Sunday, September 13, 2020

Part of Chester Pike for sale!! The Colonial Plantation is having a Civil War Event!!

Chester Pike at South Ave, looking east toward Glenolden about 1903. Note the little traffic.
 


Note: It is hard to imagine today but the 6 miles of Chester Pike from Darby to Chester was a toll rd. from 1851 till June of 1921. There were 6 toll booths on the pike each charging about 3 cents a booth, making the pike expensive for the day. Basically it cost 20 cents to go 6 miles! The stat had been trying to buy this section of Chester Pike since the 1890's. To buy Chester Pike and it from tolls cost $100,000 dollars. To repair and widen it cost over $500,000 dollars and took over 5 years. There was a big fight between the state and pike homeowners on how wide to make the pike, luckily the state won!



 INCLUDED IN TOLL ROAD LIST 

 Historic Chester and Darby Pike Among Those Negotiated for Highway Commissioner

Horsemen and automobilists, not only in this and Philadelphia counties, but of the entire eastern section of the State, will be pleased to know that the historic Chester and Darby Pike, rich in the history of the country from the time of William Penn, is included in the list of toll roads for which negotiations have been opened by State Highway purchase by the State, which will make this important highway free.  The State has made an appropriation of $250,000 to purchase 11 sections of turnpike, comprising nearly 70 miles of roadway.

Several years ago there was an attempt to have Delaware County take over the Chester and Darby turnpike, and when the matter was taken up for settlement, a jury in June 1907 placed a valuation of $25,000 upon the six-mile stretch of roadway, and made a report that this sum be paid.  The Chester and Darby Telford Road Company, which controls the ancient franchise, however, asked $45,000 for its property which was considered excessive.  Final arguments on this award was heard before Judge Broomall in the hope that the road be taken over by the county on terms agreeable to both, but nothing came of the negotiations which had been going on for three years since 1904.

Before the days of railroads, the Chester and Darby pike or the old Chester pike, as it is popularly known, was the connecting link that bound the North to the South.  The old pike is brimful of history.  As an Indian trail through the primeval forest, where the bear and the wolf lurked in its recesses, William Penn and the first body of his Quaker settlers, made their way from Chester, where he landed October 23, 1682, to the new city which he was to found.

Travel increased so much during the next 25 years that the old Indian trail was found to be inadequate, but in 1705 a petition, signed by 100 inhabitants of Chester, praying that the sole power of laying out the Queen’s road, as it was called after Queen Anne be lodged with Governor Penn.  Acting upon this petition, the road was started by William Penn, leading into Chester at the point it now does.

A bitter feeling resulted against several of the road commissioners, particularly against one named Jasper Yates, which indicates that “graft” and fat contracts were as common 200 years ago in this country as they are supposed to be now.  It was said that Yates had the new Queen’s highway surveyed through his own and the property of his father-in-law, by which both were benefitted.

It was along this same Chester Pike that Washington, at the head of 16,000 ragged Continental soldiers, marched from Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon on August 27, 1777 to Chadd’s Ford, where he was defeated several days later in the Battle of Brandywine, and was driven back into Philadelphia to Germantown where he was again defeated at the beginning of the darkest days of the Revolution.

It was along this same Chester Pike that Washington made his way from Mount Vernon in April 1789, to be inaugurated President of the United States in New York, and it was along it that he went back to his Virginia plantation in 1797, after refusing to serve his country as its Chief Executive for the third time.

Years ago, when the Chester and Darby Telford Road Company first took possession of the road, it was only 20 feet wide, and was covered with heavy wooden planks.  The tollgates are located at Sharon Hill, Glenolden, Prospect Park, Ridley Park Crum Lynne, and Eddystone.


 The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation invites you to a
Civil War Skirmish and Camp
Saturday, September 26, 2020
10:30am—4pm
Sunday, September 27, 2020
11am-3pm

The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation will be hosting a Federal and Confederate skirmish and camp on Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th. Visit the Plantation to witness firearm demonstrations, drills, and camp life. Skirmishes will take place on Saturday at 11:30pm and 2:30pm. Sunday’s skirmish is at 1:00pm.
Note: While the skirmishes are in action, no one will be admitted to the Plantation, so please plan to arrive before or after the skirmishes.
The Plantation’s hours are 10:30am to 4pm on Saturday (last admission at 3pm) and 11am to 3pm on Sunday (last admission at 2pm.) Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 4 to 12. Children under age 4 are free, as are members. No discounts or passes will be accepted for this special event. Please purchase tickets in advance by visiting www.colonialplantation.org
GPS Address: 3900 North Sandy Flash Drive, Newtown Square, PA 19073


Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Lawn Croft Cemetery Hearse, Sunday Baseball ruled legai!! And some Delco Museums etc. are now opening! See below


 Two weeks ago I wrote about the first funeral hearse in Delco and one of the first in this area. The ladies at Lawn Croft Cemetery were nice enough to send me a picture of how it originally looked. Check it out.

