Sunday, June 20, 2021

Chester Heights Camp Ground some 100 plus years ago!! And upcoming History events etc. in Delco!!


The above postcard is from about 1910 and shows the entrance to the camp grounds. The view has changed very little since then.

Note: The Chester Heights Camp Ground was founded in 1872 when they purchased some 148 acres in what was then Aston Twp. The camp is still in business and the boro of Chester Heights grew up around it. The boro was incorporated in 1945 and has a population of about 3000. The article this week is about Chester Heights Camp life from over 100 years ago.

Children at the camp had to attend meetings etc. it was not all fun. The above certificate is from 1897 

JULY 8, 1913


Fifty Families Already Located There For the Summer

          Once more people are on the old tenting ground, getting ready for the camp meeting of this good old Methodist place of 60 many sacred remembrances, and happy gone by days.  While many of the old faces are not seen here anymore, yet others rise up to take their places.

          Fifty families are already settled in cottages, for the season and only about four cottages are not taken.  There are two nice cottages that can be rented and two smaller ones but it is not likely these will be on the market long.

          The grounds are being cleaned and put in good condition.  There is plenty of water in the reservoir and five good wells with pumps and water of the best.  And the water question is to be made one of particular importance.  The Cottager’s Association have contracted for and have the cash to pay for an artesian well up on Summit Avenue.  The machinery and tools will arrive in a few days and they expect to begin drilling this week.  This promises to make the old stagers and natives sit up and take notice.

          The swimming pool is full and the folks, big and little, young and old, are making good use of it.

          The truckers and nearby farmers are in the grove every day with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, berries, etc.

          The camp store and one of the best up-to-date stores, has been open and doing a good trade for one month.

          The farmer, Mr. Paxson, supplies the cottagers with ice every day or when wanted.  Ice is also at all times ready to haul for the cottagers’ trunks, furniture, etc.

          The devotional committee conduct regular Sunday school exercises every Sabbat at 10:30 A. M., and preaching at 3:00 P.M., by the Rev. John Smith of Mt. Hope M. E. Church.  Young People’s meeting or song service is held at 3:00 P. M. with the regular prayer meeting every Wednesday night.

          The board of managers are trying to have everything in good shape for the camp, both spiritually and financially holding extra meetings of the board to keep in touch with the progress of the times.

          The fifth annual carnival of the Cottagers’ Association will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 17th, 19th and 19th.  The cottagers promise that this will excel all former years.  With music and many new attractions, it has become the great event of the grove.  They are to be commended in this good work and should be liberally patronized, as they use the proceeds for the improvement of the campground.

          The camp is making a record this season, with one death, one birth, and one marriage.

          One of the first campers and original stockholders and about the only one now living, Mrs. Margaret S. Conn and family of Atlantic City, are comfortably housed in her cozy cottage on the Circle.  Mrs. Conn is in her eighty-fifth year, but gets out to the meetings and enjoys herself.

          The spiritual director, Rev. Jones, has his arrangements about all made and is working to make good this year.

          Calvin H. Smedley, superintendent of the grounds, is a very busy man and is making the grove look clean and inviting.

          Hamilton D. Ewell, president of the Cottagers’ Association, is another busy man.  He has his overalls on and is down to hard pan.  He is the right man in the right place.


 Special Thanks to Kate Clifford for her work in the newsletter below

DCHPN Monthly


June is Pride Month! Check out all these events happening this month.

Historic Sites are reopening!

Read the announcements below for important information.


June Events

 Please check the websites for updated information before attending and be safe!


* Indicates a free event. Some events require pre-registration and close when full. The list includes events in the surrounding areas as well. If you have an event you would like on this list on future         e-newsletters, please submit by the end of the month to

*Juneteenth Festival

Jun 19, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Johnson House Historic Site, 6306 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Come celebrate and commemorate the 156th Anniversary of Juneteenth – the end of slavery in the United States. The Festival features a day of educational activities and entertainment on Germantown Avenue. Featuring panel discussion: Philadelphia Health Crisis: The High Rate of Gun Violence

Learn More

*Organized Crime: Prohibition Era--Virtual Tour of Eastern State Penitentiary

Jun 22, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

Join a virtual tour of America's most historic prison, Eastern State Penitentiary, and learn more about how it intersects with the history of organized crime in the era of prohibition. Embark on an in-depth virtual exploration of vice, scandal and the struggles it faced in the early 20th Century.

