Sunday, August 25, 2019

Rose Hill Farms, an orphanage and upcoming events

Looking for information on the above picture from c.1920. Looking for a location and if it is still standing etc. Thanks Keith


Note: While doing some research I came across this newspaper article about this orphanage summer camp in Upper Providence Twp. Looking for a location and any information.

Thanks Keith

CHESTER TIMES  September  1923


 Visit to St. Joseph’s Institution for Girls in Upper Providence

          The bell in the belfry of the chapel at the summer house of St. Joseph’s Orphan Asylum for Girls, located a little to the west of Rose Tree, Upper Providence Township, was summoning the Sisters of Charity to evening prayer, just as William J. Sweeney, Thomas J. Ross, Jacob Schaffer and a Times representative drove up the winding driveway that leads to the stately old mansion on the grounds, which forma part of the grounds, which forms a part of the summer camp of the institution.
          The four Chesterites were invited to visit the chapel and join in the silent prayers offered up at the end of another perfect day.  Twilight was shedding its fast folding rays into the beautiful chapel, surrounded by trees of mammoth growth.  The flickering tapers and glow of the sanctuary lamp, gave a touch somberness that made the scene all the more enchanting.
          The chapel, which was a frame structure built in recent years, has a seating capacity of two hundred. Its appointments are of an order that at once serves to give peace to the mind, and it is here that ninety orphan girls and the ten Sisters of Charity in charge attend daily mass and at other times of the day offer up their supplications to God.
          Father McDermott, the Philadelphia priest, who only recently awakened a lively interest in civic matters of that city, presented the beautiful estate to St. Joseph’s Orphan Association for girls, situated at Seventh and Spruce Streets, eight years ago.  Ever since then the children of that institution have enjoyed from four to five months of the year real country life, under most pleasant conditions and surroundings.
          There are fifty-eight acres of land, which includes a beautiful woods.  The cultivated ground produce enough vegetables to supply the children and those over them in their needs of that kind.  From June to October each year the orphan girls get close to nature and escape the noise and heat of city life.  There are all sorts of amusements provided for them, including two Shetland ponies, “Billy” and “Nellie.”  These were lately presented to the orphanage, after the son and daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia had grown too big for them.  “Billy” will let any good little girl ride him, but no boy, be he good or bad, has been able to stay on his back.  He never knew any rider, other than the little mistress by whom he was raised.  With “Nellie” it is different.  Both boys and girls are welcome to ride on her back and she never “kicks up.”
          A most striking and beautiful piece of ornamentation to the grounds is a moral mound in the center of which is a life-sized snow white statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Blooming petunias of variegated colors, make a beautiful show, and when the ninety little orphan children gather at this spot for evening prayer and sing their good night hymn, under the glare of an electric light, the picture presented is on not soon to be forgotten.
          The one-story dormitory, with its snow white cots, brings tired little feet too rest, for by eight o’clock Standard Time, all are expected to be in dreamland.
          The visitors also had the pleasure of meeting with Sister Laura, daughter of Mrs. Joseph Messick, of this city.  She has been in the sisterhood for twenty-one years, eighteen years of which she has spent at St. Agnes’ Hospital, Baltimore, Md., nursing and caring for the sick and injured.  Sister Laura is at the above summer camp for two weeks, taking a much needed rest and meeting with friends from home.
          Father Tarahsie, who is of Spanish origin, has a cute little portable bungalow, which he occupies close by the chapel.  Much of his spare time is given over to the study of English, in which language he is becoming quite proficient.
          Mother Vincent, who is tall and stately and looks as if nothing was a trouble to her, has the responsibility of the camp on her shoulders, which responsibility will shift to the city home, when camp breaks up.
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Ridley Park Victorian Fair Walk

I will be given 2 tours September 7 at the Victorian Fair in Ridley Park. One at 11am and the other at 1pm. Tour will cover parts of Swarthmore and Sellers Ave. and take about one hour. Price ten dollars. We will start at the old Wells Fargo Bank parking lot. I only take about 10 or 12 people on each tour so let me know if you would like to go. Just send me an email at and I will add you to the list. You can register on September 7 but space may be limited. Thanks Keith


1 comment:

  1. Night Stalks the Mansion. Yes. It is on Rose Tree Road between Ridley Creek Road and Paiter Road.