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William Penn Weekend

The last weekend of September, local historical organizations will commemorate the 300th anniversary of William Penn’s death with a schedule of activities celebrating his legacy of tolerance.

  • Thursday, September 27: Lecture at Lima Estates, 7:00 PM
  • Friday, September 28: Colonial Music Presentation, 6:00 to 7:30 PM at Newlin Grist Mill
  • Saturday, September 29: Bus & Car Tour of Historic Sites (contact Delaware County Historical Society for details: 610 359-0832).
  • Sunday, September 30: Self-Guided Tours of Historic Sites

Nether Providence Historical Society will have a display of Sharpless family history at Chester Meeting House (520 East 24th Street, Chester) on Sunday afternoon from 1:00 until 3:00 PM.

The John and Jane (Moore) Sharpless (Sharples) family were the first permanent English settlers in what became Nether Providence, in 1682 on a Penn land grant. They are buried at the Chester Meeting House. A son, after finishing the house his father started, “Wolley Stille,” on today’s Harvey Road lived in a house on Providence Great Road from 1700 until 1720, now known as 322 North Providence Road.

Other sites open Sunday afternoon are the Pusey Plantation in Upland, and the Delaware County Historical Society Library and Museum in Chester, and the 1724 Court House next door.

Come visit local history sites this special Penn weekend, especially our Sharpless display at the Chester Meeting House!

Lecture: Art & Archaeology – M. Louise Baker

To early 20th century archaeologists digging in the Middle East and South America for 2,000-year-old artifacts, the most popular woman in America was artist M. Louise Baker – and she lived in Wallingford!

An artist, Baker worked at University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology from 1908 to 1936. She traveled the world at the request of archeologists to illustrate their finds. Watercolors and reconstructions make up the over 500 works of hers that are in the Penn Museum today.

In retirement, Baker lived on Brookside Road with a studio above the garage that had a large window for sun and views.

Dr. Elin Danien, a research associate at the Penn Museum, will give an illustrated talk about Ms. Baker and her art on Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30 at the Helen Kate Furness Library.

Come learn about a Nether Providence resident, well-known to others, but not to us – until now.

Colonial Christmas Open House

You’re invited!

Join us Sunday, December 17, 2017, from 1 o’clock until 5 o’clock at Thomas Leiper’s 1785 Country Home.

Centennial of The Great War

2017 is the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I.

Saturday and Sunday, through September and October, we will exhibit in the Leiper House dining room artifacts and ephemera from the era. The Leiper House hours are 1:00 to 4:00 pm. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Party on the Porch

The Friends of the Thomas Leiper House invite you to their annual summertime Open House featuring refreshments and self-guided tours.
Friday, June 23rd from 7:00 until 9:00 pm
521 Avondale Road, Wallingford

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: