Sunday, June 6, 2021

Early history of Hinkson's Corner and upcoming history events in Delco and elsewhere !


The intersection of Providence Rd and Possum Hollow Rd. in 1897. You are looking north toward Media on Providence Rd. from  Possum Hollow Rd. The house on the left has been remodeled but is still standing. Note the trolley tracks.

NOTE: Many old delco names have faded away in the past 100 years but you still hear some of us use the name Hinkson's Corner in Wallingford. The corner is at the intersection of Providence Rd. and Possum Hollow Rd. in Wallingford. The intersection has changed very little in 100 years.

CHESTER TIMES – March, 1903


Centennial Anniversary of the Little Village Known for Many Years as the Home of the Normans and a Garden Spot in the County

            “Hinkson’s Corner is the garden spot of God’s earth,” exclaimed Ezekiel R. Norman a few days ago.  That was the climax to some remarks in which the well preserved man of seventy odd years dilated upon the natural beauties of that section of Delaware County, its attractiveness as a place of abode and the means of communication which keep it in touch with all the rest of the world.  Mr. Norman, as he spoke, stood on the porch of the house in which he was born in 1831, and to which his father, Ezekiel Norman, the elder, had brought pretty Esther Van Culin a bride, ninety-five years ago.

            ORIGIN OF CORNERS – THE NAME, “Hinkson’s Corner,” does not antedate the Revolutionary period, for the grounds upon which the hamlet is located was, prior to that struggle, in the ownership of the family of Nathaniel Vernon, well-to-do people for those days.  When the war cloud burst, Nathaniel Vernon was Sheriff of Chester County of Delaware.  The father, who was the Sheriff, his sons, Nathaniel, Jr., and Gideon Vernon, were supporters and active adherents to the King’s cause, while Fredrick, another son, was, on the contrary, an enthusiastic upholder of the contentions of the united colonies.  Sheriff Vernon and his sons Nathaniel and Gideon were proclaimed traitors to the commonwealth, their estates confiscated and sold by order of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania.  Much of their lands, by those sales, passed into the ownership of the Hinkson family and as the latter’s holdings included three of the four corners at the crossed roads the locality soon became generally known as “Hinkson’s Corner.”

            THE BLACKSMITH SHOPS – James Hinkson, a wheelwright, in the last decade of the eighteenth century, resided in a frame structure at the northeast corner, where is now the stone building, erected in 1799, by James Hinkson, which Mr. Rufus Shapley has converted into a stable and used as a large entrance to his grounds.  At the northwest corner, where the present forge is located, Hinkson subsequent to the revolution built two shops one of logs and the other frame.  In one of these he conducted his business of wheel righting and the other was leased to Richard Nuzzum for a blacksmith shop.  At the southeast corner a few years prior to 1800, Mary Hinkson, a sister of James, put up a frame building, wherein she established a country store, which she conducted successfully for a number of years.

            EZEKIEL NORAM – Ezekiel Norman, the elder, was born in 1780, at Plymouth, Montgomery County, and while still a child of tender years his father died, leaving the widow to rear and maintain the family.  Often Ezekiel related that in the spring of 1794, when he was a lad of thirteen at a point where the Fairmount Dam was afterward built, with hook and line, he caught in the Schuylkill, thirty odd large shad, which his mother salted down for winter use.  That incident he told us a refutation of the generally received opinion that shad will not bite at a baited hook.

            When fourteen he was apprenticed to Enoch Rex, a noted blacksmith, of Flowertown, Montgomery County, and subsequently Ezekiel Norman himself became widely known as a skillful artificer in iron, at a time when from the delicate locks for fire arms to the heaviest machinery, all were made in the forges of the village blacksmith.

            In the early part of the year 1803 Ezekiel Norman purchased the good will and tools at the forge at Hinkson’s Corner, and on Monday, March 3, one hundred years ago today, entered upon a business career then that covered one half of the century which is now completed.  As trade prospered he purchased the shop, filled it with the most improved tools then known, and here he made all the screws used in the paper mills in this section, including those at Wilcox’s noted Ivy ills, and all that were required in the extensive snuff mills of Col. Thomas Leiper, at the present Avondale.  The thread on these screws, many of them of enormous size, were cut by power furnished by the old-timed sweep, that is, a horse geared to a swinging beam driven continually round in a circle.  When Ezekiel Norman introduced that improvement at his forge, the public gathered at the corners and watched the strange machine in motion with undisguised wonder.

