch but not a real one!!


A Noted Trial That Took Place Long Ago

 The Witch of Ridley Creek

              The record of the trial is found in Volume 1 of the Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, in which all the proceedings of the Provincial council are recorded.
            The two accused persons, old women, were Swedes, Margaret Mattson, wife of Noel Mattson, and Yeshro Hendrickson, wife of Hendrick Jacobson.  While both persons were called before the Council, the first only seems to have stood a regular trial.  Margaret Mattson lived on a plantation owned by her husband on the Delaware River, on the west side of Crum Creek, in Ridley Township, now Delaware County.  She was long known in local legends as “The Witch of Ridley Creek.”
            She was first brought before the Council on December 7, 1683, no provincial court having yet been organized in the colony, when her trial was set for December 27.  On that day the accused appeared in the city of Philadelphia before William Penn, his Attorney General, a grand jury of twenty-one persons, all English apparently, and a petit jury of twelve persons, one of whom Albertus Hendrickson, was a Swede.  One of the Council Lassse Cock was a Swede.  The grand jury brought in a true bill, reporting in the afternoon.  The indictment was then read to the accused.  She pleaded not guilty, the petit jury was empaneled, the trial held, the Governor charged the jury, which retired, brought in a verdict, the prisoner was discharged, and THE WHILE BUSINESS WAS CONCLUDED THAT SAME AFTERNOON SO FAR AS PENNSYLVANIA WAS CONCERNED, THE VERDICT was as follows:  “GUILTY OF HAVING THE COMMON FAME OF A WITCH, BUT NOT GUILTY IN MANNER AND FORM AS SHE STANDS ENDICTED.”           
            ASTROLOGERS AND NECROMANCERS – In 1695 John Roman and his two sons, residing in Chichester, were reported to be students of astrology and other forbidden mysteries.  The public tongue had so discussed the matter that on the tenth of the tenth month, 1695, Concord Monthly Meeting of Friends gravely announced that “the study of these sciences bring a vail over the understanding and that upon the life.”  John Kingsman and William Hughes were ordered to speak to the parties, and have them to attend at the next monthly meeting.  The offenders were seen and stated that if it could be shown wherein it was wrong, they would desist from further investigation in these arts.  For several months the matter was before the Concord Monthly Meeting without resulting in suppressing the evil.
            Extracts from the records of Concord Monthly Meeting commencing September 11, 1695, are interesting:  “Some friends having a concern upon them concerning some young men who came amongst friends to their meetings and following some arts which friends thought not fit for such as profess truth to follow, viz., astrology and other sciences, as Geomancy and Cliorvmancy and Necromancy, etc.  It was debated and the sense of this meeting is that the study of these sciences brings a vail over the understanding and a death upon the life.
            “And in the sense of the same, friends order Philip Roman be spoken too to know whether he have dealt orderly with his two sons concerning the same art; and that his two sons bespoke to come to the next monthly meeting; “friends orders John Kingsman and William Hughes to speak to Philip Roman and his two sons to appear at the next monthly.”
            CONVICTED IN COURT – The ease finally reached a stage through the report of the committee that Robert Roman was arrested, tried at Chester for practicing the black art, was fined five pounds and the following books were seized and burned; Hidon’s Temple of Wisdom, which teaches Geomancy, and Scott’s Discovery of Witchcraft and Cornelio's Agrippos teach Necromancy.”
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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Colwyn, Name picked from a map, Ridley Park Talk Tonight!!

The Colwyn Fire Co. 0n parade from July 4, 1905. If any reader recognizes the location please let me know. Thanks Keith

NOTE: Colwyn''s name was little pulled from the air or actually off a map of Ohio State. Doing a talk on Ridley Park history see below.



It might be interesting to know how the Borough of Colwyn received its name and who named it Colwyn.
          Many years ago a group of men gathered in the house of George S. Drewes when he lived on Fourth Street, when it was not Colwyn.  Besides Drewes, this group included such men as Louis Disbrow, A. P. Hill and Samuel McAllister.
          They decided to organize a borough and following this decision they began the hunt for a name.  None of the group could think of any, so they gathered around an old Atlas and after searching through it they found an isolated Ohio town named Colwyn.
          “Let’s name the new borough Colwyn,” said Mr. Drewes and it became Colwyn.  It might be mentioned that Mr. Drewes served as its first president for nearly 22 years.  It is the second smallest borough in the State.  Millbourne on the dividing line of Philadelphia and Delaware County at 63rd Street and the West Chester Pike is the smallest.
          The two sons of George S. Drewes are:  William H. Drewes, an Upper Darby Commissioner living in Drexel Hill and Charles H. Drewes, undertaker and political leader of the Darby Borough.

The Ridley Park Historical Society
Is pleased to present
A Slide Show
A Picture History of Ridley Park
presented by
Delaware County Historian
Keith Lockhart
7:30 pm. Tuesday, October 22, 2019
At the Ridley Park Borough Hall Community Room
105 W. Ward Street, Ridley Park PA
Cost will be $5 per person.
Refreshments will be served