August 23, 1930

 SUNDAY BASEBALL NOT ILLEGAL, IS COURT’S RULING  

Philadelphia Jurist Gives Sweeping Decision Against Blue Laws

          A sweeping decision against too rigid enforcement of the Sunday blue laws, declaring much of the Act of 1794 has been dead 100 years beyond even the power of the courts to revive it, was handed down by Judge Lewis in Quarter Sessions Court in Philadelphia.  The decision rules not guilty three men arrested on a disorderly conduct charge in connection with a Sunday game of amateur baseball.  In his opinion, which covers twenty-eight typewritten pages, Judge Lewis makes the following points:

          Sunday baseball by amateur teams does not in itself constitute a breach of the peace, provided there is no commercialism or disturbance of neighbors.

          Taking up a collection to defray expenses only, is not commercialization.

          Arrests on Sunday without a warrant are unlawful when there is no breach of the peace.  Although public peace is still more fragile and brittle on Sundays than on weekdays, the people themselves long ago effected a repeal of the extreme portions of the 1794 blue laws.

          A law which runs counter to the habits and customs of a majority of the people is not really a law.  It is a bugaboo, a scarecrow that cows only the timid and but amuses the bold.”

          In conclusion, Judge Lewis makes seven specific reasons regarding the administration of the Sabbath laws “in order that there may be no misapprehension and as a guide to those concerned, including the police department.”

          The decision was given in the cases of Malcolm McGowan, manager of the Passon baseball team; Edward Sherman, manager of the North Penn Athletic Club, and Tod Voorhees,  an umpire, who were arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct at a baseball game played Sunday, August 3, a Passon Athletic Field, 48th and Spruce streets in Philadelphia.  All three were sentenced to thirty days in jail by Magistrate Hamberg on refusing to pay fines of $10 and costs each.  Michael Saxe, attorney for Harry Passon, sponsor of the game, filed an appeal which was argued before Judge Lewis.

          After reviewing at length the circumstances leading to the arrests and quoting from decisions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in other cases bearing on the subject, the opinion of Judge Lewis says: “The evidence produced before us as to the conduct of the baseball game on August 3 does not establish that disorderly conduct amounting to a breach of the peace was committed by all or any one of the defendants.  Their arrest on Sunday without a warrant was therefore unlawful, the whole proceeding being without effect and void.”

 

Remember when West Chester Pike looked like this? The pike at Springfield Rd. Looking west in 1939


Attractions, Openings & Exciting Events Throughout the County
Now Open:
Gorgeous Gardens, Parks, Wineries, Golf Courses & more!
Chanticleer Gardens on the Main Line, is open with timed-entry. National Geographic Traveler Magazine has called this estate “One of America’s Most Beautiful Secret Gardens.”  

Tyler Arboretum is renowned for its beauty and a history that dates back to the time of William Penn. They offer outstanding hiking trails and lots of fun things to do for both adults and children.

Ridley Creek State Park is located just outside of Media. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., it is a 2,500 acre free park for hiking, biking, fishing, and picnicking. Saturdays you can also visit its Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation which recreates daily life on a Pre-Revolutionary farm. 

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum Township is adjacent to PHL and holds the distinction of being America’s First Urban Wildlife Refuge. The Visitors Center and Restrooms are closed, but it is open daily, sunrise to sunset, for hiking and exploring!
Go Dining & BrandyWining!

Media is once again offering outdoor dining! State Street is closed to traffic TWO NIGHTS A WEEK to serve dinner by street light. On Wednesdays and Thursdays a variety of Media restaurants are serving dinner from 4:30 to 11 p.m. Before and after dining feel free to stroll Media's shops, enjoy a little ice cream, or just watch the moon rise over the town...