            IMMENSE SCREWS – In 1818, when the city of Philadelphia was erecting Fairmount Dam and constructing the huge wooden wheels, which, driven by water power, in turn forced the water up into the distributing basin on the mount, John White of Flowertown, who had the contract for making the screws for the flood gates regulating the flow of water into the compartments to which these wheels were placed, was ill, and he advised the authorities to arrange with Ezekiel Norman to furnish the screws.  They were five in number, fifteen feet in length and large in circumference.  The screws made at the forge at Hinkson’s Corner were in use until August 1862, when the present turbine wheels were substituted for the wooden ones – which in their day were esteemed such marvels of mechanical skill that many travelers from the old world thought they were of sufficient importance to be given a place in the published report of their visits to this country.

            In 1831 when the then new United States mint at the northwest corner of Chestnut and Juniper Streets, Philadelphia recently demolished was being fitted with entirely new machinery and presses.  Ezekiel Norman was employed by the government to make all the screws required in the machinery for coining.  For many years those which he furnished were used until later improved methods rendered his work obsolete.

            MURDERER CRAIG – Among the numerous journeymen blacksmiths, who, at various times, were employed by the elder Norman at the Hinkson’s Corner forge, was John H. Craig, the first person, after Delaware County, was erected, to suffer the extreme penalty of the law.  Craig, who had been a soldier in the war of 1812, when honorably discharged, had purchased from the State the musket he had carried while in its military service.  It was with that gun he killed Squire Edward Hunter, on July 19, 1817, and, as he had cast it aside in his alarm, after committing the felony, when found that musket gave the authorities the first clue to the identity of the murder, Craig, in the hand bills issued offering a reward for his arrest, is described as about five feet ten in height, of stout build, a little knock-kneed, very much sunburned, freckled, thick lips, sandy complexion, and with large whiskers, a striking peculiarity at that time, when generally men shaved or at most indulged in short side whiskers, termed military whiskers.  The musket which is still retained in the possession of the county authorities at Media – Craig, on several occasions, repaired at the forge at Hinkson’s Corner, and at such time displayed the weapon with evident pride in its ownership.  For years afterwards, when the subject of the Hunter murder was discussed by the neighbors who met at the forge, the repairs there made to the old musket never failed to be recalled by one or more of those present.

            THE OLD HOMESTEAD – The old homestead in which Mr. Norman, the present owner, has lived his entire life, with its front door opening immediately into the parlor; its thick wall presenting deep recessed windows at which venetian blinds are still used to regulate the light in the apartments; the high mantel pieces with the shelves reaching well to the ceiling the huge fireplace, now enclosed with fireboards; the old china closet with its small panes affording glimpses of specimens of Delph, Baronial and Queensware that would cause many collectors to violate the tenth commandment; the spacious kitchen with its corner cupboard that a housekeeper of a century ago deemed as essential as the front door itself, all savor of our colonial period.  A heavy walnut writing desk, with a history of three generations extending back to a time when the crier in the old court house at Chester proclaimed the presence of the justices and closed that announcement with a supplication that God would save his gracious majesty King George; brass candlesticks, snuffers and tray, household articles and an abundance of relics of a bygone life and times are gathered within those old walls.  It is even questionable whether Mr. Norman himself knows how much has accumulated in his dwelling during the century in which it has been in his father’s and his ownership.

            REVOLUTIONARY EPISODESD – The old house, tradition states, with what accuracy I cannot determine, was at one time the residence of Major Fredrick Vernon, son of Sheriff Nathaniel Vernon, who, as before stated, with two of his sons, were active Tories in the Revolution.  When the British army took possession of Philadelphia in 1777, the father abandoned his large estate in Nether Providence and sought protection with the English forces in this city, while his son, Nathaniel Jr., joined the Tory lighthouse, commanded by Jacob James, a Quaker, whose flagrant outrages upon the people of Chester county aroused such a storm of indignation, that the Supreme Executive Council issued a proclamation offering a large sum for his capture. The differences in the political opinions of Nathaniel and Fredrick Vernon aroused an intense hatred between the brothers.

