Friday, February 22, 2019

98 Years ago Chester Masonic Temple opens! upcoming events

A postcard of the Masonic Hall in Chester shortly after it opened in November of 1921. The Temple at 9th and Welsh Sts. closed last November.

 
 
 
 

NEW MASONIC TEMPLE OPENED TO THE PUBLIC 

 THOUSANDS OF Citizens and Visitors Inspect Shrine of the Fraternity

                The beautiful new half-million dollar temple of the Chester Masonic Association was highly admired and commended as a step forward in the history of Chester by the more than ten thousand visitors who inspected the ornate and handsomely decorated and furnished structure on Wednesday night and yesterday.
                Everybody was deeply impressed with the magnificence of the building, the beauty of the interior embellishments and the richly arranged furniture which harmonizes to the fullest extent in all the main rooms and the adjoining features of the temple.
                Masons and their families were entertained on Wednesday evening.  There were concerts and musical programs rendered in the large and spacious banquet hall and also in the main lobby of the club room on the lower floor.  The Cedars’ band discoursed lively tunes in the banquet hall and the Dannaker-McIntyre orchestra played a splendid program in the main lobby.  Dancing was not a part of the program, but was one of the features of the evening.
                William S. Haney, who visualized the new Temple and carried out his plans with the assistance of the fraternity, as chairman of the building committee, presided at the brief opening exercises.  He described the building and emphasized its greatness to the community at large and the Masons of Chester and vicinity.
                OPENING EXERCISES – Dean Francis M. Taitt, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and past master of Lucius H. Scott Lodge, opened the exercises by calling upon everyone to follow him in the recital of the Lord’s Prayer, after which he read a psalm.
                Dr. Taitt, in his address, declared that Chester had a great flood of population and now that the flood is receding, there would follow a more permanent increase of population and prosperity.
               “The Masons of Chester wanted something to remain from what had been and something that would be prepared for what should be in the development and best interests of the community,” said Dean Taitt.  “Therefore, the new Temple is the result of the prosperity that came to the fraternity during the past years and is a preparation for the greater prosperity hoped for in the future.”
                Seated on the platform with Dean Taitt and Chairman Haney were Charles R. Innis, treasurer, and Samuel N. Mitchell, who were the most active workers with Mr. Haney in the building project.
                The new Temple is a very successful study in the modern adaptation of the Renaissance style of architecture.  The main composition of the building is of Indiana limestone here, supporting lofty Ironic pilaster with beautifully carved cups.  These in turn support an attic story in limestone and brick.
                The walls above the limestone base are studied in red tapestry brick, laid in Flemish bond with a large limestone carved with the emblem surrounded by the winged son motive.
                The main composition of the building is that of three stories which compose the main rooms of the building, including the main club rooms on the first floor, the banquet room on the second floor, and the lodge room on the third floor.  At the service side of the building there are six stories, including the three mezzanines, in which are located the cloak rooms, ladies’ retiring rooms, lavatories, kitchens and all the service features of the building.
                On the Ninth Street side there are two ornamental bronze standard lanterns studied in the style of the Italian palaces.  On the Welsh Street side there are two mason bracket lanterns in similar style.
                The building on the two main streets is set well back from the property line, permitting a very effective scheme for parking and planting with tall evergreen trees which front the main entrances of the building and a pivot hedge which completely surrounds the two main fronts.
                The whole composition of the building is conceded to be a most successful design and has been very much admired by all who have seen it.  Ritter and Shay, Philadelphia, were the architects and designers of the interior decorations, the latter being arranged by the Chapman Company of Philadelphia.
                ONE OF THE BEST – The Temple is conceded to be one of the finest in this section of the country.  The interior architectural treatment, as well as the decorative furnishings are unique.  They combine the lofty grandeur of the old world palaces with the simple dignity and comfort that should characterize a Temple of this kind.
                The working equipment of the lodge room was the gift of Albert Wunderlick, a member of the Chester Lodge and departmental chief in the Pennsylvania Railroad.  One of the impressive features in the lodge room is the chair, conforming to the others, presented in the memory of Sergeant Alfred Stevenson, for whom the local Post of the American Legion was named.  The chair is placed in the station occupied by Sergeant Stevenson when he met his heroic death in France.
                There were numerous bouquets in the different rooms, including a beautiful bouquet of roses from Prospect Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and the Ladies’ Auxiliaries, Knights Templar of this city and West Chester.
                Masons from all parts of Delaware County and other sections with their wives and lady friends inspected the handsome new temple.  Yesterday the building was thrown open to the general public.
                The first story of the building is given over exclusively to club purposes and will be used by the Keystone Club, a part of the National association, which already has a membership which will exceed the 1000 mark before Christmas.  The part of the building is reminiscent of the old Italian palaces.  The decorated beamed ceilings represent many of the fine old Italian rooms.  Thee furniture is walnut, with red velvet upholstery and the hangings are of the same material.
                The lighting of the main lobby is from a large bronze lantern, studied in Italian style and finished in antique iron and gold.  There are floor standards with parchment shades to harmonize.  The reading room and lounge immediately adjoining on either side, are entered through large columned archways, with Italian Renaissance caps and cornice decorated in blue and gold.  The decorations and lighting of these rooms are very splendidly done.
                The basement is very brightly decorated and will be used as a grill room for the members of the club and also as a game room.  Three pocket billiard tables have already been installed and other games will be added.
                The banquet hall is in the French Renaissance style and the fine soft coloring and decorations make this the most attractive I this section.  The stage is done in a sunburst with rich plum curtains and the lights are a brilliant sunburst pattern.  The window hangings are faun.
                The lodge rooms is a study of the old Greek temples and was the real spectacular feature.  The walls are yellowish tone and relieved by a stenciled Greek ornamentation.  The main frieze is decorated with the Walls of Troy motive interrupted by Greek rosette ornaments.  The color scheme of the whole room is inspired by the old Greek mosaics and pottery with the effective use of rich colorings of burnt orange, deep yellow and black and gold tones, all of which is in striking contrast to the gold blue upholstering of the lodge room benches, which are in rich velvet on solid walnut frames.
                There are massive Ionic columns in the station of the Master where there is hung a velvet stole trimmed with gold braids and richly decorated with embroidered emblems in gold and colors.  The massive chandeliers are Greek in character of design and finished in bright ormolu gold with opalescent glass globes.
                A special room is on the sixth floor for the meeting of ladies’ auxiliaries and other affairs.
 
