Thursday, March 23, 2017

Luke Nethermark's Ride, forgotten history and Colonial Plantation Play!

 

Chester Pike at Knowles Ave. in Glenolden, looking East toward Darby about 1905

 
 
NOTE The Luke Nethermark ride was a popular Victorian story based on a 18th century legend. The story below was done by Henry G. Ashmead in 3 parts for the Chester Times in 1910. The other 2 parts will be added. A long but interesting story.
 
 

LUKE NETHERMARK’S RIDE 

 An incident of the Queen’s Highway

 
    To all outward showing the industrious frugal people of the Province of Pennsylvania in 1759, were contented subjects of His Majesty George Second of that name.  The struggle with France for supremacy in the new world had fanned anew the languishing loyalty of the colonists and yet students of history recognize that it was during the rule of that chubby, choleric little sovereign (who hated all that had association with England save the money that it contributed to his support, with such bitterness that he never learned to speak the language of that nation fluently) was sown the seeds of unrest and discontent which fifteen years later, when his grandson, George III, resigned in his stead, culminated in an appeal to arms and the establishment of the United States, today in energy and wealth the foremost nation of the earth.
            Tuesday, the fourteenth of March, 1759, was an ideal spring day, and the then residents of Philadelphia, thirteen thousand all told, had in a large measure relinquished their usual occupations to witness a spectacle that has become historic.  Brigadier General John Forbes, a cadet of the Forbes of Patinercrift, Fifeshire, in the preceding year (then so advanced in consumption that he was suspended in a hammock slung between two horses) led his command through the unbroken forests of western Pennsylvania and the fastness of the Allegheny Mountains to the reduction of Fort Duquesne.  Crowned with victory the hero of the hour had returned to Philadelphia only to die in the early spring of 1769.  This Tuesday his remains were to be laid at rest in the chancel of Christ Church, with a magnificence of civil pomp and military display such as had never before been observed on such an occasion in any of the British American colonies.
            Pretty Polly Van Culin of Ridley then a township of Chester county, chanced at that time to be visiting relatives in Philadelphia.  With several companions she was among the crush which gathered on the sidewalk near the church that afternoon, interested spectators of the scene.  The line of match extended spectators of the scene.  The line of match extended from the noted slate roof house on Second Street and Norris alley, where Forbes had died, to Christ Church, a distance a trifle more than two squares.  Naturally the comely country lass was eager not to miss any of the striking features of the pageant.
            The crowd in the unpaved streets fell back before the advancing file of fifers and drummers the muffled drums furnishing the accompaniment to the funeral dirge sung by a score of prominent young men of the town.  They were followed by the charger of the dead hero richly caparisoned with the trappings of a general field officer.  Over the saddle were thrown the crossed stirrups and on either side hung the reversed riding boots with spurs buckled to the heels.  Two privates of the Seventeenth Royal Infantry of which regiment Forbes had formerly been Colonel holding the long leading straps walked by the head of the horse.
            The coffin, draped with the standard of St. George, on which rested the cocked hat and sword of the general was borne on a bier supported on the shoulders of eight grenadiers.  A guard of honor composed of officers of the army and navy walked on either side of the bier, the hilts of their reversed swords swaddled in crape.  Then came the Seventeenth Grenadiers platoons stretching from curb to curb, making a brave showing in scarlet coats, skirt looped back displaying the yellow linings, white cross belts, white breeches, long white gallery fastened with black buttons and garters above the knees and on their heads tall sugar loaf hats, a fancy of the mad King of Prussia, which all the armies of Europe had then accepted.  A splendid body of soldiers as they moved with measured stride, standards draped and their muskets carried at reverse arms, flashing the sunlight from their polished barrels.
            Then in kilts and belted plaids came the Seventy-seventh Highlanders, whom the Indians in the late campaign had sarcastically christened the “petticoat warriors,” then the Royal Americans in dark scarlet coats faced with blue who contrasted not unfavorably with the veteran troops of the King.  The Pennsylvania Provincials from the city, in green coats faced with red, red waistcoats and buckskin breeches, while those from the nearby counties of Chester and Bucks fittingly concluded the military display in picturesque dark green hunting skirts fringed and turned up with buff, long leggings, coon skin caps, carrying clouded barrel rifles at reversed arms.
            Then succeeded a small body of marines collected from the vessels of war riding in the Delaware in front of the city.  They in turn were followed by His Excellency Governor William Denny and members of his Council; Chief Justice Allan and associates:  Crowden and Williams, in their scarlet judicial robes.  Then came Isaac Leach, speaker of the Assembly, Mayor Scamper, Recorder Chew, members of Assembly and lesser dignitaries of the Province and city, concluding with a goodly number of representative citizens of the town.
