Friday, December 1, 2023

69th Street Trolley Lines 100 years ago

An early view, c.1910 of the 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby. In the early days trolleys went 
everywhere in Delaware County the article below will give some ideas.



         A STUDY OF THE SITUATION – The fine Union Station at Sixty-Ninth Street.  Philadelphia really means a great deal more to Delaware County real estate than even its substantial line would indicate.  Few pay much attention to it, or give any thought to it at all, further than to make the change to the point at which they are aiming.  Its greatest value to the community is the fact that it has made development possible to a great range of suburban county for a distance of 15, or perhaps, 20 miles.

         Take, for instance, the stretch of the old West Chester Pike.  To that it means as much, or more, than to any of the attractive outlying points.  It is considered a few years ago country forever, and how it come into the market, and very much into the market.

         Not so many years ago even young people can remember the end of the Market Street line at Sixty-Third Street, and how everyone who had the courage to go to West Chester that way, slighted in the road.  It was bad at any reason of the year, the car was seldom there, and if it was the rush for it ended “in the survival of the fittest,” and many had many had to stand.

         Contrast this with conditions today.  The line is now run by electricity with crowds, of course, at the rush hours, but in the main, with good accommodation – only thirty minutes from Front and Market Streets, Philadelphia, and then a comfortable station to wait in, and good cars to all points on a schedule that means something.

         A passing view of some of the sections is all that is possible, only a few of the activities being stated as well as sales.

         DREXEL HILL – At this point a very desirable tract of land is being developed by George W; Statzell. The entire property contains about 30 acres.  It is the highest point in the vicinity and the Delaware River is clearly seen from any part of the property.  The scheme is based on a division into one-half acre tracts and upwards.

         Many attractive dwellings have already been built, and the land is selling at $3000 to $4000 per acre.  Buyers locating at this point will be in easy distance of the proposed new golf course if plans now under consideration are carried out.

         MEDIA – This morning a new trolley line was put in operation from the Sixty-Ninth Street terminal direct to Media, connecting that attractive borough with the Market Street ferries and with the center of the city of Philadelphia.  The running tie from Sixty-Ninth Street to Media will be 30 minutes and the fare ten cents.

         This line will open up to the highest development a virgin section running about one mile north of the Baltimore Pike.  A syndicate has been formed and has been very active in acquiring property for development, the following properties have so far been purchased.

         Property of Lizzie G. Worrell, 120 acres, on Springfield Road

         James S. Austin, 74 acres, on Springfield Road

         Simon Bennett, 103 acres on State Road

         Jen Jensen, 3 acres on Springfield Road

         Samuel G. Hart, 53 acres on Springfield Road and Powell Avenue

         Directly opposite to this property is a tract of 92 acres on which an option is held.  This, with additional land available – in all, 120 acres – is under consideration by a prominent Philadelphia golf association.  Should it be determined upon, it will be one of the finest courses near the city.

         Further to the north, between Media and Newtown Square, Samuel M. Vauclain has purchased the following property:

            From Nathan L. Pratt, 150 acres on Newtown Road

           William Bartram estate, 160 acres on Line Road

           Springfield Water Company, 100 acres on Bishop Hollow Road

           Jesse L. Grim, 147 acres on Bishop Hollow Road

           Dr. Samuel Trimble, 107 acres on Bishop Hollow Road

         These purchases combined, make a holding of 550 acres in Marple and Newtown Townships and the land was acquired at from $200 to $300 per acre.  The property adjoins Crum Creek and also some of the finest estates near Media.  Large residence will be built upon the site.  Mr. Vaughan is the general manager of the Baldwin Locomotive Works.

         Other sales show as follows:  February 3, 1909, residence and 53 acres of ground, purchased by George H. Schott for $53,000; May 23, 1910, the Clothier residence at Media was sold by S. T. Freeman & Co. comprising large stone dwelling, stable and outbuildings and 40 acres of ground for $25,600.

         NEWTOWN SQUARE – It has been definitely announced by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company that the Main Line is to be electrified as far as Paoli.  The next section, it is believed will be the central division of the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad Company, on which are located some of the finest suburban settlements in and around Philadelphia.

