• Enter your email address to subscribe to "History Notes" and receive an email when there's a new article.

    Join 509 other followers


  • Copies of A Brief History of Nether Providence are on sale at Furness Library and the Nether Providence Township Building.
  • Categories

  • Idea for an Article? Query about NP History?

    Send an email to
    info@nphistory.org.

Colonial Christmas Open House

LeiperHouse

You’re invited to The Friends of the Thomas Leiper House’s
annual holiday celebration,

Sunday, December 18th from 1:00 until 5:00 pm.

521 Avondale Road, Wallingford

Program: Helen Kate Furness – Portraits of a Life

Rogers FamilyThe library that bears her name has been a center of community life for more than a century, but who was Helen Kate Furness?

Join us for a look at the life of Helen Kate through her portraits.

Our speaker is Harwood Johnson, a member and past President of the Furness Library Board of Directors.

Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm at The Helen Kate Furness Free Library, 100 North Providence Road, Wallingford

The program is free and open to the public.

RSVP here:

100 Years Ago Today – Flower Show at Bickmore Farms

Chester Times, April 17, 1916.

Chester Times, April 17, 1916.

The April 17, 1916 Chester Times carried a report of a horticultural exhibit at Bickmore Farms where Milton H. Bickley had a large nursery operation on his property at Palmer’s Corner (the corner of Providence and Rose Valley Roads).

The flower show became an annual event to which the public was invited every year on Palm Sunday.

Milton Horace Bickley owned, along with his father, a drug store at 4th and Market Streets in Chester. He purchased the 102-acre Cedar Lane Farm from James Miller in 1913 and called it Bickmore; a combination of his last name and his father, Mortimore Bickley’s first name. There, he raised a variety of flowers in 19 large greenhouses (300′ x 75′). There was a 75′ smokestack for the furnace used to heat the greenhouses.

The family also ran a poultry farm on the property. In 1916, there were regular advertisements placed in the Chester Times announcing “we have just installed a big hall incubator and decided to do some custom hatching. You can bring, or buy your eggs from us. We also have baby chicks for sale.”

Milton Bickley died in 1937.

In 1944, W. J. Messmer, a Chester florist, purchased the Bickmore nursery on the south side of Rose Valley Road. The purchase included 60,000 square feet of glass-enclosed greenhouses.

By 1954, the 15 acre site had been purchased by the Wallingford Development Company. When the nursery buildings were razed to make way for 22 houses, it took two blasts of dynamite to level the smokestack. The neighborhood was named Bickmore Hills. The first of the split level houses were completed by July and offered for sale at $15,590.

Bickley Druggist and Apothecary at 4th and Market Streets in Chester

Bickley Druggist and Apothecary at 4th and Market Streets in Chester

Program: An Armchair Tour of Crum Woods

Oak Knoll

Oak Knoll

 

Have you happened upon the ruins of an old fountain and steps while walking along the Leiper Smedley Trail? 

Have you wandered the Swarthmore College woods and wondered about the trees and flowers you saw?

Mike Rolli, of the Crum Woods Restoration project at the College, is a graduate of Longwood Gardens’ horicultural program and has done much research into the historic significance of Crum Woods.

He’ll talk about the former Oak Knoll estate (which was razed to make way for the Blue Route) and its formal gardens. And, he’ll teach us about the diverse ecosystem that’s right under our noses in Crum Woods, one of the last remaining forested areas in Delaware County. Roughly 3.5 miles of walking trails extend over more than two hundred acres.

Click this link for an excellent map of Crum Woods Trails. The woods are open to visitors from sunup to sundown. Remember to “leave no trace” and keep four-legged companions on leash.

The program, presented by the Nether Providence Historical Society, is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 13th at 7:30  |  The Helen Kate Furness Free Library

100 North Providence Road, Wallingford

To register, complete the contact form:

Program: The Architecture of Frank Furness

Frank FurnessFrank Heyling Furness (1839 – 1912) designed more than 600 buildings, most in the Philadelphia area. Toward the end of his life, his bold, eclectic, idiosyncratic buildings fell out of fashion and many of his most significant works were demolished.

Join us for a lecture about the magnificent buildings designed by Furness. Our lecturer, James Tevebaugh, is President of Tevebaugh Associates architects and a member of the executive committee of Friends of Furness Railroad District, a group dedicated to preserving the Wilmington train station and its associated buildings.

Wednesday, October 21st at 7:30 pm
The Helen Kate Furness Free Library
100 N. Providence Road in Wallingford

How are Helen Kate and Frank related?  The son of prominent Unitarian minister William Henry Furness, Frank Furness was the brother of Horace Howard Furness, a Shakespeare scholar, for whom our Library was originally named. Dr. Furness made a large donation to the Library with the stipulation that the name be changed to honor his late wife, Helen Kate Rogers, who also studied the works of William Shakespeare. The Library sits on ground that was originally part of Dr. and Mrs. Furness’ estate, Lindenshade. Dr. Furness’ brother, Frank Furness designed his brother’s summer house and nearby Idlewild, the house at the intersection of Gayley Street and Idlewild Lane in Upper Providence where Frank Furness spent summers with his family.

Program: The Fort That Saved America

Elizabeth Beatty, Executive Director of National Historic Landmark Fort Mifflin will talk about the fort; one of the only intact Revolutionary War battlefields and the only fort in Philadelphia.

In the fall of 1777 approximately 200 men were garrisoned at what is now known as Fort Mifflin, charged with the duty of holding the British off “to the last extremity” so that Washington and his exhausted army could successfully move into winter quarters.

During the Civil War, Ft. Mifflin served as a military prison. During WW I and II, it was pressed into duty as a Naval Ammunition Depot.

Come, learn about the interesting history of the Fort That Saved America.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 7:30 pm  at The Helen Kate Furness Free Library, 100 North Providence Road in Wallingford.

The program, sponsored by Nether Providence Historical Society, is free and open to the public.

Questions? Email us.
FtMifflinBirdsEyeResize

Program: The First World’s Fair in America

1876 CentennialHeld in Fairmount Park, along the Schuylkill, the International Exhibition of 1876 was the first official World’s Fair in the United States. Historical researcher Mary Anne Eves will share photos of Memorial Hall and the many other buildings constructed for the fair. She’ll talk about this celebration of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence which also celebrated America’s growing industrial prowess.

Join us! The program is free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 23rd at 7:30 at
The Helen Kate Furness Free Library 
100 North Providence Road, Wallingford

To register, complete the contact form: