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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:

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: 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:

Living History Program @HKF

EarlyIrishImmigrants“The New American,” a Living Voices program, combines dynamic solo performance with archival film to turn history into a moving personal journey.

The show stars Wallingford’s Gabrielle Miller as Bridget Rose Fitzgerald. Set in 1910, her immigrant journey from Ireland includes steamship passage through Ellis Island to lower Manhattan and the sweatshop known as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. “The New American” reveals a timeless immigrant experience and the meaning of liberty and opportunity.

The performance is suitable for students in fourth grade through adults, and is made possible by a generous donation from the Rose Valley Borough Council and staff in honor of Lynn Kelley, a former council member and current volunteer at the library.

2 p.m., Sunday, March 8th in the Library’s Chadwick Auditorium.
The program is free and open to the public, but registration is recommended. Call 610-566-9331.

Prez Wins Award

Angela HewettAt its annual meeting, the Delaware County Historical Society presented its A. Lewis Smith Award to Angela Hewett, president of the Nether Providence Historical Society and long-time president of The Friends of the Thomas Leiper House. The award is presented annually to an individual who has made “significant contributions to the preservation of the history of Delaware County.”

Angela has conducted extensive research into the Leiper family and has edited two booklets – a compilation of correspondence between Mr. Leiper and Thomas Jefferson and another of his correspondence with James Madison. She is also the curator of the Leiper House; organizing and training its volunteer docents and coordinating the many events and programs hosted there.

She was on the steering committee for our township’s tricentennial celebration in 1987 and helped found our historical society soon after. She is also a board member of the Delaware County Historic Preservation Network.

The honor bestowed is well deserved.