         Newtown square has many attractive farm and suburban properties and more inquiry it noted her than for some time.  December 19, 1911, a sale of 211 acres appears on the West Chester Pike.  Edgar C. Howard to Thomas D. Wood, at about $600 an acre.  The fine property known as “Greenland” is held at $800 per acre.  Conditions are promising for an active market when spring opens.

         LANSDOWNE – one of the noted sections in the nearby suburbs, where a marked development has been made in the last year, is Lansdowne, located as it is only seven miles from Broad Street Station, on the central division of the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad.

         This community affords every convenience for the seeker of suburban homes, large or small, and can be reached by train in 13 minutes from Broad Street station, and by several trolleys with good running time.

         The country is rolling, draining into the valleys of Cobb’s Creek and Darby Creek, and is from 150 to 250 feet above tidewater.  Every convenience can be had – water, gas, electricity, tidewater sewage, schools, trust companies and general merchandise stores.

         One of the many attractive portion of Lansdowne is the southerly side of the railroad along Lincoln Avenue east at Wycombe Avenue and about six minutes from the station, and a very short distance from the Country Club of Lansdowne, which contains one of the finest nine-hole golf courses in this part of the country.  A very fine class of dwellings has been erected on lots 50 by 150m, houses being placed 40 feet back from the street, which is 50 feet wide thus giving ample room for the fine lawns and shrubbery.

         Properties are for sale now in Lansdowne, conditions are the best and the outlook all that could be wished.

         YEADON – This little suburb lies practically between Lansdowne and Darby, with which it is connected by the Darby and Lansdowne trolley, which, however, stop at the borough line, the Burgess and the powers in Lansdowne refusing their consent to have it go further.  It connects at the station in Darby with Philadelphia, Media and Chester.

         Land at this point is valuable.  It sold in 1904 at $800 per acre, as shown in the sale of 21 acres by the estate of Joel J. Bailey, to George J. Haehn for $12,129.  Some portions near Yeadon are much sought for on account of available sites for factory purposes, but, of course, sells at much higher figures.

         SWARTHMORE – Swarthmore is a collegiate suburb and has grown a great deal in recent years.  Many fine dwellings and handsome homes have been erected. The short run from the city makes it extremely desirable.  Some trouble, however, is caused by the scarcity of coaches, on the trains, especially on Sunday.  Friends often with their entire families, after spending a most enjoyable day in the country, find every seat filled.  Such a condition does much to disenchant the city man or woman.

         The Richard G. Parker tract on Swarthmore Avenue and River Avenue, is now being developed.  It lies north of the station.  The dwellings will contain “the last word in real estate” of their class.

         WALLINGFORD – Wallingford, too, is getting into the land activity.  Purchases have been made by T. Elwood Allison of a tract of ten acres adjoining Wallingford station now being developed into the finest kind of a residential section.  He had also purchased Richard A. Downing’s farms of 54 acres on Wallingford and Plush Mill Roads, as well as the Twaddell farm on Baltimore Pike, containing 49 acres.  The new trolley road to Media runs direct through this property.

         MOYLAN – In the Rose Valley section of Moylan, Charles J. Schoen has purchased Bancroft lower bank, farm, on Brook Have Road and Ridley Creek Road, 215 acres.  Old “Ted Morden Hall” is located upon the property and has been remodeled into one of the show places of the vicinity.  It will be remembered that this dwelling dates back to the Revolution.

         Mr. Schoen’s own residence is known as “Schoenhaus,” on the Rose Valley Road.  Adjoining it is the studio and residence of Mrs. A. B. Stephens.

         Desirable property through this section is now held at $2000 per acre.  A sale was recorded June 220, 1912, at Manchester and Idllewild Avenues of a stone residence and stable and one acre by Dr. William A. Phraener for $15,000.

         DARBY – Another center for the various systems of trolley lines is the borough of Darby, containing about 6000 residents, and being practically a part of Philadelphia, with all the conveniences of a large city.

         The dwelling proposition in Darby is largely constructed upon terraces.  Some of them have two and even three sets of steps.  All local interests report an exceptionally good winter along the lines of realty.  There is little for sale, but the usual amount is for rent, which according to present indications, will all be taken up in the next 60 days.      