 
 
Middletown Township Historical Society presents
MIDDLETOWN MONDAYS 2019
Lectures begin at 7:00 p.m.
at Lima Estates, 411 North Middletown Road, Media, PA 19063
Free and open to the public, no registration required

Our award-winning lecture series begins its 9th year in 2019 when we will be looking at how Philadelphia celebrates the anniversaries of American Independence from the Centennial in 1876 through the planning for the Semiquincentennial in 2026.

Monday, February 25
THE 1876 CENTENNIAL IN PHILADELPHIA: AMERICA'S FIRST WORLD'S FAIR
by Mary Anne Eves, Vice President, Middletown Township Historical Society
          The idea of having a Centennial celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of American Independence began occurring to a number of individuals around 1866.  In March 1870, Congress passed a bill authorizing the event to be held in Philadelphia in 1876. Americans were anxious to put the bloody Civil War behind them and show America's industrial progress on a world stage.  The Centennial would be a World's Fair, just like the first one held in London in 1851 and subsequently in Paris (1855), London (1862), Paris (1867) and Vienna (1873).  These fairs focused primarily on the industrial power of nations and 1876 would be America's turn to dazzle the world. Housed in 236 separate buildings over 450 acres in West Fairmount Park.  The Centennial opened on Wednesday, May 10, and ran for 159 days, closing on Friday, November 10.  Approximately 250,000 people were at the Centennial grounds on opening day-- believed to be the largest civilian crowd ever assembled in the United States up to that time.  Join us to see what marvelous things they saw at the fair, and why so few were impressed with a new invention by Alexander Graham Bell.
 