Learn More

*Leveraging Legacy: 30 Years of Community Centered Design with Tya Winn

Jun 22, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

In 2021 the Community Design Collaborative celebrates three decades of providing pro-bono design services to Philadelphia neighborhoods. New Executive Director, Tya Winn, will reflect on the projects and values that supported the completion of 1000+ design projects totaling over $13 million in value

Learn More

Building Monuments, Monumentalizing Buildings

Jun 23, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Online- registration required

What makes a building a monument? Some of the buildings that hold the most meaning for us, including Independence Hall, were not built to be monuments. What monumentalized them? History offers important lessons for us today, as we strive to create monuments that reflect our values and aspirations.$5

Learn More

*Women Are Essential: New Ways of Seeing Women in Every Historic Place

Jun 24, 3:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

From the home of an internationally acclaimed African American civil rights activist to a small “Cent Shop” that provisioned a 19th century seaport, women were absolutely essential to the success of a wide range of social, intellectual, and economic activities.  Learn how to see women at every site.

Learn More

*History at Work

Jun 26, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Newlin Grist Mill, 219 Cheyney Rd, Glen Mills, PA 19342

Get a closer look at trades of the eighteenth century in Newlin’s “History at Work” series. Members of Newlin Grist Mill’s staff, volunteers, and outside artisans will demonstrate their crafts and talk with visitors about how different trades and skills were integral to life in colonial Pennsylvania

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*Using State Historic Tax Credits to Create Affordable Housing

Jun 30, 4:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

Hear three perspectives on how state historic tax credits can help repurpose historic buildings to create new units of affordable housing. Hear from examples in Massachusetts, Delaware, and Maine.

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*History of the LGBTQ Movement in Philadelphia

Jun 30, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Zoom- registration required

William Way LGBT Community Center curator Bob Skiba will present on the history of the Philadelphia LGBTQ movement while placing it in a national context of LGBTQ history.

Learn More

*Preservation on a Shoestring: Creative Solutions for Collections Care

Jun 30, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Zoom- registration required

For many institutions with collections of local history, the reality is very different from the ideal recommendations for care of artifacts and maintaining storage environments. This webinar provides guidance on getting started with collections care. DCPD Program.

Learn More


Collections Care

The Delaware County Planning Department has teamed up with Stephenie Bailey of CCAHA and Nether Providence Historical Society to help historical organizations care for their collections. If you are a Delco organization with collections, you will soon receive a short questionnaire in your email so we can identify the needs of the groups and hopefully get a grant to help. If you respond, you will get a chance to win a 1:1 consultation with Stephenie for your group. Also check out the webinar on June 30 (see link above) where Stephenie will present creative solutions for collections care and you will get a chance to win a package of preservation supplies. 


Heritage Commission Preservation Awards

The Heritage Commission of Delaware County held its annual Preservation Awards on May 15. Check out the video, photos and programs on the Heritage Commission website.


Delco Heritage Tourism

If you are with a Delaware County Historical Organization, you may have received a survey by the Heritage Tourism Task Force about Heritage Tourism in Delaware County. This survey is for all organizations that host events and/or have sites to visit so that Visit Delco, PA can help promote your group, including free marketing materials and photos. Please fill it out as soon as you can. is the link to the survey. Fill out one survey per site and/or organization (so if you are responsible for two sites, fill it out twice). Thanks!


Open Houses starting!

See the list below for current open houses this summer. If you have tours and open houses for your historic sites at any time in the next few months, please email to get on the next e-blast to promote your site.


America 250 PA Delco- new name!

The America 250 PA Delco Committee is forming to help celebrate America's 250th Birthday in 2026 with events, programs and celebrations from 2021 onwards. To be consistent with the state commission America250PA, we are now America250PADelco. Follow us on social media:

Facebook    Twitter    Instagram

Website to come soon


What Kind of Preservationist Are You? 

Take the quiz to find out!


America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places List

Each year, America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places sheds light on important examples of our nation’s heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. More than 300 places have been listed in its 34-year history, and in that time, fewer than 5 percent of listed sites have been lost. Most of these places just need petitions signed, so help them out!


Open Houses

Delaware County Historical Society

Tuesdays-Thursdays 10am-4pm

408 Avenue of the States, Chester, 19013


Nitre Hall- Haverford Twp

June 27, July 25, Aug 29, 12-3 pm

1682 Karakung Drive, Havertown, 19083


Thomas Massey House- Marple Twp

Sundays 1-4 pm, May-Oct

Behind 469 Lawrence Road, Broomall, 19008


Morton Morton House- Norwood Borough

Sundays 1-4 pm, June-Sept

517 E. Winona Ave, Norwood, 19074


Lower Swedish Cabin- Upper Darby Twp

Sundays 1-4 pm, May-October

9 Creek Road, Drexel Hill, 19026

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