Penns Woods Winery in Chadds Ford is now open 7 days a week This award-winning family owned vineyard is currently offering wine tastings, wine bar service and to-go curbside service. Reservations required.

Grace Winery in Glen Mills is open Thursdays through Sundays.  Wine tastings are held outdoors in the vineyard. 

Cafe Dining & Art, now through 9/27 at the
Brandywine River Museum of Art Enjoy great art 'inside' and great food 'outside! The Museum's Millstone CafĂ© is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for “Grab and Go” options to eat in the courtyard. Then explore generations of Wyeth-family masterpieces as well as an outstanding exhibit titled Votes for Women: A Visual History, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.


REMINDER:
Site openings and events are subject to last minute changes, so before visiting, please check their websites to confirm status and hours.
Let's Play Golf!
Five Public Golf Courses Now Open

Springfield Country Club is a challenging and beautifully landscaped 6018 yard, par 70 course that offers one of the region’s premier golf experiences. Located in Springfield on Baltimore Pike, it just minutes from the Main Line, Newtown Square and Media. 
·        
The Golf Course at Glen Mills is located in Delco’s Brandywine Country and is one of the most interesting and challenging public golf courses in the region. Designed by Bobby Weed and it has been included in the Top100Courses.com list.
·        
The Golf Course at Paxon Hollow Country Club in Media is open for daily play. The Practice Range and Putting Green are closed but the restaurant is open for outdoor dining. 
·        
Clayton Park Golf Course in Glen Mills opened in 1960 and is a 9-hole course that features 1,600 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 30. The course rating is 35.5 and it has a slope rating of 113.

Valley View Golf Course in Newtown Square is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to dusk -- and weekends 8 a.m. to dusk. Thursdays the driving range will not open until 10 a.m. They are not taking tee times, so it is offered on a first come first serve basis. 

____________________________________

Mark Your Calendars!

LINVILLA ORCHARDS – PICK YOUR OWN FRUIT & VEGGIES -- 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
Support local agriculture and spend a beautiful morning or afternoon gathering Honey-crisp Apples, Raspberries, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, as well as many Sweet & Hot Pepper varieties.

All Aboard the West Chester Railroad! Bring the family for a 'Summer Picnic Special' every Sunday through 9/20. Leaves the station at noon.
What's more fun and relaxing than a 90 minute train ride from West Chester to Glen Mills and back on a warm summer afternoon! Pack a lunch to enjoy at the Glen Mills picnic grove. Snacks and refreshments also available for purchase from their on board snack bar. 


COMING IN OCTOBER:
Delaware County Council, Delaware County Parks and Recreation, and
Visit Delco, PA will present a
ROSE TREE PARK
"DRIVE-IN MOVIE" WEEKEND!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Haverford Twp. home of "Pretty Homes" and expensive ones!! The township development 100 years ago.

 

This postcard is from about 1915 and I'm not sure of the location. It says the junction of Lancaster Pike and State Rd. I'm hoping someone can help. See other picture after article.


Note: Delaware County began to develop in the 1870's from farmland to homes and took off again in the 1920's. But in the early teens over 100 years ago Haverford Twp. began building faster than anywhere else in Delco, one of the main reasons was two new golf courses including Lower Merion. Also new trolley lines etc. As you see below, prices in Haverford Twp. jumped like no were else in Delco.





PRETTY HOMES AT HAVERFORD

            No other suburban section of Philadelphia has experienced such a remarkable development in the last five years as Haverford Township in Delaware County.  The effect of this rapid development is strikingly reflected in the value of ground all through the township.  Hundreds of acres which could have been purchased within the last five years at from $1000 to $2000 per acre have doubled in price in that time, and the value of desirable ground is still steadily advancing.  The new golf course of the Merion Cricket Club, which is now completed, together with a second golf course of 18 holes, has greatly stimulated development in the vicinity.  The Haverford Development Company is the owner of a large tract of about 230 acres adjoining the course, which is being sold in acreage lots from $6000 to $7000 per acre.  A considerable part of this ground a little over five years ago was farm land, though of an expensive character, at prices ranging from $2000 to $3000 per acre and even higher were asked for it.  The Haverford Development Company paid as high as $4000 per acre for some of the ground, which it now has under development.