Saturday, March 23rd
9AM – 3PM
 
Try your hand at traditional bookbinding in Historic Sugartown’s Book Bindery! Colonial Williamsburg-trained instructor, Ramon
Townsend of ColonialBindery.com, will lead the class through the entire binding process. Participants will create a book using methods employed through the mid-19th century. Participants will also be provided step-by-step written instructions they can take home.
 



Workshop Admission: $75/ Participant, all supplies included.
Ages 14 & Up. Those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
The workshop will take place from 9AM – 3PM. Pre-registration is required and space is limited to 6 participants.


Visit HistoricSugartown.org or call 610-640-2667 to register!
Historic Sugartown, Inc.
690 Sugartown Road, P.O. Box 1423 Malvern, PA 19355
610-640-2667 | HistoricSugartown.org
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, February 18, 2019

Not the Mens Club, but the Media Baseball Team Clubhouse

 

This is an unknown house in Media from my collection. The picture is  from c.1895. Looking for an address

Today, February 19, the Chester Times front page had a picture of the Media Clubhouse which is being restored at South Ave. and Baltimore Pike. The article went on to say the Media Men's Club built the building. That is not true, the club house was built as a home for the Media Baseball Team. The baseball team had a number of non playing members and once the clubhouse was built, in a few years it became the home of the Men's Club aka Baseball team.

See the article below

 



Chester Times December 23, 1893



A CLUB HOUSE

 
 

Media’s Baseball Club Will Soon Build Handsome Quarters 

 A Credit to Media - Bids Will Soon Be Asked for the Building

            That the Media Club will soon build a new and handsome club house is now almost a certainty.  The project has been in contemplation for several weeks and the building committee has had plans and specifications for a building made upon which they will now ask for bids.  It is the purpose of the club to erect all ornate building that will be a credit to the town.
            The plans call for a structure 40x76 feet in size, and two stories high, the first floor to be used as a ballroom and to be rented out, and the second floor to be divided into apartments for the use of the club.  Here will be a smoking room, reading room, reception room, billiard room, and bowling alley.  There will be no wine room or side boards.  The Media Club believes that there can be sociability without wine.  There will also be wide balconies at each story.
            The site of the new clubhouse has not been chosen, but the committee has been negotiating for the purchase of a lot at the corner of South Avenue and Washington Street, and this will probably be the location chosen.  The proposed building and ground will cost about $5,000.
            The Media Club has about sixty members including retired men of wealth and prominence, lawyers and businessmen.
            The officers are Samuel W. Hawley, president; W. E. Williamson, secretary and Homer E. Hoopes, treasurer.  Among the list of members are:  William H. Miller, Col. Joseph W. Hawley, George M. Lewis, Walker Y. Hoopes, George M. Tyler, V.G. Robinson, Frank B. Rhodes, Jessie m. Baker and Edgar T. Miller.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Stop Mr. President!! Upcoming events

The above picture is quite old about 1905. The Swarthmore Train Station is in the center behind the trees, the same stone station as today. The red roof building is a real estate office. Rt. 320 which goes thru here today was not there. The crossing was a grade crossing at the time.

 

STOP MR. PRESIDENT!!

 

Note: Before railroad crossings had gates that were automatic, crossings were run by gatemen who ruled each crossing. They stopped people from crossing and raised and lowered gates by hand. Even presidents visiting Swarthmore. The original story was front page news when it happened.

 