         Several building operations are under way, one of ten dwellings near Darby station at Third and Pine Streets.  Four of these are nearly finished, and they will sell at about $2200.  Another operation about to be begun at Seventh and Walnut Streets is to be of 12 dwellings.

         On Darby Heights, just west of Darby proper, an operation of 20 dwellings, two story, porch front and terraces, has just been started by Frank Rhoads.  They will be very attractive in appearance and will sell for about $2200 each.

         It has been found that dwellings of this size are very much needed and that the demand is growing.

         Darby is still hoping for the elevated railroad out Woodland Avenue.  Local leaders are still working for it, and they think it is bound to come.

         Double tracks are about to be laid on Chester Pike from Darby to Chester.  This matter, it is believed, has been definitely determined upon, and as the work will start soon, this will help, as does everything, even the smallest betterment in service, to real estate conditions at outlying points


Friday, November 24, 2023

Indian History In Delaware County ! Names etc.

This is a 120 plus picture of boathouses on the west side of Darby Creek in Tinicum Twp. You can see the railroad tracks in the foreground. This is from a group of glass plate pictures I bought years ago,

Note: This is a nice look back on Indians in Delco. from names etc. Please share.


         Anyone exploring 20th Century Delaware County would find few reminders of the Indians who owned the land 300 years ago.  Recent maps show a few authentic Indian names:  Lenni, a village in Middletown, and Lenape, just across the Brandywine in Chester County, together give the name of the Algonquin tribe that lived in Delaware County when the first Europeans came.  Later they became known as the Delawares, after the English renamed the river which the Dutch and Swedes had called South River.  Tinicum comes from Tenakong, the Indian name for the island on which the Swedes, under Gov. Printz, founded the first permanent settlement in Pennsylvania.

         Muckinipattus Creek is the only stream in the county which retains its Indian name.  Naamans Creek was named for a chieftain whose speech at a great council held at Tinicum in 1654 kept peace between the Lenni Lenapes and the Swedes.  It was he who confirmed the purchases of land made earlier by the Swedes on which they based the claim that had long been disputed by the Dutch.

         Secane, a station on the Media Branch P.R.R., was named for one of the Indian chiefs with whom William Penn made a treaty in 1883 for purchase of the land between the Schuylkill River and Chester Creek.  That treaty begins:

         “We, Secane and Icquoquehan, Indian Shackemakers and right owners of ye Lands Lying between Manaiunk, alias Schuylkill, and Macopanackhan, alias Chester River does . . . hereby grant and sell all our Right and Title in ye said Landes,” etc.  Incidentally, the consideration was specified quantities of wampum, duffils (wooden goods), blankets, kettles, and guns, but no rum, which the while man had learned to withhold from the Indians.  By this deed, most of the present area of Delaware County was acquitted by Penn.

         Wawa, name of another P.R.R. station, is an Indian word meaning “wild goose,” but it apparently has no particular association with the county history.

         Aronimink, the name of a golf club located in Newtown Square, also the name of an Upper Darby community in which the club formerly had its course, is an Indian word meaning “by the beaver dam,” or “the place of the beaver.”  Its association with Delaware County began in 1900, when the Aronimink Golf Club of Philadelphia gave up its site on 49th Street opposite the old Belmont Cricket Club, to which many of its members had belonged, and merged with groups from the Lansdowne County Club and the Bala Golf Club to found a new club in Drexel Hill with the old name, Aronimink.  Research on the history of this name, with the assistance of JM. G. Marquissee, Secretary, and Freas B. Snyder, led to two sources:  First, the original club site in Philadelphia was a farm located in the Indian village of Arunnamink, which lay south of Woodland Avenue between Karakung or Cobbs Creek, and the Schuylkill River.  Both the village and a stream of the same name are shown on old maps, with variations in the spelling.

         The second possible source was the name of Chief Aronimink, an elderly Indian boy, near 54th Street and Whitby Avenue, in the 90’s .  There is also the possibility that his name came originally from the village.

         Though the name Aronimink did not belong to early Delaware County, it seems desirable to preserve it among traces of the Indians since it was a Lenni Lenape name and belonged to a village so close to the county border that its inhabitants might have had daily association with their cousins across the Kerakung.  These newer associations will at least keep the name alive and not allow it to be lost to memory as have so many of the Indian village names, including Conquannock, where Penn built early Philadelphia.

