Sunday, September 19, 2021

Wallingford's Horace Howard Furness Free Library and upcoming events


I love this picture!!. This picture from about 1940 shows the intersection of Rt. 320 aka Sproul Rd and Rt. 252 aka Providence Rd. You are looking north on Rt. 320 toward Swarthmore. The little road in the center of the picture branching off is Rt. 252 going toward Wallingford.


Note: Shakespearean scholar, Horace Howard Furness [1833-1912] a longtime resident of Nether Providence at his estate "Lindenshade" wanted to contribute money for a library in Nether Providence, A committee was organized and a small library was started in 1902, named for Horace Howard Furness Free Library. Furness wanted to donate more money but the committee refused to except it. Furness was embarrassed that the library was named after him being a quiet reserved man. When his will was probated in January 1913 it was found he had left $5000.00 dollars to the library to have a building built. There was one condition though, that the name of the library be changed to that of his wife, Helen Kate Furness. The library trustees did so. Dr. William H. Furness, 3rd, son of Horace, donated the land for the library for free. 


CHESTER TIMES  November 25, 1913 

LIBRARY FOR WALLINGFORD

 Valuable Lot of Ground Deeded For the Purpose by William Henry Furness, 3rd

            There has been recorded at the office of the Recorder of Deeds in Media a deed which proves that the interest in education and culture displayed by the past generations of the Furness family has not abated in the present generation of that family.  By the deed William Henry Furness, 3rd, conveyed to The Helen Kate Furness Free Library “in consideration of his desire for a free public library in the Township of Nether Providence,” a lot of land just north of the Wallingford Bridge and fronting on the Providence Road, having a frontage of eighty-eight feet and a depth of three hundred and sixty-five feet.  The lot is one of the most valuable in Wallingford and its location and surroundings make it most fitting for a library.

            Frank Miles Day, the distinguished architect of Philadelphia who designed many of the University of Pennsylvania buildings, is preparing plans and specifications for a library building which it is hoped to have completed early in the coming spring, when the library will be moved from the present location in the Wallingford High School.            

            The library was organized and incorporated in the year 1902 under the name of The Horace Howard Furness Free Library.  Dr. Furness at first hesitated in consenting to the use of his name owing to his desire to avoid publicity.  His consent was finally obtained, the organizers insisting that he should contribute no more to the running expenses than any other resident of the township.  He made a liberal contribution at the organization and while he presented many books to the library kept his promise regarding the running expenses than any other resident of the township.  He made a liberal contribution at the organization and while he presented many books to the library kept his promise regarding the running expenses.  Without the slightest hint to anybody he bequeathed the library the sum of five thousand dollars upon condition that the name be changed to its present name, thus showing further the love and esteem in which he held his wife.  The members of his family requested that the gift be accepted and the condition in the will be compiled with, and the name was changed to comply with the provisions of the will.  The directors passed a resolution that the legacy should be used only for the erection of a library and with the generous gift of the son, Dr. William Henry Furness, 3rd.  Wallingford will have a library which will be an honor to the community and a monument to those who have contributed by their labor and their substance.

            The movement for the library has stirred up local pride and awakened community interest among the people; and if it is found that the bids for the library building exceed the money in hand a generous public will undoubtedly respond by further contributions.  The constitution provides that no charge shall ever be made to residents of Nether Providence for the use of books and therefore the library has been and must be supported entirely by voluntary contributions.

            The officers and directors of the library are as follows:  Dr. Williams Henry Furness, 3rd, president; Wm. M. Wylie, Jr., secretary; A. B. Geary, treasurer; Mrs. Emma B. Palmer, Mrs. Susan Brown, James E. Miller, Powell Stackhouse.  John F. Murray and David Jayne Bullock, directors.

     Dr. Furness at first hesitated in consenting to the use of his name owing to his desire to avoid publicity.  His consent was finally obtained, the organizers insisting that he should contribute no more to the running expenses than any other resident of the township.  He made a liberal contribution at the organization and while he presented many books to the library kept his promise regarding the running expenses than any other resident of the township.  He made a liberal contribution at the organization and while he presented many books to the library kept his promise regarding the running expenses.  Without the slightest hint to anybody he bequeathed the library the sum of five thousand dollars upon condition that the name be changed to its present name, thus showing further the love and esteem in which he held his wife.  The members of his family requested that the gift be accepted and the condition in the will be compiled with, and the name was changed to comply with the provisions of the will.  The directors passed a resolution that the legacy should be used only for the erection of a library and with the generous gift of the son, Dr. William Henry Furness, 3rd.  Wallingford will have a library which will be an honor to the community and a monument to those who have contributed by their labor and their substance.

            The movement for the library has stirred up local pride and awakened community interest among the people; and if it is found that the bids for the library building exceed the money in hand a generous public will undoubtedly respond by further contributions.  The constitution provides that no charge shall ever be made to residents of Nether Providence for the use of books and therefore the library has been and must be supported entirely by voluntary contributions.

