Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Atwater Kent Real Estate Deal the largest in Delco's History!! Upcoming July History Events!!

The above advertisement  is not from 1929 when Atwater Kent bought the property but when he sold it 20 years later in 1949, By then his estate was 1200 acres. Kent never built his million dollar plus estate but had a nice one in Haverford. The Great Depression ruined his plans. When the estate was sold in 1949 it was the largest real estate deal ever in Delco!!

NOTE: Radio maker Atwater Kent was a rich man in 1929 when he purchased 800 acres of prime Delco real estate. The property along with some other purchases was auctioned off in early October of 1949 and took 3 days. Below the article from 1929 buy, you will see information and pictures on the 1949 sale.

April 18, 1929 

 TO BUILD $1,500,000 HOME

          The largest transaction in suburban property ever made in this section of the State has just been closed between Walter Wood and the heirs of Stuart Wood, and A. Atwater Kent, whereby the radio manufacturer has agreed to purchase Brookthorn Farms.

          The purchase price of the estate was fixed at $2,500,000 and it contains a tract of between 720 and 800 acres lying between Haverford and Darby Roads, Radnor and Chester and Marple Roads in Haverford and Marple Townships, southwest of Ardmore and Haverford in Delaware County.

          $1,500,000 RESIDENCE PLANNED – On this estate, which is said to be one of the largest privately owned properties in the east, Mr. Kent will build a large residence, which with stables, garage and cottages for servants and gardeners will cost an additional $1,500,000.

          The new Atwater Kent estate, when the residence and landscape gardening is completed, will represent one of the finest country properties in the world, it was said.

          The tract is of great natural beauty, its resemblance to the rolling downs of Kent in England having been often remarked upon.  It is well wooded and intersected by Darby and Ithan Creeks and several smaller streams.

          In plans for the beautification of Delaware County, the preservation of much of the land of the estate and the creek beds which intersect it was charted on a comprehensive plans for the area.

          The property is adjacent to several beautiful estates in the Philadelphia area, among them being the places of Horatio G. Lloyd, Clarence A. Warden, J. Stanley Reave, Eckley B. Coze, 3d, and William Struthers Ellis.

Below are 2 pictures and information from the Atwater Kent Real Estate Booklet from 1949, Look at the pictures and see how wide open Marple Twp. etc. was at that time.


DCHPN Monthly


Happy Independence Day!

Check out all these events happening this month.

Historic Sites are reopening!

Read the announcements below for important information.


July 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

Tweens, Tots, and Storied Plots: A Tour of Laurel Hill Just for Kids!

Jul 11, 10:00 AM
Laurel Hill Cemetery Gatehouse, 3822 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132

Circuses! Selfies! And…Mummy Parties! Oh, My! The history of Philadelphia isn’t just for grownups! Join us on a tour of Laurel Hill Cemetery for kids and learn about some of the neat, weird, and occasionally gooey stories of Laurel Hill’s permanent residents! $7.50-15

Learn More

Nature Time-Bees & Insects

Jul 11, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Colonial PA Plantation, 3900 N Sandy Flash Dr, Newtown Square, PA 19073


We will discuss what an insect is and why they are so important. We will also discuss the difference between beneficial and non beneficial insects as well as native and non native insects. There will be hands on activities and a visit to the Plantation’s bee hives with master beekeeper Warren Graham

Learn More

*History Talk: Party Like It's 1976!

Jul 13, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Nitre Hall upper driveway stage, 1682 Karakung Dr, Havertown, PA 19083

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. Will be recorded.

Learn More

Abraham Lincoln, The Quakers, and Civil War

Jul 14, 6:00 PM
Arch Street Meeting House, 320 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

William Kashatus will discuss the influence of Quaker belief and practice on President Lincoln’s decision-making during the Civil War. Kashatus will show how Lincoln skillfully navigated a relationship with one of the most vocal and politically active religious groups of the 19th century. $1-5

Learn More

*Virtual Tour of American Swedish Historical Museum

Jul 15, 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM
Zoom- registration required

Founded in 1926, the American Swedish Historical Museum in South Philadelphia is the oldest Swedish museum in the United States. The museum boasts 12 galleries. Join the museum for a virtual tour and Q&A.

Learn More

*Learn at Lunchtime- Artifact Legends from the State Museum

Jul 16, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

The State Museum collection includes an incredible array of artifacts with fantastic legends attached to them. Join Program Director Bradley Smith as he discusses research findings which are shedding new light on the veracity of several prominent artifact legends from our collections.

Learn More

Sunset Summer Series: Chinatown Food Tour & Film Screening

Jul 16, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Chinatown Arch- Arch & 10th, Arch St, Philadelphia, PA

From 6-7:30, go on a food tour of Chinatown. $5 because of food samples. Start at Chinatown Arch and end at Rail Park. 8 pm watch a short film festival at the Rail Park. Free

Learn More

South Street Safari

Jul 22, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, 1020 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Go on a scavenger hunt to find animals in the many local mosaic murals! Be the first group to find them all! Printable version available the next day. Proceeds benefit Morris Animal Rescue. $5-15

Learn More

H2 OH! Waterpower Walking Tour

Jul 25, 11:00 AM
Hagley Museum, 200 Hagley Creek Rd, Wilmington, DE 19807

In the H2 Oh! walking tour, visitors discover the evolution of waterpower at Hagley from the water wheel to modern waterpower and how the DuPont Company harnessed the power of the Brandywine to make black powder for over 120 years. 

Learn More

Story Time-John, Paul, George & Ben

Jul 25, 7:00 PM
Colonial PA Plantation, 3900 N Sandy Flash Dr, Newtown Square, PA 19073

We will be reading from a children's book, the children will then do a hands on activity, go on a behind the scenes farm tour and then you are welcome to picnic in our grove! $6-10

Learn More

*Becoming American: Jewish Immigration in the Early 20th Century

Jul 28, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

Help us welcome the National Museum of Jewish American History as they present their program "Becoming American: Jewish Immigration in the Early 20th Century"! Experience how historians and museum staff interpret material culture and tell stories.

Learn More

Defending the Delaware: A Special Two-Part Event- Part 1

Jul 28, 6:00 PM
Online- registration required

Explore the fascinating history of how the Delaware was fortified during the Revolution and help to build a replica of one of the defenses. Part 1- learn more about Robert Smith and how chevaux de frise were used to fortify the Delaware during the Revolution. $5-10

Learn More

*18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics

Jul 29, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

Join us as we welcome award-winning writer Bruce Goldfarb who will share the story of Frances Glessner Lee, the mother of forensic science. She is known for creating 20 dioramas in miniature of actual crime scenes that were used to train homicide investigators. 

Learn More

*Learn at Lunchtime- Treasures from the Vault

Jul 30, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM
Zoom- registration required

Join us for an insider’s view of fascinating artifacts with State Museum Program Director Brad Smith and curators.
Presentations will start at 12:15 PM and will last approximately 20 minutes followed by a question and answer period.

Learn More

*History at Work

Jul 31, 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

Summer Paper Making Series

Jul 31, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Historic Rittenhousetown Barn, 211 Lincoln Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19144

 In this workshop, you will learn how to process different types of plants into usable material, which parts of those plants work the best, and the basics of papermaking to create unique and usable paper. $20

Learn More


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


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

Sign up for the e-newsletter

If you liked this e-newsletter, sign up below to receive it directly to your email

Sign up

Interested in history and learning more about Delaware County, Historic Preservation and your local area? Check out the DCHPN website!


If you are interested in being involved in the website and these e-newsletters, email

No comments:

Post a Comment