         In searching for traces of Indian occupier historians have tried to locate old trails.  Some believe that all early roads were laid on Indian trails, among the meandering courses of old roads to prover their theory, but early court records show that many of the first highways were laid out under rules made by the courts to carry roads from one plantation to another in the general direction desired.  No doubt, well-worn trails were used when possible, but travel was so difficult I pioneer days that roads wound this way and that to avoid hazards presented by swamps, woods, and steep hills, or to bring the traveler to a ford when the trail crossed a stream, in the days before ferries and bridges were established.

         Smith’s “Map of Early Settlements shows the Great Trail of the Minquas from the Susquehanna River to thee Schuylkill.  The Minquas were Indians of the Susquehannock tribe, belonging to the Iroquois group.  They were fierce and unfriendly, quite unlike the peaceable Delawares whom they held in subjection, jeering at them with impunity, calling them “cowards” and “women,” and coming to hunt in their territory whenever game was scarce in their own.  In the spring they came down to the Schuylkill to take the shad coming up the river to spawns, and at intervals came down to Ft. Beverside on the Schuylkill with thousands of beaver skins for trade with the Dutch and Swedes.

         This trail entered the county at the N. E corner of Thornbury, and extended southeastward through Edgmont, Middletown, Nether Providence, Springfield, Ridley and Darby to Karakung, where it turned south and met Minquas Creek, now called Mingo.

         The site of this trail has been marked with two monuments:  one on the Wilmington Pike south of West Chester; the other in Rose Valley, not far from Hedgerow Theater.

         More tangible evidence that this was Indian country may be found in the collections of Indian relics which are still treasured in many Delaware County homes, as well as in local museums.  These were gathered through the years by farmers who turned them up in their fields, or by youthful collectors who knew many places where they could dig up a rich harvest of arrowheads spear points, stone axes, and crude pottery.  Today such treasures are rather scarce, but in 1943 an important discovery was made in two rock shelters near Broomall, by three local residents who found an Indian burial site while hunting for arrowheads.

         When they realized that their discovery might have significance for archeologists, they reported it to the director of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, who assigned a member of his staff to supervise the excavation and study the findings.  After a careful survey of the site had been made, the whole collection of relics was removed and placed among the permanent exhibits of the museum.

         Since these were the first Indian shelters I Delaware County to bed uncovered and studied scientifically, the discovery was historically important.  It is believed that the shelters were used o winter hunting trips by Lenni Lenape Indians whose permanent villages were near the shores of the Delaware.  The completeness of the collection and the fact that it had been undisturbed for more than three centuries made it possible for the museum staff to reconstruct a phase of Indian life which throws new light on the early history of Delaware County.

         The passing of the Indians from the eastern seaboard was inevitable, as settlements multiplied, and the European population grew.  The Delaware always lived peaceably with their white neighbors, partly because they were not war-like, but principally because the white settlers treated them kindly and paid for the land on which they settled.  The treaties made by William Penn secured peace for Pennsylvania for many years until the outbreak of the French and Indian War threatened all of the colonies with the horrors of Indian warfare, though it never touched Delaware County.

         By 1775 the Delawares had all moved westward to sparsely settled land, excepting a few individuals who continued to live a free life on land where they were protected.  According to local historians, one little group consisting of Andrew, Isaac his son, and two sisters, Nanny and Betty, one of whom was Andrew’s wife, lived part of the time in Aston, where they had a wigwam on Chester Creek, as late as 1770.  They spent part of their time in another camp on Lownes Run near Joseph Gibbons’ house in Springfield.  Probably Andrew, Isaac, and Nany are the same Indians who lived on Thomas Minshall’s land near Dismal Run, until Andrew died in 1780.  He was buried in Middletown Friends Burying Ground, and the others joined their tribe in New Jersey.

         Dr. George Smith is authority for the statement that Indian Nelly, who had a cabin near Shipley farm in Springfield, as late as 1810, was the last of her race in the county.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Some Delco "Customs" that have long vanished

A Chester postcard from about 1920. The card shows West Ninth St. and the old Chester High School on the far left. Ninth St. was a street everyone wanted to live on.