            At intervals the men-of-war and packets in the harbor discharged minute guns, whose reverberations made almost inaudible the distant tolling of the State House bell (which seventeen years later was to “proclaim LIBERTY throughout the LAND unto all the inhabitants thereof”) and the funeral march pealing forth from the steeple of Christ Church where hung, a marvel of those days, the recently imported chime of eight bells.
            When the head of the procession halted at the church door, where stood Rev. Dr. Robert Jenny, Rector, and Jacob Duche and William Sturgeon, Assistant Rectors, the military formed in open order that the dignitaries might follow the coffin into the sanctuary.
            Mistress Polly and her companions had unwillingly been forced along by the surging mass on the sidewalk close to the church, but when the swelling notes of the organ sounded, the first bars of the march to the tomb the girls strove to retrace their steps.  With difficulty and no little disorder to their raiment they had threaded their way through the crowd and were near to Market, then High Street, but gradually had been pressed near to the curb.  A number of belated young men in a united column sought to reach the church and Polly at the curb (at that time planks laid length-wise and held in place by stakes driven into the earth at designated distances) caught her foot against one of the planks, swayed and barely recovered her balance when a second wedge of striplings came rushing by and she was thrown outward into the street.  In her fright Polly instinctively extended her hands and grasped at the nearest object to arrest her fall.  By unlucky chance her arms were flung about the neck of a young, handsome ensign of the Grenadiers, who, as soon as Polly released him, turned quickly, and noticing that the unexpected embrace had been given by a pretty girl on the impulse of the moment he caught her in his arms and kissed her.
            Polly’s face flushed scarlet and her eyes were brilliant with indignation.  “How dare you?” she exclaimed.  Then shamed by the jeers of the few bystanders who had witnessed the occurrence, she fled back of the line of soldiers until she reached Market Street, where she was speedily joined by her companions who had followed her in the way she had led them.  For a moment Polly’s eyes after the incident happened met those of Ensign Luke Nethermark who was in line with the battalion of the Chester County Provincials.  She was conscious that he had seen the English officer kiss her, but she was uncertain whether he had seen or understood how it had all come about.  Of one think that glance assured her, Luke was in a frenzy of rage.  He and Polly Van Clun were cousins.  A closer tie than kinship existed between the two and the girl knew that her lover’s one great fault in character was his inordinate jealousy of her.
            “I am sorry I did not go home yesterday as I had designed doing,” Polly declared as the girls, now free of the crowd, hastened out High Street to Third and thence to Walnut the fashionable quarters of the city, where her aunt resided.
            “Then you would have missed the most imposing funeral ever seen in these colonies,” replied her elder cousin.
            “Better that then mar my whole future life,” replied Polly in a tone suggestive of tears.
            “You’re vexed, Polly, because Ensign Rutherford acted so rudely.  No one is astonished at anything that wild rattle-brained young blood may do.  It is the talk of the town that he is spoiled by a doting maiden aunt who supplies him with unlimited means and who is proud because her nephew is next in succession to a title.  “I trust Luke will never learn that it was you Rutherford kissed.  I doubt if anyone who saw the occurrence knew who you were.  It was all over so quickly.”
            Polly made no reply.  Nor did she later inform her cousin that most unluckily one of the witnesses of the incident was Luke Nethermark.  However, as soon as opportunity permitted she wrote requesting him to call that evening without fail.  A trusty Negro servant delivered her epistle to Luke personally.  Other than the remark “Tell Mistress Van Culin I received her note,” he made no acknowledgment nor did he call that evening as she had requested. 
            The next day Polly learned that Luke and Rutherford had met the preceding night, a quarrel had resulted and Luke had struck the young Englishman. A challenge followed, and both young men had been placed in arrest.  Later she heard that Rutherford, who, through family influence, had been transferred to a regiment lately returned from India, had been ordered home and had sailed in the first London packet leaving the port of Philadelphia.  The wish of the men to meet was thwarted by governmental interference.  The day following the sailing of the packet Luke was relieved from arrest.
            Polly had extended her visit for ten days and though she contrived to have Luke apprised of that fact and that she was anxious to meet him he failed to call.  Finally with a heavy heart the unhappy girl returned to her home in Ridley.  She never doubted, however, that ultimately the estrangement would end in a renewal of the happy relations which had formerly existed between Luke and herself.
 
