Old York Road Historical Society

Old York Road Historical Society Founded in 1936, OYRHS collects, preserves, interprets and promotes the history, folklore, and cultural attributes of the Old York Road Communities.
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The Old York Road Historical Society covers the history of the communities along and adjacent to Old York Road from Philadelphia to New Hope with special emphasis on eastern Montgomery County. The society is the major historical repository for the townships of Abington, Cheltenham, Lower and Upper Moreland, and the boroughs of Bryn Athyn, Hatboro, Jenkintown, and Rockledge.

Mission: The mission of the society is to collect, preserve, and make accessible to the public historical materials including documents, photographs, maps, ephemera and other memorabilia. The society will also showcase the area's history through exhibitions, publications, and programs; as well as identify and perpetuate historical sites and landmarks.

Operating as usual

President Franklin D. Roosevelt remarked 79 years ago that today is “a date which will live in infamy." The attack by th...
12/07/2020

President Franklin D. Roosevelt remarked 79 years ago that today is “a date which will live in infamy." The attack by the Japanese on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor formalized the United States’ entry in World War II. Many local men and women answered the call to defend their country and aid in the war effort, both locally and abroad.

OYRHS works to help preserve the area’s response and has several collections, as well as various pieces of ephemera, which highlight the contribution and remembrance of the individuals and organizations that played a role during that time.

These letters by Leonard R. Clark written to his family in Jenkintown while serving with the US Navy in the South Pacific Theater. (Old York Road Historical Society Collection 2010.001.16)

Meet Emily Pope who is working toward her associate’s degree in history, and will go on to complete her bachelor’s in hi...
10/11/2020

Meet Emily Pope who is working toward her associate’s degree in history, and will go on to complete her bachelor’s in history, minoring in art history. She also volunteers with the Mercer Museum, Pearl S. Buck House, and Doylestown Historical Society. Emily is using her background and training to assist the Society in organizing the Shirley Dennis Papers, donated to OYRHS in 2016. Emily is also transcribing letters written by a Jenkintown couple while the German husband was held in France after WWII early in their relationship, as well as later while the wife was abroad completing research for her doctorate. Emily hopes to pursue a career in archiving and/or curating.

Meet Kathryn (Kat) Bleiweiss who is a senior at Arcadia University. Originally from Harrisburg, Kat contacted the Societ...
10/11/2020

Meet Kathryn (Kat) Bleiweiss who is a senior at Arcadia University. Originally from Harrisburg, Kat contacted the Society over the summer regarding an internship she could use to complement her coursework. Majoring in art history, Kat is currently the President of the Society for Castle Restoration at Arcadia. Kat's previous experience in galleries, museums, and archives is providing a good foundation for her to assist in the processing of over 70 boxes of Cheltenham Art Center records. After graduation, Kat is hoping to pursue her master's degree in archival studies.

Have you heard that October is American Archives Month? Since 1936, the OYRHS archives have been predominantly maintaine...
10/11/2020

Have you heard that October is American Archives Month? Since 1936, the OYRHS archives have been predominantly maintained through volunteer efforts. A team of dedicated volunteers staff the Society during operating hours, organize the various collections, assist with and conduct research, and perform all other tasks necessary for our daily operations. Current circumstances have altered the way we’re operating for the time being, but we are still so thankful to all the volunteers who are assisting where needed.

In the following posts, meet two of our youngest volunteers who are working to help further organize the Society’s archival manuscript collections. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Society.

It appears some things never change. We found this gem in the June 1934 issue of Elkins Park Junior High School’s newspa...
08/24/2020

It appears some things never change. We found this gem in the June 1934 issue of Elkins Park Junior High School’s newspaper “The Torchbearer.”

This article posted by Smithsonian Magazine came across our news feed and we thought you might find it interesting. Do y...
08/19/2020
What Made Lucretia Mott One of the Fiercest Opponents of Slavery and Sexism

This article posted by Smithsonian Magazine came across our news feed and we thought you might find it interesting. Do you want to know more about Lucretia Mott? We have books and other resources at the Historical Society that can assist in your research!