CHESTER TIMES – October 29, 1921 –

VETERAN GATEMAN DEAD AT MEDIA

 Michael McCarty, Sr., Man Who Stopped a President,” Dies

                Michael McCarty, Sr., the man who stopped former President Woodrow Wilson from crossing the tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Swarthmore, during the Founder’s Day celebration at Swarthmore College in 1917, is dead.  He was one of the oldest residents in Media.
                For many years, Mr. McCarty was a crossing tender at the Swarthmore road crossing.  On the day the Founder’s Day celebration was being celebrated at Swarthmore, Mr. Wilson came to Swarthmore in a big automobile accompanied by a number of secret service men.  Just as the car drove up to the railroad tracks, the faithful Michael McCarty, as he always was, lowered the gates because of the approach of a train.  One of the secret service men jumped out of the car and rushed over to Mr. McCarty and demanded that he raise the gates, informing the gate tender that the President of the United States desired to pass through.  “Is that so,” said Mr. McCarty with a kindly Celtic accent.  “Well, the president and you will have to obey orders,” and holding the secret service man by the arm, he continued, “don’t you dare to go across the track until the train passes.”
                After the train passed, the secret service man went back to the President’s car, thanking McCarty for obeying orders.  Mr. McCarty raised the gates and the former President crossed the tracks waving his hand and smiling at Mr. McCarty as he passed him in his car.
                Mr. McCarty was born in Ireland and came to this country when a young man.  He was about 82 years old.  For many years he was employed as a section hand on the Pennsylvania Railroad.  For a number of years he was a crossing tender.  Ab out two years ago he was stricken with paralysis, and was pensioned by the railroad.  Last Sunday he suffered another stroke.  He took to bed and died about ten o’clock yesterday morning.
                The old crossing tender was well known in Swarthmore where he was held in high esteem by young and old.  He was a particular favorite of the children and mothers.  This was due to his careful and kindly interest in the children.  There was hardly a day passed during his service as a crossing tender, when he did not lead a number of smaller children by the hand across the railroad tracks. 
                For his faithful service, the people of Swarthmore a few years ago presented the old crossing tender with a loving cup.
                Mr. McCarty was a good natured and kind hearted Irishman, and he was endowed with a fund of Irish wit, which helped him to make many friends.
                He was a member of the Catholic Church of the Nativity of Media, where he was a consistent communicant until his illness.
                He is survived by his wife and five children, all residents of Media.  They are:  John, Michael, Jr., Matthew, Thomas and Mrs. Marie Rawson.
                His funeral will take place on Monday morning from his late home on Manchester Avenue.  Services will be conducted in the Church of the Nativity.
 
 
 
 

 
 



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

How old is that building??? Sports memorabilia is worth???

    

This picture is of Clifton Heights and I believe it is Baltimore Pike. But with the trolley tracks it might be Springfield Rd. too. Looking for a cross street, block etc. thanks. I tried becoming a member of "Growing up in Clifton Heights" on FB to post the picture but my membership is still pending after 3 days?




Trying to get the age of the building correct




    How old is your home, school, church or that old farm house down the street? The older the building the harder it is to nail down a year or decade. But here are some tips. Old property maps will give you a rough idea but the first Delaware County detailed map is from 1848, though there is one from 1816 that is useful but not very detailed. Title searching is the way to go, looking up the Grantee[buyer] or the Grantor[seller] can help nail the date down. Prior to 1900 deeds are almost always in the mans name only. Wives are mentioned but the man was usually the owner listed. But just because a "messuage" aka building is listed on the deed does not mean it is YOUR house. After the Civil War deeds became more standard like the are today, buyer, seller, land and cost. Before the Civil War deeds could be all over with useful and useless information. Older deeds often mention, marriages, deaths and sometimes mention the house builder and when. At the same time many old deeds often have as little or just what information that was required. Some deeds prior to 1820 mention the property owners all the way back to William Penn. Delaware County was formed in 1789 and early deeds often take the property back to Chester County and earlier.
   Don't believe date stones and plaques on buildings. I know of several buildings that have painted dates on the buildings that are wrong, one is forty years off! One official plaque gives a date of 1899, but the local newspaper states the official opening of the building is October 1900 when work was completed.
   Tax records can be a help. After 1765 approx. buildings are mentioned but it might not be your building. That is were the 1798 window tax comes in. In 1798 the Federal Government decided to tax panes of glass. Their theory in 1798 was only rich people had glass windows, poor people did not. You paid a higher tax the more glass panes you had in your windows. The tax only lasted one year. What the tax deed was record the width and length of the building, how many stories, building materials used, window sizes etc. It can narrow down how old your house is, if it goes back this far.
Beginning as early as the 1840's local newspapers such as the Upland Union, would occasionally mention homes etc. being built. After the 1880's house building was mentioned all the time in newspapers like the Chester Times[1876] and the Morton Chronicle[1880] would cover local building extensively. The Morton Chronicle would often mention the builders and architect names. Sometimes they mention the moving day!! The Chester Times beginning in 1913 did a article every Friday about building in Delco. Several years are on my website, delawarecountyhistory.com
   Just because when you title search your property back to an empty lot does not mean they started building the day after they bought it. There might be a year or two or even longer.
   Of course dates can make people happy or mad. One new Ridley Park homeowners were so happy when I showed them their home was ten years older then the realtor said. At the same time when I told another person their property was 3 years younger than what he thought he was livid. It pays to title search!
   When title searching don't forget the obvious!! I was title searching one of the prettiest Victorian homes in Ridley Park and could not locate the deed for the one owner, Various documents had them living in the home from the 1890's thru the 1950's. I tripled checked his name and his wife's name and NO luck I looked over a period of 15 years and nothing. It was driving me crazy! I finally found the deed. It stated the obvious. The family had rented the property for almost 20 years before buying it!! DUH