 
 


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Leiper Canal and railroad

 

The Leiper Canal above was not very wide as seen above, an unknown location today.

Leiper Canal and Railroad

 
            In the year 1790 Thomas Leiper and John Wall, wealthy and respected citizens of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, supported by a petition from the stone cutters and masons of Philadelphia, brought before a meeting of the Assembly, a project for the construction of a canal, along Crum Creek in Ridley Township for the purpose of completing a navigable communication between Leiper’s quarries on Crum Creek and the Delaware River, a distance of little over a mile.  Mr. Leiper also desired the privilege of cutting a canal from the flowing of tide in Crum Creek to McIlvain’s mill dam, in order to cheapen the cost of transportation of his stone from the quarries to tide water.
            The mechanics were all of the opinion that Mr. Leiper’s stone was the best ever produced in the neighborhood of the city and that the building of a canal would be of the greatest advantage to the general public.  At the next meeting of the Delaware County Assembly, when it was supposed by Mr. Leiper and his friends that the measure would be passed and permission granted for the immediate construction of his proposed canal, it was unfortunately met with the greatest opposition by John and Isaac McIlvain.           
Upon examination the topography of the proposed canal, we very naturally see the reason for the remonstrance on the part of the McIlvains.  Mr. Leiper wished to enlarge into a canal, the old mill race, which led from McIlvain’s to Leiper’s mills, the latter standing just below the big road, passing through the town of Ridley, now Leiperville.  IN justice to Mr. Leiper, however, it must be said that the McIlvains were not entirely dependent upon the race for their motive power.
            Others thought Mr. Leiper’s enlarged views were in advance of the age in which he lived, and his scheme was considered visionary and ruinous, and the law which he solicited was refused.  Mr. Leiper thus foiled in his favorite plan, afterwards universally acknowledged to have been expedient and wise, began to look around for some other means by which he could transport his material, but it was not until 180-9 that his scheme for constructing a tramway was first proposed, as a means of connection between his quarries and tide water in Ridley Creek, and this railway will ever be distinguished as the first ever built in America.
            HIS FIRST ESTIMATE – In May 1809, Leiper made an estimate for a railway three-quarters of a mile long.  He figured accurately the cost of that distance of railroad to be built of wood and found it to amount to, including the survey, about $1,592.  While cherishing this project, he wished to see, however, before carrying his plan into execution, whether the idea was a feasible one or not.  He therefore employed a millwright from Scotland, named Somerville, to lay a temporary track in the yard of the Old Bull’s Head Tavern.  Second Street north of Poplar Lane, Philadelphia, and the experiment as described in “The Aurora” September 27, 1809, gives us the following interesting account:
            “We have the pleasure to inform the lovers of domestic improvements that a satisfactory experiment at which we were present was lately made in this city, by Mr. Thomas Leiper of the great utility of railways for the conveyance of heavy burdens - an improvement which a few years ago was introduced into England – as in many cases a cheap and valuable substitute for canals.  In the above experiment a railway was laid of two parallel courses of oak scantling, about four feet apart, supported on blocks or sleepers about eight feet from each other.  On this railway which had an ascent of 1 ½ inches in a yard or 2.22 a single horse, under the disadvantage of a pat of loose earth to walk on hauled up a four wheeled carriage, loaded with the enormous weight of 95 ½ hundred weight, or 10,696 pounds.
            Mr. Leiper was entirely satisfied with the results of this his first experiment, and began at once to push forth the plans he had inaugurated and had the following advertisements printed:
                                    RAILWAY