Her humble Quaker upbringing taught her how to stand up for her beliefs

We’re disappointed that we can’t share with you our local history through lectures and tours as we have done prior to CO...
08/18/2020

We’re disappointed that we can’t share with you our local history through lectures and tours as we have done prior to COVID-19. We’ve missed the conversations that developed as the stories were told. We had a feeling you might be feeling the same way. Until we can all meet again, check out the special edition of “The Corridor” available on the Old York Road Historical Society website. We hope you enjoy reading through this sampling of historic articles.
https://oldyorkroadhistory.org/the-corridor/

Happy 4th of July! We hope everyone is staying safe and having a wonderful summer. Little is known regarding the history...
07/04/2020

Happy 4th of July! We hope everyone is staying safe and having a wonderful summer.

Little is known regarding the history or original ownership of this medallion in the OYRHS collection labeled “Oak Lane Junior Broad Jump, July 4, 1914”

The Melrose Athletic Association, also known as the Melrose Athletic Club, was located in Oak Lane. Founded by T. Henry Asbury and neighbors in 1887, the Club operated until 1894. However, the clubhouse Melrose Hall, located on Cheltenham Avenue was retained by Asbury and used by local organizations for social functions until the 1920s when it was demolished. Perhaps this medal came from a 4th of July event at Melrose Hall?

Happy Memorial Day from OYRHS! Although we cannot celebrate as we normally would, we can honor the brave men and women o...
05/25/2020

Happy Memorial Day from OYRHS! Although we cannot celebrate as we normally would, we can honor the brave men and women of our country by taking a trip back in time. Here we see two examples of Memorial Day celebrations at the intersection of Easton Road and Old York Road. The first, in 1917, shows a crowd of people attending a flag raising. The second aerial image shows a crowd in 1944 gathering to read the WWII Roll of Honor. What memories do you have of local Memorial Day celebrations?

Hard to believe that is has been over TWO months since the last time we were able to all be together at the March 11th l...
05/19/2020

Hard to believe that is has been over TWO months since the last time we were able to all be together at the March 11th lecture. Sunday would have been the annual Patrons’ Party. A reception held annually for Society members at or above the Patron level, volunteers, and donors to the Society’s collection, as a means to recognize and thank those who have made an extra effort to support the work and operations of the Society. We thought it might be fun to look at back at some of the fun had in previous years. If you’ve been to a Patrons' Party, did you have a favorite host site? @ Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

Feeling disappointed that the lecture for tomorrow was cancelled? We’re rescheduling the lecture on the home of Cyrus Cu...
04/07/2020

Feeling disappointed that the lecture for tomorrow was cancelled? We’re rescheduling the lecture on the home of Cyrus Curtis for the fall. Until then, check out the information the Historical Society of Pennsylvania shared recently on Curtis’s professional endeavor, The Ladies Home Journal.

Originally called The Ladies Home Journal and Practical Housekeeper, the Ladies' Home Journal (LHJ) was started by Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis (1850-1933), a pioneer of modern magazine publishing in the United States, who would later establish the Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia. His wife, Louisa Knapp Curtis worked as its editor for 1883 to 1889. Cyrus Curtis expected that the magazine would become a staple in households and that young couples would turn to it regularly for housekeeping advice, and it did. By the time he founded Curtis Publishing in 1891, LHJ was America's best-selling magazine.

Edward Bok succeeded Louisa Curtis as LHJ editor in 1889. Under his tenure, the magazine's popularity grew substantially. One of the things that helped the magazine thrive during the early part of the 20th century was that Bok successfully toed the line between promoting conventional principles and new consumer values. It also instituted an advertising code to eliminate fraud and extravagant claims by advertisers, and was known for promoting social causes.

The magazine contained articles on traditional housekeeping methods that promoted and supported women that worked in the home. But it also contained advertisements for the latest home inventions – from prepared meals to new laundry machines – that allowed women more leisure time and encouraged spending. Bok retired as LHJ editor in 1919.

HSP hold the records of the Curtis Publishing Company (#3115), as well as other collection of publishing houses such as Lea & Febiger (#227B), which help to illustrate and illuminate the role Philadelphia played in the early promotion of the printed word.

http://ow.ly/KX1D50z0SLV
http://ow.ly/Yfv750z0SLU

The April 8, 2020 lecture has been cancelled to comply with the CDC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's recommendatio...
03/17/2020

The April 8, 2020 lecture has been cancelled to comply with the CDC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's recommendations for group activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The From Lyndon to Curtis Arboretum: 'A Panorama of Surpassing Beauty' is being rescheduled for Fall 2020.