Note: This article is from the Chester Times date unknown but probably from the 1920's. Delaware County was growing by leaps and bounds and this article talks about Delco "Customs" that were disappearing. Customs dating back to when Delco was mostly farms and had traveling salesman. Please read a fun look back.



         In days gone by, one of the sure signs of approaching spring, along with the sound of frogs croaking in the marshes, and the sight of children jumping rope and playing marbles, was the appearance of the organ grinder with his monkey.  He was a jolly, good-natured man who traveled on foot along city streets and country roads, stopping now and then to grind out a few lively tunes on the organ which he carried, strapped to his back.  He was a picturesque figure, dressed in rather shabby clothing, but his gay, red vest and the feather in his hat gave him a dressed-up air.

         Perched on top of the organ or sitting on his master’s shoulder, was the organ-grinder’s monkey, dressed in a little red suit and wearing a round, red at.  Around his neck was a leather collar to which a long, thin chain was attached.

         When the music began, people came out of their houses to listen, and children came running from every direction to dance and skip to the gay tunes, or to watch the monkey perform his little tricks.  When the show came to an end and the audience applauded, the monkey would make a bow, take off his cap, then walk around holding it out for the pennies and nickels people gave him to carry to the organ grinder.

         In the days before trolleys, buses, and automobiles made traveling easy, the organ grinder was just one of the people who went on foot from house to house, trying to make a living by selling something or performing a service for a small fee.  There was the Banana Man, for instance, who carried on one shoulder a great, heavy basket filled with ripe bananas, laid between layers of clean, dry hay to keep them from being bruised.  These he sold for a penny apiece, or ten cents a dozen.

         There were other peddlers who carried their stock in a basket or rolled up in a pack to be carried on the back.  They offered an assortment of household needs, such as needles, thread, buttons, pins, calico and other dress goods, handkerchiefs, and small kitchen utensils.  People depended on the peddlers because stores were far apart, especially in the farming country.

         Another familiar figure in days gone by was the Scissors Grinder.  His grindstone was set in a wooden frame which he carried on his back as he trudged along, ringing a large handbell and shouting “Scissors to grind!  Scissors and knives!”  If any one came out with something to sharpen, he would quickly slip out of the straps that held the grindstone to his back, sharpen what was handed to him, collect the money, and hurry away.

         The Umbrella Mender was another itinerant workman who went from house to house in city and country.  He carried a pack on his b ack which contained his tools and some old umbrellas and spare parts to be used in making repairs.  In one hand he carried the small lamp which he used to heat his soldering iron.  A good umbrella mender was always busy, because an umbrella was a family possession that was expected to last for many years and repairing one required skill.  Sometimes an umbrella man would mend holes in tin utensils.  This was a very useful part of his trade, for tin pots and pans and the big tin wash boilers in use did not wear as well or last as long as the iron utensils they replaced.

         The tin ware salesman carried on a flourishing trade in the latter half of the 1800’s, as can be learned from diaries and correspondence of that period.  The Tin Peddler, as he was called, carried his stock of tin pots and pans in small, light wagon with a top, drawn by an old horse.  The tin ware was hung all over the frame of the wagon and the clatter of pots and pans could be heard long before the team came into view.  The tin peddler was a welcome visitor, and was especially popular with the women, because he brought to the remote farms and villages the shiny tin ware that was so much easier to handle than the heavy iron pots and kettles that had been used for many years.  Like all itinerant tradesmen, he brought the news he had gathered in his travels, which was a great treat to people who had no telephones, no daily newspapers, and no radio sets.

         The disappearance of these traveling tradesmen has been gradual, brought about by building developments, better transportation, and a host of inventions.  Perhaps they may still be seen in country more remote than Delaware County is now.



Friday, November 10, 2023

Some Delco Court Cases from 100 plus years ago!!

The above picture shows Parker Ave. aka now MacDade Blvd in Collingdale, the exact location is unknown. The picture is from about 1900.