“I wish to contract for the digging part of a railway from my quarries on Crum Creek to my landing on Ridley, the distance and level has been accurately ascertained by Mr. Reading Howell, engineer; the distance is exactly three-fourths of a mile and an accurate statement of the quantity of digging required, may be seen from the plot in my possession, calculated by Mr. Howell. I also wish to contract for the making and laying the rail part of the same, consisting of wood, a specimen of which as furnished by Messrs. Large and Winpenny, may be seen by applying to them at their manufactory adjoining the Bull’s Head on Second Street in the Northern Liberties.  The scantling for the above will be furnished on the ground.  I wish to progress in this work immediately.
            For more particular information apply to:
GEORGE G. LEIPER on the premises of THOMAS LEIPER, Tobacconist, No. 274 Market Street, September 27, 1809.
LABORERS WANTED
                        Leipers’s Snuff Mills
                        On Crum Creek, Oct 28th 1809
            I have contracted with Thomas Leiper for the digging part of his railway, from his stone quarries on Crum Creek to his landing on Ridley Creek.  The work is now progressing, which I find to be a very easy process, for three yoke of oxen, which I am to have the use of for the whole of the contract from that circumstance nothing but shovels will be required for three-fourths of the way.  Laborers who wish to engage will please to apply to
                                    JOHN BRYCE on the premises
                                    November 1st, 1809
                                                THE ROUTE
            The draft of the road was made by John Thompson and the work of building and grading was finished early in the spring of 1810.  It began on the south bank of Crum Creek, opposite the old saw mill at Avondale and terminated near the hand of Ridley Creek near.  Irwin’s factory, at that time the property of the late Pierce Crosby.  The ascents were graded inclined planes, and the superstructure was made of white oak with cross ties and string pieces.
            The road was built upon an ascending grade of 167.2 perch at a rise of a little of ¾ of an inch to the yard to a dividing summit, thence it descended 87.4 perch at about 1/34 inch to the yard, thence to the terminus 79.65 perch, at about 1 ½ inches to the yard.  The entire length 33 ¼ perches, ore one mile 14 ¼ perches.  The total rise was about 63 feet.  The total descent from 5 or 6 feet more.  The wheels of the cars and trucks were made of cast iron and flanges.
            The road after it was finished in 1810 continued in use until 1823, when it was superseded by a canal, after the plan first made by Mr. Leiper but not carried into effect until three years after his death, when his son the Hon. George Gray Leiper, concluded the work which had always been nearest and dearest to his father’s heart.  The cornerstone of the first lock of the canal was laid by William Strickland, a celebrated architect and engineer on August 16, 1828.
            A UNIQUE CEREMONY – The sight at the corner stone laying was a very unique one, about 11:30 on the morning of the occurrence, a procession moved toward the canal lock, to see the grand ceremony performed.  The scene was novel as well as interesting to the citizens of Delaware County, as well as visitors from Philadelphia, and the event was one to be hailed by future generations and the beginning of a glorious and enterprising epoch, especially to that section of the country.
            The large concourse of ladies and gentlemen present who had assembled from the city and neighboring villages to witness the beautiful sight gave an interest to the ceremony truly grand and imposing.  Among the group of ladies was to be seen Mrs. Elizabeth C. Leiper, the aged and amiable consort of him, who had first projected this great work, who had lived to see what was first suggested by her husband commenced by her eldest son, George Gray Leiper.
            ORIGINAL RAILROAD MAN – Thomas Leiper may truly be demonstrated as the first inventor of railways.  With him originated the plan for the construction of the first railway in America, and which was completed in 1897.  After the cornerstone was properly adjusted by the engineer a short address was read by Prof. Patterson of Philadelphia, a copy of which was put in a small bottle and deposited in the cornerstone by one of the granddaughters of the venerable projector.
            After the close of the ceremony, the entire company was invited to the hospital mansion of the Leipers, and partook of an excellent dinner, after which a variety of toasts, applicable to the great work which had on that day been christened, was drunk.
 