            The officers and directors of the library are as follows:  Dr. Williams Henry Furness, 3rd, president; Wm. M. Wylie, Jr., secretary; A. B. Geary, treasurer; Mrs. Emma B. Palmer, Mrs. Susan Brown, James E. Miller, Powell Stackhouse.  John F. Murray and David Jayne Bullock, directors.

If you are interested in local history please join our facebook page DCHPN
aka Delaware County Historic Preservation Network 

DCHPN Monthly

E-Newsletter

September is Delaware County History Month and Underground Railroad Month!

Check out all these events happening this month.

Historic Sites are still open

Read the announcements below for important information.

 

Emilie Davis’s Civil War

Sep 19, 1:30 PM
Zoom- registration required


Join Civil War scholar and author Judith Giesberg, Ph.D. for an illustrated talk about the diaries of Emilie Davis. Emilie Davis was 22 years old in 1861 when the Civil War began. In three slim pocket-sized diaries, Emilie wrote daily entries, recounting events big and small. $7/8

Learn More

*History Talk: Party Like It's 1976!

Sep 22, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Finley House, 113 W Beechtree Ln, Wayne, PA 19087


As we prepare for the country's 250th birthday, join local historian Jim Segrave-Daly to discuss how Philadelphia & Delaware County celebrated America's bicentennial. Bring your own chair or blanket. 

Learn More

DCHS Open House & Lincoln Banner Unveiling

Sep 23, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Delaware County Historical Society, 408 Avenue of the States, Chester, PA 19013


DCHS invites friends, donors and members to visit our building on Sept. 23 to tour the building and get the first look at the recently restored 1860 Lincoln Campaign Banner! $30

Learn More

A Silver Anniversary Celebration in an Historic Garden

Sep 23, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Bartram's Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19143


Join the Preservation Alliance for an elegant evening, as we honor Sam Katz, winner of the special Silver Anniversary Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the public’s understanding of Philadelphia history. $250-350, includes dinner

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Is Failure the Cost of Success?

Sep 23, 6:00 PM
Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106


Tracing the history of Olneyville, a neighborhood in Providence, RI, that has gone from urban decay to the cusp of gentrification, Joseph Margulies asks the most important question facing cities today: Can we restore distressed neighborhoods without setting the stage for their destruction? $0-10

Learn More

The Old "Falls Village" Walking Tour

Sep 25, 10:00 AM
Inn Yard Park, 4208-52 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19129


This walk will cover the nexus of the oldest part of East Falls. Addressing both history and architecture, it will cover a variety of buildings of various ages, styles and uses. We will also touch on what is no longer present and how to preserve what is. $10-15

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*LaFarge Rose Window Returns

Sep 25, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

 

The 1885 First Unitarian Church's stained glass window by John LaFarge is returning to the church after 30 years and subsequent restoration. Exhibits, music, refreshments, videos, tours and talks all day. 

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*History at Work

Sep 25, 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

Learn More

Civil War Skirmish & Camp

Sep 25, 11:00 AM – Sep 26, 4:00 PM
Colonial PA Plantation, 3900 N Sandy Flash Dr, Newtown Square, PA 19073


Federal and Confederate skirmish and camp. Witness firearm demonstrations, drills and camp life. There will be period fashions and displays of civilian life. Skirmishes will take place at noon and 2:15 pm. $8-12

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Designing for the Dead: Art & Architecture of Laurel Hill

Sep 25, 1:00 PM
Laurel Hill Cemetery Gatehouse, 3822 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132


The tour will examine changing tastes and fashions in grave markers over the past two centuries, from the classical obelisks and urns of the Federal period to the richly decorated crosses of the Gothic Revival to the massive mausoleums of the Gilded Age. $7.50-15

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Deep Rivers- How African Americans Waded through the Waters of Oppression to Achieve Greatness

Sep 26, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 W Tulpehocken St, Philadelphia, PA 19144


Our docents take you through the museum highlighting the lives, stories, and achievements of 19th-century Black entrepreneurs, intellectuals, and artisans with soundscapes and images. Sample a ginger cookie made from a recipe from  Fisher’s cookbook. $8

Learn More

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The "Marex on the Hill" mansion and upcoming events



The "Marex on the Hill" pictured above stood on Baltimore Pike till the 1960's. The large mansion stood where the west end of today's Springfield Mall is today. 


Note: Articles like the one below were common in the Chester Times Newspaper a 100 plus years ago. Numerous wealthy men and their families left Philadelphia to move to the "suburbs". Mansions like the one pictured below dotted Chester Pike, Baltimore Pike, West Chester Pike etc. Prior to 1920 Delaware County was considered farm country but the area began growing quickly in the 1920's. Slowly over the next 40 years these mansions disappeared. A few still remain.