            MANY FINE RESIDENCES – Hundreds of the finest residences in the suburbs line Montgomery Avenue, which runs direct through the center of the township.  In this vicinity ground has been sold in recent years as high as $25,000 per acre.  A considerable part of the 27-acre tract on Montgomery Avenue, which was purchased about four years ago by A. A. Hirst, has been sold at prices close to $20,000 per acre.  Mr. Hirst paid about $300,000 for the tract, which was considered at that time a record price for Haverford ground.

            Paralleling the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad and running west of that road to Ardmore, there are a series of suburban developments which afford the man of modest means who desires to live in the country, an opportunity to secure a country home without the prohibitive cost imposed by a choice in the more exclusive sections of Haverford, Llanerch and Brookline are two of the most thriving of these settlements, the increase in the population of both having been so marked in recent years that the township commissioners have recently built three handsome new school houses, one at Brookline, which will accommodate the children from Brookfield estates Penfield, Beechwood, Llanerch Manor and South Ardmore; another at Llanerch, which will take the place of the old school, which was much too small and a third high school building at Oakmont, which cost about $100,000.  The latter suburb is less than fifteen minutes’ walk from Brookline.

            DEVELOPMENT AT OAKMONT – The development along the line of the Philadelphia & Western Railway which intersects the lower part of Haverford Township, has been slow till within the past two or three years, but has now started in with a rush.  Thriving and handsome suburban settlements are springing up along the line of the electric railway close by the stations.  There have been several large sales of ground near Oakmont station in which the prices paid have disclosed an astonishing increase in the value of ground since the section ceased to known as Grassland about three or four years ago.  Prices in this section have almost tripled in a few years, and the development which is evidently due has only just begun.  A number of pretty suburban homes have been built at Oakmont and more are planned to be built during the coming summer.

            Much ground in the vicinity of the station, as yet undeveloped, is being held at from $4000 to $5000 per acre, while no lots in Oakmont, it is believed, can be purchased at less than $6000 per acre.  The Ardmore and Llanerch branch of the West Chester trolley line, which runs from 69th street to Ardmore, has also done much for the development of this section.  It is considered one of the best equipped trolley lines in any part of the suburbs.

            MONTGOMERY AVENUE RESIDENCES – In the most exclusive section of Haverford are some of the finest dwellings, which are to be found in the suburbs of any American city.  One of the finest of these is the residence of Thomas P. Hunter, on Montgomery Avenue, which occupies the site of the old Wallace residence, which with about five acres of ground, was purchased a few years ago for $125,000.  This price represented only the figure paid for the ground, as the old Wallace residence was torn down by the new owner and the present residence, which is said to have cost $200,000, built on the site.  The Hunter residence is the finest in Haverford, in a section of fine residences, and illustrates strikingly when compared with some of its neighbors, the process of development, which this suburban section is undergoing.  Another handsome structure which has been built at Haverford with the past three years is Haverford Court, a high-class apartment house which was at the time it was built considered more or less of an experiment, in a suburban section.  So great, however, has been the increase in population in Haverford in recent years that no trouble has been experienced in keeping Haverford Court filled since it was built.

 

 





Sunday, August 23, 2020

Delco's First Hearse and a Group trying to save 1000 Main St. Darby. another piece of Delco History!!

 

An early view of the Lawncroft Cemetery at 1000 W. Ridge Rd. Marcus Hook. The cemetery was founded in 1904.



Note: The first hearse was invented in 1909, the one below is from 1911. Sadly I have no picture, it appears to have been a small bus. Originally hearse's were not very popular, cost was approx. $6,000.00 dollars when a horse drawn hearse ran about $1,500.00 a year. Not until the 1920's did hearses take off in popularity.



HANDSOME NEW AUTO FUNERAL CAR ARRIVES 

 Novel Conveyance Designed by Chester Undertaker Attracts Much Attention on Exhibition

            The handsome new funeral automobile for the Lawncroft Cemetery company arrived at the Times office from Philadelphia shortly before noon with Eugene F. White, vice president and general manager of the company at the wheel and accompanied by a party of friends.

            The car is a mammoth type of limousine automobile and has a seating capacity of thirty-two persons.  It is painted a deep black with not a bright line to enliven the severity of design.  Directly behind the driving seat of the car is a compartment for the casket.  Behind this compartment is a heavily cushioned compartment in which six pall bearers will ride.  This section is partitioned off from the rest of the car, but directly in back of it is a section designed to hold twenty-four persons all comfortable seated.  While the car is decidedly plain in design no expense has been spared by the cemetery company to provide comfort for their patrons and the furnishings of the auto are luxurious in every respect.