            Immediately at the close of this part of the ceremony amid the good wishes of a numerous assemblage of friends and neighbors three hearty cheers were given by the spectators.  The jovial bowl was then passed around and several excellent toasts were drank upon the ground.  The following sentiment was given by our worthy fellow citizen Joseph Gibbons.  George Gray Leiper, one of the Keystones of Delaware County.  He has just laid the first stone of the first lock of the first canal in Delaware County.  May he live to reap the fruits of his great work which has this day been commenced.
 
 
 
 


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Preservation and Saving, make a call !

  

A number of years ago, I was given this picture and others of the Upland Salvation Army Camp. The family did not want them.





Preserve Family and Local History!



   As they say, "One man's trash is another man's treasure!" You see it everywhere from what people collect, family heirlooms and local history. Some people preserve, others toss. You never know.
I always look around on trash days it amazes me what people toss out. Years ago I kept seeing boxes of trash at the end of my street, the original owner had died and his son was cleaning the house out. I knew his dad had been active in the local civic association, so I stopped to have a look. There were parade pictures, meetings groups etc. As I was loading the stuff into my car the son came out. He was surprised that I wanted that "junk". He invited me in his house to show me some other stuff. What he had were all the booklets for the Leedom Civic Association from 1944 thru 1968 complete. I was thrilled to get them! so was the son. He was happy to have another set of arms to carry the "trash" out.
    A friend of mine came over last year with his "find". On trash night he had seen these metal storage boxes in nice shape and wanted them for his garage. The boxes were loaded with family pictures. The father had died and the son was throwing out everything. I could not believe all the family pictures of father and son that were in the trash. But what I was happy to get were all the building pictures. The father had been a building contractor and had taken tons of before and after building pictures, I loved them. His family had no interest.
   No one likes everything of course. But instead of trashing the stuff, ask around. Is there another family member who would like them? Someone interested in them? Have a yard sale! Or if the items are local history, give them to your local historical society. Make a call!
   I interviewed a lady on local history. Her father had been a bartender at the Colonial Tavern in Crum Lynne. She had pictures of the place inside and out, plus a picture of boxer, Jack Dempsey who had trained there on his way to the heavyweight championship. I asked her if I could copy them but her answer was No. After she died I asked a friend of the family if I could make copies of them. The family no longer had them, they had gone in the trash.
  So make sure what is important to you gets saved and preserved. Give it to the right family member or organization. One mother I know took no chances. She had all the family stuff, scanned and copied and all of her children got copies of everything! Take no chances!
  Preserve! and don't forget to write on those pictures, who they are and where they are!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Glendale golf or warhousing take your pick!

The 9 hole golf course Glendale was built in the late 1920's and was removed in 1940 to build war housing

 

Delaware County War housing

With World War 2 already underway in Europe the government knew it was only a matter of time before the United States entered the war. By mid 1940 places like Westinghouse, Baldwin's, General Steel etc. were already working 6 to 7 days a week filling orders for Europe. The problem was were to put all the workers. As hard as it is to imagine today much of lower Delaware County was still open space with some farms still operating. The government needed as much housing as they could get and quickly, they created 3 "cinder block" cities. There was Glen dale Heights at South Ave, and MacDade Blvd. in Glenolden, a former golf course that still looks the same today. Overlook  Heights in Woodlyn at Bullens Lane and MacDade Blvd. in Woodlyn now low income housing. The original homes were torn down in the 1980's. The third place was Tinicum Manor at Wanamaker Ave. and the Industrial Highway in Essington. The houses are now gone and the site is now a park and playing fields for Tinicum Twp. I have heard that there was a trailer park in Woodlyn opposite Overlook Heights in the area of todays Derwood Park.
 

Below is a picture of Glendale Heights from the mid 1940's. The name comes from Glenolden and Collingdale

 
 



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Supporting and Volunteering, Local History needs YOU !


Chester River aka Creek about 1910. Hard to believe people lived on house boats back then

 

Supporting local history

there are

many ways

 


   Every historical group in Delaware County needs help, some a lot more than others. Local history groups consist of museums ex. Delaware County Historical Society , historic homes ex. Thomas Massey House and local historical societies ex. Aston Twp. In Delaware County there are a total of 80 groups. They all have needs, first all could use your membership, first the membership dues, yes all groups need money, some more than others.
   As a member supporting and promoting the group is important. Just you spreading the word of the group's existence is important. I'm a board member of the Colonial Plantation in Ridley Creek State Park and I thought we do a great job of promoting ourselves. I was very surprised several months ago when a life ling Delco resident with young children told me he had never heard of the Colonial Plantation, and had no idea what activities the Plantation did.
  All groups are looking for volunteers, no matter what your interest is or the time you have. Whether you want to be a tour guide at a site, help with a Spring cleanup, or organize the groups collection they will have work for you. No matter if you want to work 3 hours a week or 3 days, there is always something. You don't have to have 4 years of college and a history degree, just the gift of gab for a tour guide, or even working from your house typing and helping to organize a group's collection especially in the computer age. One local group just had a volunteer put their membership list in a data base on their computer. It had never been done before, till the volunteer thought it would be a good idea. Imagine that! In this age of Google and Face Book just having a volunteer working from home doing updates and promoting upcoming events is so important to get the word out.
   Knowing what a local group has in their collection is very important for researchers and genealogists. Almost every local group has a special collection in their files, from documents, artifacts, photographs etc. Getting that collection organized so it can be used is so essential, BUT it can be very boring doing it. It took me a year and a half to scan all the 4000 plus Delco pictures I have in my collection. Scanning was important, and photoshoping where needed, but having them in a data base by boro and township has helped researchers so much.
  So no matter what your interest is and how much time you have there is a historical group in Delaware County that could use you and your skills.
  But first things first, open that wallet or checkbook and support your local historical group to help them preserve, protect and promote the history of Delaware County! There are less than 200 dues paying members at the Delaware County Historical Society and over 561,000 people living in Delaware County, you figure it out.
   And I'm always looking for volunteer typists for my website, delawarecountyhistory.com
 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Delaware County Historical Societies's Newspapers and Preservation Network Again!