 March 29, 1911  


         “Foxy” is no common little one dollar dog.  Banish the thought.  True, it is that a note of that denomination was paid for “Foxy” when he was a puppy and the small boy who made the sale joyfully went off his way with the money stuffed safely in his picket.  “Foxy” has grown since then, and a proud little god he is.  He has cost much more than the original price paid for him.  In fact, $450 would hardly cover the cost, but the owner, Mrs. Emma Schreiner of Collingdale, does not have that price to pay, as a large portion of it falls on Harry W. Tyler, a Darby Township builder, who also laid claim to the collie.  It took twelve good and true men to decide the ownership of “Foxy,” and they rendered a verdict as a jury yesterday afternoon deciding that the dog is the property of Mrs. Schreiner.  The case was on trial the previous day and was concluded yesterday.

         AN EXPENSIVE CASE – To decide the ownership of the dog Judge Johnson had to occupy the bench for two days, about thirty witnesses were present in court for two days, receiving fees and mileage, four lawyers were engaged, and a jury had to serve.  Besides these expenses there were incidentals.  The county will have to pay for nearly all the amount owed to the jurors, who received $2.50 a day.  The loser of the litigation will pay the witness fees and general expenses.  Each party pays the attorneys.  Mrs. Schreiner, who secured the dog in the replevin suit, had to pay $40 for its keep during the litigation, which has lasted for a year.  She also had to put up a large bond for the dog. 

         J. H. Hinkson, J. DeHaven Ledward and Hiram Hathaway were attorneys for Mrs. Schreiner and William Taylor was attorney for Mr. Tyler.

         In the suit of James Holstrom, Inc. against Catherine A. Dougherty of Chester, judgment was entered in open court yesterday awarding the plaintiff $185.65.  The suit was on a promissory note and the amount claimed was $205.21.   The agreement to enter the judgment was reached yesterday.  A. A. Cochran, Esq. represented the plaintiff, and John E. McDonough, Esq. the defendant.

         Before Judge William B. Broomall one case was tried yesterday, that of F. A. North & Sons against Mrs. C. Hockery of Strafford.  Mrs. Hockery was purchasing a piano on a lease and had not paid at regular intervals.  The payment had been overdue but the piano company, which is located in Philadelphia, did not take any action.  When there was but $14 left to be paid the company replevin the piano.  The piano was returned to Mrs. Hockery.  The company sued not only to secure the $14 but to secure the piano, which is possible under the leases.  The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.  J. E. McDonough, Esq. represented the plaintiff and Ernest L. Green, Esq., the defendant.

         LAST CASE FOR TRIAL – The last case for trial this week in civil court was begun yesterday afternoon before Judge Johnson.  All the evidence was completed with the exception of that of one witness, leaving the argument and charge for today.  The suit is that of George Roberts Powell against Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company.  On May 9, 1910, a borrowed horse attached to a wagon was struck by a P. R. T. Car on Main Street, Darby, and Powell was thrown out of the wagon and hurt, for which injuries he sues for damages, claiming negligence upon the part of the company.  The company denied that there had been any negligence upon its part.  William Taylor, Esq. represents the plaintiff and William I. Schaffer, Esq., the defendant. 

Please Read



TO:            Historical organizations, municipal officials, and all persons interested in the heritage of Delaware County


FROM:        Barbara Marinelli



DATE:        November 9th, 2023




         Help us honor someone who is preserving our heritage by…


·       Restoring or rehabilitating a building, object or site


·       Publishing an article, book, or any written material about

history or our heritage


·       Contributing to the general public knowledge and awareness of Delaware County history


·       Creating a special program or project highlighting a facet of community history


We want to know about these projects and consider them for a Preservation Award. By helping us recognize these individuals, groups, organizations, businesses, or institutions, you will be helping to encourage the continued preservation of our County’s heritage. Coordinated by the Heritage Commission, these awards are presented annually by County Council during National Preservation Month in May.


Any group or person may make nominations for any category. The Award Categories and a Nomination Form will also be available online at We strongly encourage you to thoroughly complete the form and to include all of the necessary materials requested. We look forward to receiving your nominations.

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Clifford at 610-891-5223 or The deadline for nominations is Thursday, February 29, 2024.




Award Categories


I       Site Preservation

Nominations can include exterior and interior restoration, preservation, or rehabilitation of an historical structure and/or site in a manner that preserves the building or site’s historical, cultural, and/or architectural significance. Projects are divided into the following sub-categories.

1.   Residential Rehabilitation

This includes projects that rehabilitate a building, originally used as a resident, for residential use.