 CHESTER TIMES – June  17, 1908 

SPRINGFIELD 

A New Mansion

          Mr. Graham, a rug manufacturer of Philadelphia, is having erected in Springfield Township along the Baltimore Pike a large and handsome mansion, which will be one of the most costly in this county.  The Philadelphia Engineering Company has the contract for the erection of the building.  The old blacksmith shop which has stood at Swarthmore Avenue and the Baltimore Pike for over a half century, and in which John Taylor has been continually and successfully conducting a horseshoeing and blacksmithing business for 52 years, has been razed to make room for the large and beautiful lawn which will adorn the front of this residence.  Mr. Taylor worked in the building until the fireplace in the shop was torn down.  Many of the best blacksmiths in this county learned their trade in this old shop with Mr. Taylor and many of them are gray-haired men today.  Mr. Taylor, who is nearly 80 years of age, will now retire from blacksmithing.


DCHPN Monthly

E-Newsletter

September is Delaware County History Month and Underground Railroad Month!

Check out all these events happening this month.

Historic Sites are still open

Read the announcements below for important information.

 

September Events

Story Time: Tops and Bottoms

Sep 12, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Colonial PA Plantation, 3900 N Sandy Flash Dr, Newtown Square, PA 19073


Story Time is from 12:00 PM until 2:00 PM. Following Story Time activities will include harvesting vegetables from the garden, corn husk dolls and candle making. $6/10

Learn More

*September 11, 2001: 9/11 + 20 - History Presentation by Roger Arthur

Sep 13, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Marple Public Library, 2599 Sproul Rd, Broomall, PA 19008


Local historian Roger Arthur will be sharing a PowerPoint presentation using photographs of the day and its aftermath. What happened at the World Trade Center’s twin Towers in New York City, at the Pentagon’s west front in Arlington, VA and the fate of United Fight 93.

Learn More

*The Flood of 1971 50th Anniversary Presentation

Sep 13, 7:00 PM
Aston Community Center, 3270 Concord Rd, Aston, PA 19014


Power Point Presentation, original newspapers about the infamous Sept 13, 1971 Flood in Aston Twp and surrounding area. Program is being held on the 50th anniversary to the DAY AND DATE of the flood!!
Building will open at  6pm  and you can enjoy ATHS various displays in the hallway cases.

Learn More

*DCHS Meet & Greet

Sep 14, 6:00 PM
Delaware County Historical Society, 408 Avenue of the States, Chester, PA 19013


Meet the new Outreach Associate for DCHS and other historically-minded people. Light fare and drinks available. Share ideas on how to promote and steward our history. RSVP requested

Learn More

A Kind of Private Princedome: The Story of the Country House

Sep 16, 7:00 PM
Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106


Adorned by great works of art and surrounded by nobly landscaped parks,  great ancestral homes are now being challenged by critics who see them as bastions of privilege, built from the proceeds of evil practices such as slavery. Clive Aslet will discuss their role in the past and today. $0-10

Learn More

*Yard Sale at 3rd Presbyterian Church

Sep 18, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Third Presbyterian Church, 9th St & Potter St, Chester, PA 19013


All purchases help fund the restoration, to be converted to a health clinic, library branch and arts & theatre center. Spaces available for $20, call 610-316-2978. Rain date 9/19. 

Learn More

*Public Archaeology day

Sep 18, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Newlin Grist Mill, 219 Cheyney Rd, Glen Mills, PA 19342


For this season we will not be allowing hands-on public participation, but visitors will have the opportunity to watch the archaeologists work and talk to them about the process and their finds!

Learn More

*13th Annual Pirate Festival and Encampment

Sep 18, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Market Square Memorial Park, 4 E Delaware St, Marcus Hook, PA 19061


This festival includes a full pirate encampment with period tents, demonstrations and showcases their wares, firearms, cannons and beer making. In the Park area we will have games, food, live music, face painting, pony rides, petting zoo, crafters, beer garden and much more. Benefits MHPS.

Learn More

Drink History

Sep 18, 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Historic Rittenhousetown Barn, 208 Lincoln Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19144


Paper making, beer, vendors, food truck, guided hike, tours of homestead, lawn games, live music and more! Enjoy an afternoon with friends & family and help preserve Phila. history. $25 (free under 12)

Learn More

Emilie Davis’s Civil War

Sep 19, 1:30 PM
Zoom- registration required


Join Civil War scholar and author Judith Giesberg, Ph.D. for an illustrated talk about the diaries of Emilie Davis. Emilie Davis was 22 years old in 1861 when the Civil War began. In three slim pocket-sized diaries, Emilie wrote daily entries, recounting events big and small. $7/8

Learn More

*History Talk: Party Like It's 1976!

Sep 22, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Finley House, 113 W Beechtree Ln, Wayne, PA 19087


As we prepare for the country's 250th birthday, join local historian Jim Segrave-Daly to discuss how Philadelphia & Delaware County celebrated America's bicentennial. Bring your own chair or blanket. 

Learn More

DCHS Open House & Lincoln Banner Unveiling

Sep 23, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Delaware County Historical Society, 408 Avenue of the States, Chester, PA 19013


DCHS invites friends, donors and members to visit our building on Sept. 23 to tour the building and get the first look at the recently restored 1860 Lincoln Campaign Banner! $30

Learn More