Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Missing School and Lansdowne 125th anniversary!!

An aerial view of the Tinicum waterfront courtesy of the Independence Seaport Museum. This view from the 1920's shows the Philadelphia and Corinthian Yacht Clubs.


The Missing Tinicum School

   The first school in Tinicum Township was a rental and its existence from 1843 and moved several times up until 1884 in Ashmead’s History of Delaware County is well documented. The school was associated with the Lazaretto and moved several times. A second school which was built in the summer of 1869 on property the Tinicum School Board bought from lawyer Aubrey Smith for one dollar. This school was used until 1916 when the property was sold to Westinghouse. The site of this school is the WaWa Store on Route 291, the Industrial Highway.
 But the old school in the western part of the township is the mystery. The school never shows up on any maps including the detailed 1909 Mueller Map. I always thought the school had closed but it hadn’t. On November 13, 1911 the new school house on Wanamaker Ave was dedicated, the site of this school is today a playground in the 200 block. The Chester Times covered the dedication and part of the newspaper article mentions the old school, see below.
 "This building is a three-story brick structure built immediately adjoining the old school house.  It has four commodious, well lighted class rooms, and is so erected that without making any changes to the present building it may be doubled in size.  At the entrance to the building a flight of broad, easy stairs lead to the second floor, and a reception hall.  On each side of this hall is a class room for the smaller children.  On the third floor are two other class rooms and the Directors’ room."
 The newspaper says the old school is right next to the new school being dedicated. But where? No deed was ever filed for a school in Tinicum except the 1867 school before 1910. Was the school property rented for over 60 years? Tinicum School Board minutes no longer exist so what is the answer? Perhaps someone out there has the answer and maybe a picture of the old school.

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