            The speed of the car is about twelve miles an hour but a higher rate can be developed when necessary in case of emergencies.  Speed was not considered in the building of the car, durability and comfort being uppermost in the mind of the designed.  Eugene F. White, in whose mind the handsome addition to the equipment of the cemetery company first had origin.

          For a week before the car was brought to this city it attracted a great deal of attention at the display room of Packard Company in Philadelphia.        

    Mr. White was accompanied to this city in the machine by Albert Levet, overseer at the Lawncroft cemetery, who will operate the car.



Friends of the Blue Bell, Inc and Friends of 1000 Main c/o 1006 Main Street Darby, PA 19023 

(610) 809-4856

 To: Redevelopment Authority of Delaware County (RDA), Darby Borough Council, and Delaware County Council RE: 1000 Main Street, Darby Borough 

The stewards of 1000 Main for the past eight years are writing to ask your help and asking to meet with you to ensure that this County-owned asset is not lost to future generations as so many have been before. 1000 Main Street in Darby Borough has been a very visible presence on the Darby streetscape for 168 years and is a rare mortise and tenon timber frame building. It was built circa 1852 by laborer/carpenter John J. White as a family home. It was purchased by Delaware County in 2000 for the Darby Transportation Center (DTC) project which took about 10 years to complete. The County commissioned a Historic Assessment by the firm of Kise, Straw, and Kolodner (KSK) in 2001 which concluded: “1000 Main Street is a significant resource in Darby. Main Street in Darby boasts a fine collection of attractive and historic properties in which 1000 Main Street is a significant contributor, and conversely, it’s loss would be significant as well. While 1000 Main Street is marginally structurally sound, it is relatively small so the restoration and renovation cost would be reasonable. Preservation efforts would enhance the quality of the street and encourage similar improvements in Darby.” Likewise, the Section 106 Review of the Delaware County Planning Department (DCPD) said “DCPD believes #1000 Main Street is a strong example of a locally significant resource, and it would make a fine contribution to the historic fabric of the upper part of Main Street. Every effort will be made to assist the community in ways to adaptively reuse this building.” After about 2/3 of the land was used for the DTC project, the remainder was leased by the RDA to the Friends of the Blue Bell (Friends) in 2012 with the specific requirement to “undertake stewardship of 1000 Main including cleaning, planning, fundraising, and restoration of the building with the goal of opening it to the public as a multi-use educational and cultural facility.” We have been working toward that goal At the time the Friends assumed stewardship of the building, the building was compromised from when the roof was blown off in 2004. The RDA made it very clear we were NOT to look to them for funding. Although the renovation is still a work in progress, we stopped the leaks into the building with EPDM, stabilized the rear porch and floors, replaced window glass, kept the lawns mowed, researched the building, improved the outside appearance, and enlisted support from many in and outside the community including the University of Delaware Center for Historic Architecture and Design (CHAD) who did a report and draft National Register nomination for the building. Other friends have joined in support of the building (see below). We have had discussions with the Purple House Project, which provides support for survivors of domestic violence, about working together to create a community space centered on healing. 

We recently sought a Blight Remediation Grant to help with rehab (replace the EPDM with a metal roof, and do other necessary work) and were informed the RDA was considering a transfer of the property to Darby Borough, and “would not consent to our grant application” This is in direct contradiction to the mandate of our lease and was done with no notice or opportunity for discussion. We have made numerous requests to meet with the RDA to discuss the future of this building which have been ignored. This appears to be part of a transfer of 5 RDA properties in Darby: four vacant lots which the Borough already maintains, 199 MacDade Blvd, 868, 879, and 881 Main Street. 1000 Main, listed on the Delaware County Historic Sites Survey was somehow added to the list. We are requesting reconsideration of that transfer. We have new members, energy, and are prepared to show how this building can serve the Borough and Delaware County economically, culturally, and environmentally. The Friends of the Blue Bell, stewards of the building since 2012, are continuing to maintain liability insurance with the RDA named as additional insured and continue to adhere to the conditions of their lease. Once again we request to meet with the RDA and the Borough to discuss the future of this important building. We also renew our request to purchase or otherwise accept transfer of the building on terms that are equitable, fair, and in the best interests of the building, the citizens of Darby Borough, and the people of Delaware County for whom the RDA holds the building in trust. We look forward to discussing this with you, via Zoom other means, at a time that is convenient to you. This is what the building looked like before we stopped the leaks. http://www.darbyhistory.com/1000Main-roof.html 