03/17/2020

Old York Road Historical Society will be closed to the public in accordance with the recent recommendations of the CDC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact us should you need to schedule an appointment during this time. We will provide further updates as they become available. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

03/04/2020

Due to unforeseen circumstances the Historical Society will be CLOSED today. Please contact us if you need to make an appointment or visit us next week when normal operating hours resume. We apologize for the inconvenience!

The Spring 2020 issue of “The Corridor” should have arrived in the mail to the membership this week. If you are interest...
02/29/2020

The Spring 2020 issue of “The Corridor” should have arrived in the mail to the membership this week. If you are interested in reading the newsletter online (or becoming a member) check out the OYRHS website. https://oldyorkroadhistory.org/the-corridor/

It’s been 2 years TODAY since we’ve opened the new space. Have you been by to see it?
02/18/2020

It’s been 2 years TODAY since we’ve opened the new space. Have you been by to see it?

Conservation work was recently completed on 8 oversized wall maps in the Society’s Collection. The conservation work was...
01/12/2020

Conservation work was recently completed on 8 oversized wall maps in the Society’s Collection. The conservation work was funded through a campaign held in honor of the Society’s 80th anniversary in 2016. Over the past seven years, the maps were delivered to a conservation studio in Massachusetts where they were conserved. This included the removal of baking linen supports, detaching the pieces that made up the large maps and removing any varnish placed on the top surface. In addition, the paper was deacidified, repairs were made and loose pieces were rejoined. The new maps were lined for strength but the large sheets not rejoined, so that we can store the maps in our flat files. Thanks to all who helped make the conservation work possible.

Happy New Year from OYRHS! Wishing you all the best in the roaring 20s!
01/01/2020

Happy New Year from OYRHS! Wishing you all the best in the roaring 20s!

ON THIS DAY in history in 1935, Jimmie Foxx was traded from the Philadelphia Athletics to the Boston Red Sox. In this re...
12/11/2019

ON THIS DAY in history in 1935, Jimmie Foxx was traded from the Philadelphia Athletics to the Boston Red Sox. In this recent acquisition to the OYRHS collection, Foxx and his son are shown in the International News Photo “Jimmy Opens ‘A Christmas Package’ Before Christmas” publicizing the news.

Jimmie Foxx began his career with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1925. He played in Boston and with the Chicago Cubs before coming back to the Philadelphia to play for the Phillies at age 37. In 1951, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Thank you for joining us last weekend for our annual Bryn Athyn train wreck talk and walk. Larry Eastwood gave an excell...
12/09/2019

Thank you for joining us last weekend for our annual Bryn Athyn train wreck talk and walk. Larry Eastwood gave an excellent lecture and the group walked down to visit the crash site. On December 5, 1921, a head on train collision near the Creek Road bridge killed 27 passengers and crew members and injured 70 others. Thank you Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust for co-hosting this event.

On this day in history.
12/01/2019

On this day in history.

Happy Thanksgiving from Old York Road Historical Society! Seventy eight years ago on Thanksgiving, the annual Abington-C...
11/28/2019

Happy Thanksgiving from Old York Road Historical Society! Seventy eight years ago on Thanksgiving, the annual Abington-Cheltenham “Turkey Bowl” football game was held at Temple University Stadium.

11/26/2019

We will be closed Wednesday, 11/27 and Thursday, 11/28 for Thanksgiving. Have a great holiday!

Thank you David Traub for the excellent lecture last night, "Philadelphia: Places Little Known." Mr. Traub took us on a ...
11/14/2019

Thank you David Traub for the excellent lecture last night, "Philadelphia: Places Little Known." Mr. Traub took us on a journey through "the city of neighborhoods" along unique side streets, cul de sacs, and landscapes. Thank you to everyone who attended.

Please consider coming out on Sunday, November 10th at 1pm to celebrate the official opening of the Abington Township Wa...
11/08/2019

Please consider coming out on Sunday, November 10th at 1pm to celebrate the official opening of the Abington Township War Memorial Park, located on the island in front of 1001 Old York Road in Abington.

SAVE THE DATE!

An opening event will be held at the War Memorial Park on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 1 PM. All are welcome. The War Memorial is located in the island in front of the Penn State Abington dormitory located at 1001 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001. Details to follow in the coming weeks!