Friday, February 8, 2019

The Institute for Colored Youth aka Cheyney University!! Sports Memorabilia value?

 

A rare postcard of the then Cheney Teachers Training School from 1908. The University has had  number of names since it's founding in 1837. It was the Institute for Colored Youth for some 70 years.

 
 

Note: Cheyney University was the Institute for Colored Children some 115 years ago. The article below gives a idea of what it was like to be a student there

 
 
 

INSTITUTE FOR COLORED YOUTH 

 

Institution at Cheyney that is Doing Much for the Education of the Race

 Admirable Training School

            When the bright June commencement days come, the first class will go from the Institute for Colored Youth that has been graduated since the reorganization of this old and useful institution, located at Cheyney, this county.  The reconstruction of methods to suit the times was accomplished about three years ago, under the direction of Prof. Hugh M. Browne, a master mind, a benevolent personality and a bosom friend of Dr. Booker T. Washington.
            The Institute is supported by private subscriptions from members in the Society of Friends, who have refrained asking, until this year State aid, for the sole reason that they wanted to have something tangible to exhibit to Legislative committees, who may visit it.  That the training school has accomplished its aim, is evident from a glance at the two splendid main structures, located on a section of the 117 acres of rolling land, a short distance from the quaint country station. 
            There will be nine in the graduating class.  The population of the Institute is 67, about one-third of that number being mates.  The purpose of the Institute for Colored Youth is to train young men and women to teach others of the colored race, a method that already has done wonders in changing the lives of the indolent Negro of the Southland to one of usefulness among his fellows.  Both the academic and manual systems are advocated, there being special instructors in both branches.  Booker T. Washington, who may be called rightly one of the pioneer specialists in this sort of work, has visited the Cheyney institution and says of it:  “I have followed the work being done in the school at Cheyney, Pennsylvania, from the beginning and I testify that in my opinion every dollar given has been wisely and helpfully used.”
            “The product is trained minds from the Cheyney School is far less than the demand.  We have good positions now for all our graduates,” said Professor Browne yesterday to a Times man, “and we could place a hundred more if we had them.”  At present the work is limited, because of a lack of funds, but everyone who knows of the triumphs under the present management, have no hesitation in saying that it will be one of the leading schools of its kind in the country in time to be given to the actual work belonging to the different subjects.  For example, a girl pursuing the Domestic Science Course, who intends to become a cooking teacher, has the full share of the laboratory work, classroom instruction and a year’s experience in the school kitchen, where she makes out daily menus, assists in preparing and cooking the food for the school dining room, works in the pantry and puts into practice her classroom knowledge of serving, caring for, and waiting on the pupils’ and teachers’ tables.  It is intended that she shall not only know cooking theoretically, but that she shall know thoroughly how to prepare, cook and serve food.
            The school already has developed a daily menu for the year which has received the commendation of hotel managers, stewards of boarding schools and other authorities.  This daily menu is commended especially for its variety, wholesomeness, economy and scientific arrangement.
            This same emphasis is placed upon the practical side of all the subjects taught.  All of the work connected with the Institute is performed by the students.  In addition to the usual normal course in Mathematics, Science, History and English, instruction is now given in Cooking, Sewing, and Dressmaking, Millinery, Laundering, Raffia work, Carpentering and Woodworking, Forging and Steel working, together with Mechanical Drawing necessary to these operations, Lloyd, Cord an Hand Training for Primary School grades.