2.   Non-Residential Rehabilitation

This includes projects that rehabilitate a building for the same non-residential purpose that the building was originally intended.

3.   Adaptive Reuse

This includes preservation efforts that have adapted a structure designed for one use into an appropriate alternative use, thus reinventing the use of a space while preserving the architectural integrity.

4.   Architectural Detail

This recognizes efforts to restore exterior details of a building in a manner fitting its historic character. Examples would include, but not limited to, porches, cornice work, and window restoration.

5.   Restoration

This recognizes efforts to accurately depict the form, features, and character of a property or object as it appeared at a particular period of time.

6.   Site Preservation

This recognizes efforts to preserve sites of removal or armed conflict, or land with significant tribal, local or natural resources that offer whole stories of the people stewarding or living on this land.

7.   Cemeteries

This recognizes efforts to preserve cemeteries in Delaware County older than 100 years by maintenance projects, headstone repairs, or creating grave listings.


II     Publications

1.    Publications may include books, articles, magazines, videos, calendars, etc. that present the heritage of Delaware County.

2.    Also included are blogs, Facebook, websites, podcasts or other types of social media that connects the public with local and county history.


III    Special Programs/Projects

Examples may be in education, research, archival activities, or any other creative process used to preserve Delaware County’s heritage. These submissions can be ongoing or on a one-time basis.  

IV     Individual or Group Achievement

Individual Achievement recognizes a single person who has made a significant contribution by his or her support of and involvement in preservation projects or activities. Group Achievement recognizes a group who has formed for the purpose of history or preservation, such as a ‘Friends of’ group or Historical Society, and their general contributions to Delaware County, not just for a specific project.


V      Historic Preservation Planning

This category recognizes efforts in planning to preserve Delaware County’s heritage, including preserving buildings, complexes, archaeological sites, and community character. Examples include surveys, ordinances, creating historical commissions, design guidelines, National Register nominations, and municipal stewardship.


VI     Youth

The Youth Award recognizes a youth, who has made outstanding efforts to preserve Delaware County’s heritage through various projects undertaken, in school or outside, or through volunteering efforts.


VII   The Leedom B. Morrison Heritage Award

This Award recognizes preservation projects in the City of Chester that involve restoration, rehabilitation, or adaptive reuse of an historical structure or any other type of project that preserves the heritage of Chester City.


VIII  Legacy Award

To recognize and award the efforts of long-standing members of the business community that have demonstrated good stewardship and have maintained the architectural integrity and architectural elements of their historic buildings and site.


IX     Veterans Legacy

The Veterans award recognizes an individual or group whose efforts are to memorialize veteran’s history, sites, cemeteries, monuments, or objects.


X      Indigenous Heritage

This award recognizes projects that ensure preservation of Indigenous objects, traditional places or lifeways, and intangible heritage or languages.




·        You may nominate candidates or projects that have, in your estimation, made outstanding contributions in any of the categories listed above. All sites, projects, or publications must be within Delaware County or concerning Delaware County history.

·        Projects in Categories I, II, III, V, VII, and IX must have been completed within the past three years or be ongoing if it is a continuing program.

·        Construction projects may be commercial, institutional, or residential. The building must be at least 50 years old and must have retained much of its original character on the exterior and show compatibility on the interior. The surroundings and landscaping must be in harmony with the structure and its time frame (this does not preclude a structure that has modern development surrounding it).

·        The Commission’s decisions are final and will be based on the extant that the application demonstrates the projects’ positive impacts on Delaware County’s heritage. Incomplete applications or applications that do not contain enough information to understand the project and its importance to the county will not be considered for nomination.


Heritage Commission

Preservation Awards 2024



       I.        Site Preservation

     All nominations MUST include photographs, preferably before the project and after completion. Please provide a 1-3 page description that describes the project being nominated, the reason(s) for nomination, the significance and history of the building, site, or object, and the names of those having a significant role in completion of the project. The description must explain the work that was completed in enough detail to provide an accurate understanding of the scope of the project and how the work preserved the historic character of the building, site, or object. Please explain what changes were made to the historic building, site, or object, including any removal or replacement of original architectural elements and material. Please explain any efforts to preserve or replicate, where not possible to preserve, historic fabric and elements. Please describe any new additions, where they are located, their use, and how they relate to the original building. Please submit enough photographs to accurately show the building, site, or object and the work that was completed. Please submit digital versions of the photos if possible. The project will be reviewed based on the sensitivity to the historic character of the building, site, or object; preservation of historic materials and quality of project craftsmanship; and, impact of the project on the preservation of Delaware County’s heritage. 