These are pictures of recent work http://www.darbyhistory.com/-pics-Aug-2020.html and this is a brief blurb about the building http://www.darbyhistory.com/files/1000_Main_Blurb-Aug_2020.p 

Respectfully Signed (*) signifies individual is a Member of the Friends of the Blue Bell Board

 Pamela Andrews, Philadelphia, (community activist) (*) Jaqiira Bishop, Darby (Community activist) Christine Brunson, Collingdale (Mgr, Purple House Project/community activist) Alvin Davidson, Sharon Hill (IT Administrator) (*) Jennifer Davidson, Sharon Hill (Historian/administrator) Christine Dopson, Darby (Business woman/administrator)(*) Timothy Dopson, 887 Main Street, Darby (Business man) (*) Harold Finigan, Main Street, Darby (Teacher of building science/activist) Emily Freeman, Main Street, Darby (Designer/artist) Patrick Gallagher, Collingdale (Historian/county worker) Jan Monk Haigis, Darby, President Emeritus, (educator and administrator-Ret) (*) John W. Haigis, Darby, Secretary, former Chair, Darby Borough Historical Commission and Darby Borough Planning Commission (*) Alvin Holm, Philadelphia Historical Advisor, Former advisor to Darby Borough Historical Commission (Architect) (*) Kenneth Johnson, Darby, Project Manager (contractor) (*) Derron LaBrake, Havertown, (Plaster Instructor/Environmental Advocate) Lawrence Richardson, Darby Policeman (ret) Paula Evans Richards, Darby, (Community activist) Teddy Santil, Upper Darby, Treasurer (accountant/tutor) (*) Josh Silver, Philadelphia (Historic researcher/tour guide) (*) Martin Simkovich, Drexel Hill, (Roofer/carpenter) Jabri Smith, Darby, Volunteer Coordinator (*) Howard Stockley, Darby (Sheriff's Deputy) Dominik Thomas, 30 N 10th Street, (entrepreneur/community activist) Claire Venuto, Philadelphia (Community worker) Maryanne Venuto, Philadelphia (Community worker)

 


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Every Historical Site in Delco Needs your help !! Newlin Grist Mill especially!! Flood Damage

 


Above an aerial view of Media from about 70 years ago



Note: All the historical societies in Delco need help. Nearly all are closed or open just once or twice a week. They need volunteers for ground and building maintenance, especially with no money or very little coming in. Taking care of buildings and sites that are hundred of years old is a full time project. So please volunteer and join your local society or historical site and if you can make a cash donation. Every little bit helps!
Please support Delco History!!

Please Read Newlin Grist Mill's serious flood problems!




 
The year 2020 will certainly be remembered by us all as the year of challenges and disruptions. At Newlin Grist Mill, the pandemic cancelled programs and events, interrupted traditional funding streams, and forced critical restoration projects to be suspended. Siltation in the creek interfered with pond fishing and made it impossible to operate the mill. Possibly the most difficult challenge has been not socializing and sharing our history and environment with you.
 
We responded to these changing circumstances with remote working, social media content, virtual programing, and new research, all with the goal of continuing to serve you. We have implemented strategies to keep our staff, volunteers, and community members safe while keeping the site open and a positive experience for the thousands of guests to the park. The notes of gratitude and donations helped to lift our spirits and remind us of the role Newlin Grist Mill plays in our community.
 
On August 4th and again on the 7th, floods devastated the historic site and park. Water entered five of our buildings, wrecked trails, washed away board walks and bridges, and damaged parking lots. While earlier repairs to the dam held, there was damage to both the stone and earthen dams. We are still assessing the damages.
 
This latest crisis has forced us to close the Newlin Grist Mill and Park to the public because there are so many hazards. Newlin Grist Mill buildings, park, trails, and parking lots are closed. During the past few months, we have observed what the park means to our community andvf do not take this action lightly. Safety is always our first consideration therefore we ask everyone to please stay away for the time being. This is hard for us to ask but is for your safety and will enable us to respond to our most critical needs first.
 