            While the Continental army lay inactive at Valley Forge, Major Fredrick Vernon obtained leave to visit his wife and family, it is said, at Hinkson’s Corner.  Through intelligence furnished by Tory spies in the neighborhood, Nathaniel learned of the presence of his brother at his home and determined upon his capture.  Accompanied by a detachment of the Tory lighthorse, Nathaniel left Philadelphia in the evening reaching the Corners shortly before midnight.  Ordering the men to surround the dwelling, Nathaniel forced the outer door and was about to ascend to the upper rooms when Fredrick, who had been aroused by the noise made in forcing an entrance, appeared at the head of the stairs, armed with a brace of pistols, halted his brother, and demanded the object of his visit.  Nathaniel, in reply, stated he had come to make him a prisoner and that he had no chance but must yield, for the house was surrounded, cutting off every avenue of escape.  He promised his brother, in the name of Sir William Howe, that if he surrendered and enrolled himself with the Royal Americans, the influence of the family, with that of the Commander-in Chief, would be used to secure for him, an important position in the administration of the colony, when the rebellion was crushed, as it assuredly must be Fredrick stoutly declined to yield, declaring that only as a dead man could he be captured, and that if his brother or any of the Tory lighthorse attempted to ascend the stairway he would shoot the intruder.  The house was the property of the sheriff, and, as the loss would, he thought, fall upon his father, Nathaniel hesitated to apply the torch, hence balked in his mission, and he was compelled to retreat, leaving Fredrick master of the situation.  Nathaniel subsequently became a captain of cavalry in the British Legion, while Frederick served with credit throughout the Revolution and was one of the founders of the Society of the Cincinnati.

            FOUNDERS OF ALLEN’S HILL – The house subsequently passed into the ownership of Sarah Allen, who in 1808 sold it to Ezekiel Norman, the elder.  It is now the property of Ezekiel Norman, the youngest, an ownership of two generation, covering a period of ninety-five years, an incident of exceeding variety in the history of titles in real estate in this county.  Sarah Allen, the prior owner, was a daughter of Thomas Allen of Wallingford.  Herkshire, England, a dissenter from the Church of England, who, early in 1793 settled in Springfield, where he died in March of the following year.  In commemoration of his old home in the motherland, he called the place of his settlement to Delaware County, Wallingford, and a name that still obtains in that neighborhood.  In 1837, in proceeding in the High Court of Chancery in England, the children of Thomas Allen were cited to appear in London before Sir Griffin Williamson, one of the masters of that court, to prove their claim to a legacy under the will of Elizabeth Pentycross.  What was ultimately done in that matter I have failed to learn. Sarah Allen was one of the persons named in the citation.  Allen’s Hill, on Providence Great Road, south of Hinkson’s Corner, receives its name from this family.

            Ezekiel R. Norman in 1852, when his father retired, succeeded to the business and what is peculiar is that the elder Norman conducted the business for forty-nine years, and without intention to cover a like period of time, his son conducted the business at Hinkson’s Corner for a like number of years, the younger Norman having leased the shop to the present tenant two years ago 


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

Preservation Alliance Architecture Walking Tours

May 29, 10:00 AM – Oct 31, 4:00 PM
Various locations- check website

Architecture Tours are back, from May through October. 10 am on Saturdays and 2 pm on Sundays (and some Wednesdays at 6 pm) at various locations. Check the website for updated dates, times, and tours. $10 members, $15 non-members

Learn More

CFHS Yard Sale

Jun 05, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Chadds Ford Historical Society, 1736 Creek Rd, Chadds Ford, PA 19317

Are you looking for a way to support Chadds Ford Historical Society while shopping for great deals? This is the event for you! Come out on June 5th and shop for some hidden treasures at our yard sale. All the money that you spend will go to support the society. 

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*Historic Newtown Square Day

Jun 05, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Square Tavern, 3716 Goshen Rd, Newtown Square, PA 19073

All of our historic buildings will be open for tours. Festivities held at Square Tavern include historic demonstrations, food, music, activities, Revolutionary War encampment and art sale. 

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*Inland: The Abandoned Canals of the Schuylkill Navigation

Jun 08, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

Sandy Sorlien will show some of the hand-built works of the canal, most from the 1840s. She will also address the Navigation’s role in the Industrial Revolution, as canal boats brought anthracite coal from Schuylkill County to tidewater at Philadelphia.

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PAGP 2021 Preservation Achievement Awards

Jun 09, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Online- tickets required

Each ticket includes an Event access link and an Experience Box with a printed program and a gourmet culinary adventure from DiBruno Bros., shipped right to your home or office! $100-250. Digital-only tickets available ($12-15)

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*Virtual Genealogy Workshop- DCHS

Jun 09, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Online- registration required

Sharon Martini will share tips on how individuals can maximize sources in doing family research and the rare resources available at DCHS, including family files, deeds, church records and more, by guiding attendees through a real case study.