    II.        Publications

2 physical copies of the publication (one will be returned) must be submitted if applicable. If digital/online, include the link to where it is publicly accessible in the description. Along with the publication, please include in your description a brief summary of the publication, the effort involved in its creation, its historical integrity, and its impact on Delaware County’s heritage. It should include a variety of primary and secondary sources used for the historical context. 


  III.        Special Programs/Projects

All nominations should give complete descriptions, and any supplementary materials, such as brochures, news articles, or photographs, should be submitted. In the description include enough detail to understand what the project entailed, the efforts involved, the educational and community impact, and how it preserves Delaware County’s heritage. It should include a variety of primary and secondary sources used for the historical context. 


   IV.        Individual or Group Achievement

Include in the description the individual’s or group’s various efforts to foster and preserve the heritage of Delaware County and their impact on Delaware County. Please indicate the length of their involvement in various projects and organizations and whether the service was paid or volunteer. At least 3 photographs are requested, showing their work. Physical photographs will be returned, but digital is preferred. 


      V.        Historic Preservation Planning Efforts

All nominations should provide complete descriptions with enough detail to understand what planning effort a person or organization undertook. Please provide copies (digital or printed) of any product, such as guidelines, National Register nominations, surveys, etc. Please describe the effort involved, its purpose, the final product or outcome, and how it preserves Delaware County’s heritage. 


   VI.        Youth

    Include in the description the youth’s efforts to foster and preserve the heritage of Delaware County. If the nomination is for a project or various projects by a youth, refer to Special Program/Project above for application requirements. If the nomination is for volunteer efforts, please explain the youth’s role, the amount of time dedicated, and the organization/project involved.



 VII.        Leedom B. Morrison Award

All nominations MUST include photographs, preferably before the project and after completion. For restoration, rehabilitation, or adaptive reuse, refer to Site Preservation above for the application requirements. For other types of projects, refer to Special Program/Project above for the requirements.


VIII.        Legacy Award

Businesses must be located in Delaware County, in operation for 50 years or longer, and located in a building designated as a local historic resource. The fa├žade of the building must retain its original character and appearance. Businesses may be nominated after they reach their 50th anniversary at the historic location and/or at their 75th, 100th, 125th anniversary, or any 5-year interval thereafter.  Nominations must be received within 3 years of the anniversary date. Eligible types of businesses may include, but are not limited to: professional services, retail, industrial, hotels, and hospitality.


   IX.        Veterans Legacy

Include in the description the various efforts to memorialize veteran’s history, sites, cemeteries, monuments, or objects. Please indicate the length of involvement in various projects and/or organizations and whether the individual or group was a volunteer or paid position. A photograph of the individual or group is requested for inclusion in the program. Physical photographs will be returned, but digital is preferred.


      X.        Indigenous Heritage

All nominations should give complete descriptions, and any supplementary materials, such as brochures, news articles, or photographs, should be submitted. In the description, convey details of the project scope and include the efforts involved, educational and community impact, and significance in preservation of Indigenous heritage. It should include a variety of primary and secondary sources used for the historical context. 



For all categories, please submit as much information as needed to convey the project. Entries of Publications, Documentaries, Videos and Special Projects should include a variety of primary and secondary sources used for the historical context.  The more information, the better the Heritage Commission members will understand the importance of the project. Whenever possible, digital versions of photographs and materials are appreciated (.jpg or .png at 400dpi or higher preferred for photographs).



To use the PDF:

·        Download AND SAVE the PDF form to your computer here

·        Complete the downloaded form

·        Resave the form with your information


Email the form with any supporting information to  (preferred) or print out the form, fill it out and mail it to:

Heritage Commission of Delaware County

C/O Delaware County Planning Department

2 W. Baltimore Ave. Suite 202

Media, PA 19063


To use the online form:

·        Go to  

·        Fill out the form and upload supporting documents

·        Submit (email additional information to


All nominations are due by February 29, 2024