            In this particular work the managers aim not only to strengthen the students for their work as teachers, but they are mindful of the fact that the present condition of the colored people makes it necessary for the school teacher by helpful precept and practice to be able to guide communities along all the lines of every day activity.  For many years to come, the colored teacher will find parents’ meetings a field for vital usefulness.  The developing influence of such meetings lies in the teacher’s ability to actually perform, after the most approved and economic methods, the everyday activities of the housewife and the husbandman.
            The Institute for Colored Youth formerly was located in Philadelphia, where it had an enviable record, but to effect an imperative demand for changed educational ideals, the grounds now occupied were secured.  The old Colonial mansion on the property was remodeled for offices of administration and the home of the principal.  In tenth month, 1903, the cornerstone of Humphrey’s Hall – a large fireproof building with industrial laboratories and recitation rooms – was laid in the presence of many well-known educators.  In the spring of 1904 the cornerstone of Emlen Hall – the girl’s dormitory – was laid.  This new plant with its equipment represents a cost of about $73,600, all of which has been paid.
            In the tenth month of the same year, 1904, the organized Institute for Colored Youth was opened.  The number of students was increased each year until there now is a waiting list that far outnumbers the accommodations of the place.
            HOME LIFE A FEATURE – The home life of this institute is one of its strongest elements for character building.  The future teachers receive there all the benefits of a properly regulated and conducted Christian home, also that individual attention which is impossible in the large schools.  It is the only colored school in the country supported by private benevolence given up entirely to teacher training.
            Prof. Hugh M. Browne, the principal, upon whom devolves all the responsibility for carrying out the ideals of the institution, worked his way through Howard University and subsequently he graduated from Princeton theological Seminary.  While a student in the seminary, he pursued a two years’ course under Dr. McCosh in the college, studied one year in the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and enjoyed two years of European travel.  He entered the field of education for his life work, and began with a call to the College of Liberia, West Africa.
            After studying the condition in Liberia, he recommended the establishment of an industrial school, and mapped out a plan and a course of study for the same.  He taught physics in the Colored High School at Washington, D.C. for eleven years, introducing the laboratory method and a department for work in the useful application of electricity and the construction of home-made apparatus by students.
            Prof. Browne was called from Washington to Hampton Institute, Hampton, VA., to establish this work there, and to reorganize the summer institute for teachers, which meets annually at Hampton.  He was called from Hampton to Baltimore, Md., to reorganize and unite the colored high and colored polytechnic schools and place them under the management of a colored facility.
            With the invitation to come to Baltimore, came one also from Dr. Booker T. Washington o become the head teacher at Tuskegee. He was taken from Baltimore to the work at Cheney.
            A summer school, conducted in the month of July, has been of lasting benefit to teachers of colored youth in all parts of the country.  Last year the enrollment taxed the dormitory capacity of the school and this year a systematic assignment will be resorted to so that no more than can be arranged for conveniently will be summoned to attend.  At this summer assembly and taught English, History Pedagogy, Mathematics, Drawing, Primary Methods, Agriculture, Geography, Domestic Science, Domestic Art and Manual Training, which includes paper and cardboard folding, weaving, cord work whittling and wood work.
 
            THE MANAGERS – The board of managers include the following, who either reside or have business affiliations in Philadelphia:  Geo. M. Warner, secretary; Walter P. Stokes, treasurer; George Vaux, George Vaux, Jr., Francis B. Gummere, James G. Biddle, Walter Smedley, J. Henry Bartlett, Davis H. Forsythe, George S. Hutton, George B. Mellor, Alfred C. Elkinton, David G. Yarnall, Stanley R. Yarnall, John L. Balderston.
 