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*Catalyzing Community Driven Development (CDD) in Kensington

Jun 10, 10:00 AM – 11:30 PM
Online- registration required

This presentation will explore not only why a CDD approach should be implemented in Kensington but how it should look. We will also explore the very intentional steps currently being undertaken to implement a CDD strategy as well as the challenges that come with moving from theory to practice.

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*Behind the Scenes Tour: Seldom Seen Bellaire Mansion in FDR Park - Flower Show Special!

Jun 10, 12:00 PM

Zoom- registration required


Long before there was an FDR Park, there was Bellaire Mansion, built c. 1714, which originally sat at water's edge, before being surrounded by what is now hundreds of acres of landfill turned into parkland. Longtime caretakers Cheryl and Meryl Brubaker will lead us on a behind-the-scenes tour. 

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*Benjamin Franklin and his Lightning Rods

Jun 10, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Online- registration required

A co-presentation with the Benjamin Franklin House in London, UK and Christ Church Preservation Trust.

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Celibacy and Sedition: Pennsylvania's Other 18th-Century Landmarks

Jun 10, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Online- registration required

Mindy Crawford, ED of Preservation Pennsylvania and author of Historic Pennsylvania: A Tour of the State's Top 100 National Landmarks, shows us some of the remarkable 18th-century sites that enrich our Commonwealth but are not in Philly. $5 non-members of Carpenter's Hall

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*Old Glory: History of the American Flag

Jun 10, 7:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

With original photographs, vintage images, and patriotic music, Kevin Woyce explores the history of the American Flag, from its origin in the Revolution to the addition of our 50th star in 1960. He also explains how a poem about the 1814 Battle of Baltimore became our National Anthem.

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*Opening Day of New Sweden Colonial Farmstead

Jun 12, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Governor Printz Park, Taylor Ave & W 2nd St, Essington, PA 19029

All 7 log structures open for display by re-enactors. 11 am Costume Parade, 11:15 Welcome, 11:30 Presentation of Awards. In conjunction with car show and flea market. 

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*TTHS Flea Market

Jun 12, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Governor Printz Park, Taylor Ave & W 2nd St, Essington, PA 19029

Tinicum Township Historical Society Flea Market, in conjunction with Antique Car Show. Food, Music, Swedish Cabin Tours, Face Painting. Spaces available for vendors and food vendors (by June 4).

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*Governor Printz Antique Car Show and Shine

Jun 12, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Governor Printz Park, Taylor Ave & W 2nd St, Essington, PA 19029

Pre-90s car show ($10 registration), play area for kids, food, music, 50/50. In conjunction with TTHS Flea Market. 

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*Elfreth's Alley 'Flea for All'

Jun 12, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Elfreth's Alley Museum, Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Elfreth's Alley Association is holding a fundraiser market in the museum garden and other locations around Elfreth's Alley. There is a variety of items with character for sale, with proceeds supporting the ongoing work of preserving Elfreth's Alley. Rain date 6/13.

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*Finding Justice: The Untold Story of Women's Fight for the Vote (Movie Screening & Q&A)

Jun 17, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Online- registration required
Finding Justice: The Untold Story of Women's Fight for the Vote (Movie Screening & Q&A)
Join us for a virtual screening of the Justice Bell Foundation's new documentary Finding Justice: The Untold Story of Women's Fight for the Vote. Then, stay for a question-and-answer session with Amanda Owen.

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*The Barnes Foundation: Beyond Paul Cret

Jun 17, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Online- registration required

Derek Gillman will talk about the relationship between Paul Cret’s original Barnes Foundation building in Merion and Sir John Soane’s Dulwich Gallery, and how the architectural intention of Cret and Albert Barnes was carried forward by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien into the new Barnes building.

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*Pillars of Fire: Legends of New Jersey SHEroes

Jun 17, 7:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

A pillar of fire is a symbol of those lighting the way for our journey. New Jersey holds heroic stories of many women who lived and worked here. Michelle Washington Wilson, one of NJ’s Favorite Storytellers, will tell stories of some of the courageous women who lived and made a difference.

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French & Indian War Encampment and Skirmish

Jun 19, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Colonial PA Plantation, 3900 N Sandy Flash Dr, Newtown Square, PA 19073

Become an eyewitness to history, as the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation becomes the backdrop for scenes from the French and Indian War. It’s the French and British fighting for control of the frontier. $6/10

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*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

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*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.

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*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

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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

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*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.

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*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

Learn More

*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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