Happy Halloween from the Old York Road Historical Society! We hope you have more treats than tricks this evening like th...
10/31/2019

Happy Halloween from the Old York Road Historical Society! We hope you have more treats than tricks this evening like the servicemen and women can be seen having at the Church Door Canteen Halloween party.

The Church Door Canteen operated out of The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Jenkintown during WWII. Its purpose was to entertain servicemen and women from the Willow Grove Naval Station. Dances were held on the weekends, celebrations were hosted on the holidays, and there was even a wedding! The Historical Society recently received a donation of additional material on the Church Door Canteen from the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour which is being added to the current collection.

How is it the last week of October already? Time has really flown by and we haven’t even had a chance to share with you ...
10/29/2019

How is it the last week of October already? Time has really flown by and we haven’t even had a chance to share with you all the fun things we’ve been doing this month!

It all started with the return of the lecture series on October 10th. Historian and OYRHS Board Member Jim Rubillo gave an insightful look at the life of Benjamin Lay. Lay, sometimes referred to as the “Quaker Comet,” spent his life speaking out against slavery. Born in England, Lay spent most of his life there. However, due to his outspoken nature he moved several times, having lived in Massachusetts and Barbados before settling in Philadelphia.

Lecture attendees received an extra treat, as the talk was moved from the Barnes Room at Abington Friends Meetinghouse to the Meeting Room. Even with four renovations over the years, efforts have been made to retain the appearance of the 1790s space. And while we sat in this historic space, listening about the life of one of its Friends, one could only wonder what the space may have actually looked like while Lay was sitting in the pews.

And just last week - a group of us went on a field trip to both the The Union League of Philadelphia and The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to artwork by Glenside artists Xanthus and Russell Smith. The Union League exhibit features Xanthus Smith's characteristic Civil War naval battles scenes, while his son Russell’s landscapes were shown at PAFA. It was truly a pleasure and we were grateful to Dr. Robert W. Torchia and Marita Krivda Poxon for their respective tours.

The lecture starts in less than 30 minutes, but there’s still time to join us and hear OYRHS Board Member Jim Rubillo sp...
10/09/2019

The lecture starts in less than 30 minutes, but there’s still time to join us and hear OYRHS Board Member Jim Rubillo speak on Benjamin Lay.

Tomorrow is the first lecture of the 2019-2020 season! Come hear all about Benjamin Lay at the new location. See you at ...
10/08/2019

Tomorrow is the first lecture of the 2019-2020 season! Come hear all about Benjamin Lay at the new location. See you at 7:30PM in the Barnes Room! @ Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

Lansdale Historical Society
10/04/2019

Lansdale Historical Society

BACK THEN by DICK SHEARER

One of the pleasures of delving back into the archives is finding photographs that truly are worth a thousand words. This gem is from Willow Grove Park in 1911. Caption material really isn’t necessary to situate us in that time and place.
The artistry of photographers back then was extraordinary, so much so that we have to wonder what they would produce in this era of digital cameras and iPhones and how would they save it for future generations to enjoy. Now it’s our turn to step up and preserve.

Join us for private tours of two art exhibitions that feature works by Russell Smith (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine A...
10/03/2019

Join us for private tours of two art exhibitions that feature works by Russell Smith (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) and his son Xanthus Smith (Union League of Philadelphia). The cost is $32 for members and $37 for non-members. Please visit our website for more information. RSVP to the Historical Society by Monday October 14, 2019.

October is American Archives Month! We are so grateful for all of your support ALL year long, not just during the month ...
10/02/2019

October is American Archives Month! We are so grateful for all of your support ALL year long, not just during the month of October. Don't forget that the lecture series resumes this month (NEXT WEEK 🥳) and the Fall Outing, An Afternoon of Art, will be on October 20th. Follow us here, on Instagram, and keep check on the website for all the ways you can get involved with the Historical Society and keep our archives going strong!

Please join us today for the Camp William Penn and Historic La Mott Day from 10am- 4pm. We are set up in the La Mott Com...
09/21/2019

Please join us today for the Camp William Penn and Historic La Mott Day from 10am- 4pm. We are set up in the La Mott Community Center, located at 7322 Sycamore Ave, Cheltenham Township Pa. This event will include demonstrations, re-enactments, and lectures. Camp William Penn, located in what is now modern day La Mott, was the first and largest federal training center for black soldiers during the Civil War.