The Delaware County Republican Newspaper building in Chester
 
 
 
 
The Delaware County Historical Society has received the files of the Delaware County Chester Times at their museum in Chester. These files basically cover stories from the mid-1950's thru the mid 1990's. Before computers newspapers had librarians go thru the newspaper everyday and cut out important local news stories, about people, places etc. They were then placed in an envelope and filed by name or topic and placed in filing cabinets. This is what the historical society recently received these files are available at the museum and are worth the trip if you are doing research on these years.
  Older newspapers the society has are also available on cd. One of my pet projects for the last 4 years has been to scan the Delaware County Historical Societies' bound newspapers. This has been done thru the courtesy of the Friends Library at Swarthmore College who have given me access to their overhead scanner. Besides scanning the newspapers, they were OCR aka making them searchable. Most of the newspapers did not OCR well, but there were several exceptions, the best being the Morton Chronicle. The society has a complete run of the Morton Chronicle from 1880 thru 1940 complete. One of the other good things to come out of the scanning is several newspapers, the Chester News and the Issue, both Chester newspapers from the late 19th century have never been available before. They have never been placed on microfilm. Other newspapers in the same category are the Media Advertiser from the 1850's and the Delaware County Graphic, a Clifton Hghts. newspaper from the early 1900's. Another paper I have just started scanning is the Delaware County Morning Republican. This was one of the first newspapers to become a weekly paper in 1896. It is OCRing very well, aka very searchable. This paper has never been microfilmed and when done will be a great resource for researchers. So come down to the Delaware County Historical Societies' Museum and have a look.
 
I mentioned the Delaware County Historic Preservation Network in my last blog. If you are interested in finding out about talks, lectures, meetings please sign up below
Thanks!!
 
 
DCHPN Mailing List & Website:    The DCHPN Group at Yahoo Groups is a mailing list, web site and gathering place in cyberspace for historical societies, historic site managers and owners, historical commissions and HARB’s 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.  To join, go here:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DCHPN/

 

DCHPN Facebook Page:  In this age of social media, you need to have multiple presences, and so we started a Facebook page for the group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/dchpn/

 

Seminars on Topics of Mutual Interest:  DCHPN has held seminars on education programs in the community, fundraising, membership, and publicizing the Small Collections Initiative to review and index document collections of each participating group.  More are planned. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Preservation needs a network! ASAP!!! Please read, share and join!!






Washington St. in Media during "rush hour" anyone know where Washington St. is??


Preserving history, especially local history is very hard. The work is long and tedious and BORING.  Unless you love history.  And many of us do. 

    Whether identifying old pictures, typing interviews or just indexing and organizing everything, the work can be a time consuming and repetitive. Of course knowing what to do and just knowing what is going on in Delaware County can be hard to find.  It would be nice to have someone to ask when you have questions.   
    Several years ago, a group of people who are involved in local preservation got together:  me – Keith Lockhart of Ridley Park, Doug Humes of Newtown Square, Angela Hewett of the Thomas Leiper House, Tony Shahan of the Newlin Grist Mill, Karen Micka of The Aston Twp. Historical Society, Rich Paul of the Delaware County Heritage Commission, Mary Ann Eves of Middletown Historical Society, and Cyndi Charney of the Upper Chichester Historical Society, and formed the Delaware County Historic Preservation Network. The basic idea is that we all face common issues and we should therefore all be talking and sharing our knowledge for the benefit of all of the history organizations in Delaware County.  
    We have a Facebook page and a mailing list, and we try to post or send out notices every day to our members. One of the first things we try to do is let everyone know what talks, lectures, tours, studies, open houses etc. are happening locally. We also try to alert people of special projects, studies, and exhibits in the area. We don’t claim any special expertise that others in the county don’t have – and so we welcome anyone to share with the group and post information and stories on our mailing list and Facebooks site, from preserving photographs to special projects or getting help with a project or genealogy.   Please check us out and contribute what you know, post up your history events, or ask questions of the group.  Someone is bound to have already found out the answer. 

For our Facebook page, go here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/dchpn/

To join our mailing list, go here:  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/DCHPN/info