 
 


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Milmont Fire Co. 100 years old this year! Upcoming events this week

The dedication of the original Milmont Fire Co. House from 1921. The firemen built their own building. This building stood where their rental hall is today.

 
 

Milmont Fire Co. 100 years old this year

 

Note: The Milmont Fire Co. was organized in October of 1919 with 9 men as the original members. They met at the home of Gus Ball on Baltimore Ave. I was lucky enough to interview the last original member, Valentine Violen some 30 years ago. The article below is from 1921,

        How Milmont got fire protection

      Those who are cross-grained by heavy streaks of pessimism should take a trip out to Milmont and learn what a handful of men and women of the Milmont Fire Company are accomplishing.  The women are included in this story because they, the Ladies’ Aid, are actively assisting the firemen in reaching a stated object.  In the first place, Milmont is situated on the Chester-Darby P.R.T. trolley line with Ridley Township.  There are not more than fifty houses in the whole community.  Basing its population upon the accepted to 5 to 1 ratio, then the population of Milmont is approximately 250.

     But this is where the Milmont story puts to shame the pessimist who assumes nothing can be doneTwo years ago a handful of the male residents of Milmont decided the community needed fire protection, so they got together and organized the Milmont Fire Company.  A lot was acquired facing Belmont avenue.  Gradually, through heroic effort, sufficient cash was accumulated to purchase building materials required to erect a creditable, though not commodious fire house.  At this point in the fame the Milmont Fire Company possessed the ground, the fire house, but no apparatus.  True, there existed a bucket brigade.  But the fire underwriters don’t look kindly upon bucket brigades in calculating fire hazard rates, for such primeval fire prevention in methods have long since been discounted and discountenanced.  The Milmont firemen were aware of these facts, but a bucket brigades and salvage corps, particularly the Salvage Corps were to them the two best bets for the time being; that is, to fill I the interval between the hoped for and the actual acquisition of up-to-date apparatus.   

     The fire protection, the Milmont “boys” had set their hearts upon securing was a childs apparatus on an Oldsmobile chassis, and this cost $5,266.  Now to raise such an amount of real money in a community of 250 souls means a head per capita tax of something over $22.  Yet in this course of one year the proposition was put over.  This, indeed, is a wonderful accomplishment when the financial expansion of Milmont as a community, is considered, as the residents there, are of the hard working class.  They are clean livers, hard workers and own their own homes, however humble the domiciles may be.  However, $3,000 of the $5,265 has been raised, and the balance pledged.  The fire apparatus is ordered and should arrive at Milmont by April 1.  Some accomplishment.  Indeed?

     The Milmonters were so gleeful over the success of this drive that Saturday night last the fire company decided to celebrate the event.  The affair took the form of a sauerkraut dinned, served in cabaret fashion followed by dancing later in the evening.  It appeared every living soul in Milmont and for miles around succeeded somehow in getting standing room in that little fire house.  It was certainly packed to capacity and more.  The sauerkraut was conditioned after three styles.  Hungarian, German and American but as the pigs knuckles were from the piggy ranch of Thomas Glennon, they were 100 per cent American.  On this Glennon farm there are 56 milch cows and 154 pigs and Glennon gave it from the shoulder that if the fireman needed every head of this livestock was theirs for the asking.  Then is it any wonder there was feasting and no famines at Milmont Saturday night.

     However, this sauerkraut dinner and its ensuing aftermaths were a huge success.  Among the guests from out of Milmont who attended to boost the festivities along were George Hill of Drexel Hill, president of the Delaware County Firemen’s Association; burgess William Johnson of Ridley Park; Jimmy Dougherty of Leiperville and Charles Gallagher of Folsom.

     Thomas Glennon, James B. DeHaven and Joseph Hesch com0rised a very efficient Entertainment Committee.

     The officers of the Milmont Fire Company are as follows:  Thomas Glennon, president; George Kauffman, vice president; Joseph Hesch, treasurer; James B. DeHaven, financial secretary; Joseph Kayrack, recording secretary; and Gustavus Ball, chief.