The OYRHS headquarters and archives are held at the historic Alverthorpe Manor on Meetinghouse Road in Jenkintown, PA. B...
07/21/2019

The OYRHS headquarters and archives are held at the historic Alverthorpe Manor on Meetinghouse Road in Jenkintown, PA. Built it 1939 for Lessing Rosenwald, Chairman of Sears and Roebuck, it was designed to showcase his impressive collection of artwork and rare books.

The house was designed by Ernest A. Grunsfeld Jr., and Ralph Griswold designed the surrounding landscape. Alverthorpe Manor was featured in a 1940 issue of Pencil Points, an architectural design magazine, with an extensive spread of photographs. “Undivided praise,” the critic writes, “is fairly due the architect for the consistent design intelligence which controlled every smallest detail of the building and shaped it into a harmonious relationship with the rest.”

In 1969, Alverthorpe Manor and the surrounding 27 acres of land was donated to Abington Township for the purpose of cultural enrichment within the community. The Rosenwalds donated their impressive artwork collection to the Library of Congress and The National Gallery of Art. Soon after, the Old York Road Art Guild acquired use of Alverthorpe for educational purposes. In 1965, the guild became known as the Abington Art Center. Along with the Abington Art Center, portions of Alverthorpe Manor are now used by OYRHS, the Chabad Jewish Center, and Abington Parks and Recreation.
Come check out Alverthorpe Manor and the OYRHS archives on Mondays from 7pm-9pm, Tuesdays 11am-2pm and Wednesdays 11am-3pm.

Address

515 Meetinghouse Road
Jenkintown, PA
19046

Opening Hours

Monday 19:00 - 21:00
Tuesday 11:00 - 14:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 15:00

Telephone

+12158868590

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my father, John C Hagerty, and his grandmother Gertrude Hellerman. She & her husband lived in the house on 133 Woodland Ave in Wyncote, that they built in the 1880's, where they raised 9 children. They were members of the Immaculate Conception church.
Organized in 1852, the Presbyterian Historical Society is the oldest denominational archives in the United States and serves as the national archives for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessor denominations. PHS exists to collect, preserve, and share the story of the American Presbyterian and Reformed experience with Presbyterians, the scholarly community, and the general public.
Hi Old York Road Historical Society! My name is Rachel, a lifelong resident of Elkins Park and a rising junior interdisciplinary sculpture major at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art). I’m an artist and working on an art installation in High School Park about the history of Elkins Park, High School Park/Ogontz Junior High, and Cheltenham. The installation premise: Learning Rabbits in the Park is an art installation throughout High School Park. Sculptural rabbits are placed around the park. Rabbits will represent nature, the teens who used to go to school, and the industrialization (the rabbits are designed using technology) in Elkins Park as the town developed mills along the Tookany Creek. Rabbits will congregate in groups of about 7-10. In these groups, there will be a placard or a QR code placed with a fact or audio interview about the history of the neighborhood or High School Park. Once a week, the rabbits will make an appearance with a new historical fact. Each week they will be in a different location in High School Park. Now the park can continue teaching, just like it once did. If you have a story you want to share about your time at the school,I would love to hear it. If you're interested please reach out to me by email at [email protected] or call me at 215-460-6680 and I will tell you more details of how to get your story heard. Thanks and have a lovely day, Rachel Banner rachelbanner.com
These are photos from Chelsea of jenkintown that were left behind after the facility closed. I don’t know any of their names. But i wanted to share with you.
History of Hatboro Presentation on 9/25! See details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/383042912332839/
Learn about the early history of paper money in the American Colonies on 9/21 in Warminster https://www.facebook.com/events/1314111985421392/
Civil War Reenactment in Warminster May 4-5. See our facebook event for more info! https://www.facebook.com/events/2136529046463606/
The very historic Colton Hall is about to be gone forever. We have not heard from those in Abington who treasure the historic - and who care about preserving what we can and developing wisely. Besides the history, the intensity and density are counter to what we love about Abington. Colton Hall was bequeathed, as I understand it , for the benefit of Abington children. That use also will be gone and not replaced if this is allowed. Dec 11th is the Planning Commission date, and Dec 18th is the hearing. I hope those of you who love history will look into this and join us in raising voices see details here
Another old house from 1824 along the Canal road next to interstate 83 being demolished soon..Sad is should be stopped
is the building wheel chair accessible
class photo of Wyncote school around 1900. My gr aunt & uncle, Mary & Joe Hellerman, center of rear row (circled).