We have taken a severe blow, but we will be back. The outpouring of support, offers of volunteers, and donations are inspiring to all of us at Newlin Grist Mill. We are going to need our volunteers, friends, and supporters to help us get through this crisis.
 
Many have asked what can they do. We are asking everyone to be patient as we assess the damage and take emergency actions to clean and dry out buildings for their long-term preservation. We are developing plans for volunteers to help with flood clean up and recovery while protecting your safety from injury and the pandemic. We need time to concentrate on planning to deploy the resources being offered and responding to time sensitive threats to our buildings before making our grounds and trails safe for the public.
 
Insurance will cover some of the expenses related to buildings but much of the damage is to the property. Your donations will be critical to reopening the NGM and Park. As we face yet another challenge in 2020, thank you for being there for us as we always try to be there for you.

Tony Shahan, Director
Flood waters got into the Visitor center and staff office space. We are working on clean-up, and right now we have only one working computer. If you would like to donate to help cover the costs of repairs, please go to our website.
The Native Pollinator Garden suffered major damage. We had just finished installing new plantings as part of a grant from the Hardy Plant Society of SE PA. This garden likely will not recover this season. 
Pieces of boardwalk from the Frog Pond that got washed downstream and lodged in some trees near the Blacksmith Shop. The boardwalk was completely destroyed and many pieces are still missing.
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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Glen Dale Golf Course and "Cinderblock Cities" and an unknown shop??


Above a map of the 9 hole Glen Dale Golf Course at South Ave. and MacDade Blvd. and how it looked in 1928. Green #1 was right at South and MacDade and if you look hard today you can still see it!


NOTE: It is heard to imagine today that there was once a golf course at South Ave. and MacDade Blvd. aka Parker Ave. The course, Glen Dale, opened in 1928 and was named for Glenolden and Collingdale. It closed in 1940 and the course became a "cinderblock city". The Federal Government bought the property for war housing. Although we hadn't entered WW2 yet, housing for workers was at a premium. Places like Baldwins, Westinghouse, Sun Ship were already working 24/7. The Feds built two other "cinderblock cities" one in Woodlyn at MacDade and Bullens La. and the other in Tinicum at Rts. 291 and 420. The one in Glenolden was never torn down and the houses were sold individually. 

The former golf course about 1949. South Ave. is on the far left and MacDade Blvd. bottom right. The line of trees at the top is Academy Ave. At the top of the picture you can see the Tully Golf Course an 18 hole course in Darby Twp. It closed c.1950 and was developed as Briarcliffe.



OPEN NEW GOLF COURSE AT GLENOLDEN TODAY 

 Special Match to Feature Inauguration of Glendale Country Club on Parker Avenue

The Glendale Country Club’s attractive new golf course on Parker Avenue, Glenolden, is to be opened this afternoon, and several attractive features have been arranged for the occasion.  This star feature of the day will be an exhibition match by four of the leading golfers in the Philadelphia district.

The special exhibition is scheduled to begin at 2 o’clock.  Included in the all-star foursome will be Paul Tewkesbury of Sharon Hill, former medalist I the national amateur championship; J. Winston Kindt, former Pennsylvania junior amateur champion, and Andrew H. Kays and George M. Stevens, outstanding amateur participants in all of the leading tournaments in this section.  It is announced that the exhibition is to be free to the public.

Glendale is located along Parker Avenue, about one-half mile south of Collingdale.  The 3200 yard nine-hole course is a tricky one.  The distance from the tee to No. 2 green is 504 yards.  No. 2 green is an island entirely surrounded by a natural water course.  The next hole is a fairly straight drive of 190 yards, while the fifth hole is the toughest of them all.  It is a table top three feet above grade, entirely surrounded by wicked sand traps.

The course was constructed by James Bailey, pro for the Tully Memorial Course, which adjoins Glendale.

A clubhouse is now in the course of erection of the forty-eight acres and, when completed, will present every modern convenience.  There will be a large dining and banquet hall, showers, lockers and lounging rooms for both men and women and supplied with every modern convenience.  A veranda will entirely surround the structure, which is being built on a plot 40 by 130, and, when completed, the entire project will be free to the public.

 

 

 What reader recognizes this building? It is gone but all of you past it for many years