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Long before Ellis Island, there was Lazaretto.

Where Route 420 ends at the Delaware River, you’ll find Lazaretto.

Considered both the oldest surviving quarantine hospital and the last surviving example of its type in the United States, it was built by the newly created Board of Health after the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 killed off one tenth of Philadelphia’s population. Thereafter, every vessel headed toward the port of Philadelphia first stopped at Lazaretto.

Later, it was the home of the Philadelphia Athletic Club, then a flight school during World War I and then a seaplane base.

Speaker Barbara Selletti will paint a vivid picture of Lazaretto’s long and fascinating history.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Known as the “Lazaretto Lady,” Barbara Selletti is a local historian, genealogist and Neumann University librarian. She and her husband, Tony, were instrumental in the effort to save and restore the Lazaretto.

The program is free and open to the public: Monday, June 12 at the Helen Kate Furness Library on Providence Road in Wallingford, starting at 7:30.

An Oyster Cart on Every Street Corner?

Celebrated historian Nancy Webster will present A Brief History of Popular Street Foods, an exploration of sidewalk cuisine from American Colonial times through present day. Some will be familiar (we’ve been frequenting hot dog and pretzel vendors for ages) and others will be surprising.

Bonus: Samples of old-fashioned street foods will be available for tasting!

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: A highly engaging speaker, Nancy Webster was named Delaware County Historian in 1988. The Principal Planner with the County Planning Department for 25 years, she was head of historic preservation and won state and national awards. A Delaware County native, Nancy holds a BA from Harvard, and a double MA in American history and museum curatorship from the College of William and Mary.

Uniquely qualified to speak on this topic, Nancy is a member of the Historical Foodways Society of the Delaware Valley and chairman of the Foodways Committee of the international Association for Living History.

The program is free and open to the public: Thursday, April 27 at the Helen Kate Furness Library on Providence Road in Wallingford, starting at 7:30 pm.

RSVP:

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:

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.
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