 
 
 

 

 

 

 



Wednesday, January 30, 2019

New County Fairgrounds and upcoming events

This picture has nothing to do with the article. I'm sure some of my readers remember when there Ford Motor Co. had a plant in Chester.

 
 

Note: The original County Fairgrounds were in Middletown Twp. and in 1913 the county purchased property in Chester Twp. where the Toby Farms development  is today. In it's heyday the fairgrounds had farm shows, craft shows displays, exhibits etc. Maybe some readers have pictures of the grounds?

 
 
 
 

NEW COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS –

Maddock Farm in Western Section of City Purchased

 For This Purpose and Plans Under Way

            This city is in a fair way to have all up-to-date fair grounds, with all the accessories which make fair grounds so popular all over the country.  It is the intention to make the affair a county-wide organization with the grounds located largely in this city.  Philadelphia capitalists have purchased the Maddock farm in the lower part of the city and in Chester Township.  The farm contains 67 acres, with the old farm house, and is within easy access to the trolleys and trains on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  It was the intention of the new owners of the land to develop it into building sites, but matters have shaped themselves so that the projectors, after talking with many influential, financial business men and farmers of the city and county, think the land will prove an ideal spot for a fair grounds.
            A representative of the owners of the land has been in this city every day for almost two weeks past, and has received assurances enough to say now that the project will be a success.  The bankers and others holding large interests in the city, to whom the plans have been explained, it has met with general favor and expressions on all sides are to the effect that the proposed play grounds and place of recreation cannot fail but be a success from its incipiency.
            It is the purpose to give everybody a chance to become interested by purchasing shares of stock.  It has been suggested that the organization be made a close corporation, but this is not the idea of the gentlemen who have put their money up for this valuable farm land.  It is their intention to give everybody a chance to become interested, on the assumption that the more people directly interested, the greater the success of the undertaking.
            AMUSEMENTS OF ALL KINDS – The idea is to make the fairgrounds an amusement place, a place for all kinds of amusements, having attractions of a different character that will keep the thing going from the time the blue birds begin to chirp in the spring until the leaves begin to fall in the falloff the year.  It has been figured that at least one hundred thousand persons could be attracted to this fair ground during the season, which would assure the project an income of about $75,000, at the start, to say nothing of what the shows and other events arranged for within the grounds would realize.
            In addition to having a real old-time country fair, with its good horse racing, exhibits of fine cattle, farming implements, handiwork of the farmers’ wives and daughters, the products of the farm, it is proposed to have its midway with up-to-date, clean shows, something that will prove interesting and entertaining, yet of a class that can be visited by everyone.
            In addition to the fair it is proposed to use the grounds for an “old home week” each year.  This will be profitable to the merchants if the present plans are carried doubt.  It is proposed to give the merchants space free for their booths and stalls so that they can sell their goods and at the same time show to the people what they have to sell.  The money is to be derived for the running of the home week from those who pay to enter the fair grounds.  For them there will be shows of every character:  horse racing, jumping contests, athletic events and all kinds of sports to suit the tastes of the populace.
            The again, it is the intention of the promoters to make the grounds so that they can be used for any public event the city or county may wish to hold.  To have attractions at the grounds on every holiday of the year.  To make it a place where people can go of an evening and on Saturday afternoons during the summer months without having to go to Philadelphia, Wilmington, or some other place to find healthful and pleasing recreation.
            WILL COST $100,000 – The thing has been worked out to a nicety on paper and it can be started for $100,000 which will include the land and the builders.  It is the purpose to turn the old mansion into a first-class clubhouse for the use of the members of the association.  Nothing of the kind has ever before been attempted or conceived in this county.  The Maddock farm, which has been purchased, is only a half block from the trolley cars which run along Ninth Street through that section of the city, between Chester and Wilmington.  It is only two blocks from the Felton Station on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
            It is the purpose, if the project is carried out, to erect a high iron fence about the fair grounds and to make all the buildings of fireproof construction.  Those to whom the plans have been explained are convinced that it will be one of the greatest inducements in the history of the city to bring people to Chester and to permit the merchants to show what the stores of this city have to offer in the way of bargains as a business center.