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Historic Views of Nether Providence & Rose Valley

Historic ViewsKeith Lockhart, publisher of the invaluable local history resource delawarecountyhistory.com, has written and given presentations on the history of our county for many years. Keith’s extensive personal collection includes rare publications and hundreds of photographs, many of which he’ll share with us in a presentation on Sunday, March 10th at 2:00 at The Helen Kate Furness Free Library, 100 North Providence Road in Wallingford.
Join us! The program is free and open to the public.

In the News…Fifty Years Ago Today


Click image to enlarge.

As reported in the Delaware County Daily Times, the prior evening’s Nether Providence school board meeting had a full agenda. A $290,000 addition to the high school was scheduled to start in 10 days and contracts were announced. The bonds for the project carried a 2.85% interest rate.

Mentioned at the end of the article is an appeal the Board would file against the State Council of Education’s plan to combine Nether Providence school district with Media and Swarthmore-Rutledge districts; the beginning of a process that continued for many years.

Colonial Christmas Open House

Thomas Leiper HouseThis Sunday, December 16th marks the 30th annual Colonial Christmas Open House at Nether Providence’s Thomas Leiper House. Visit between 1:00 and 5:00 pm to tour rooms decorated for the holidays by local garden clubs: Swarthmore Garden Club, Country Gardeners, Rose Tree Gardeners, Springfield Garden Club, and Providence Garden Club.

Make a stop in the dining room for a piece of birthday cake in honor of Mr. Leiper’s 267th birthday. Additional refreshments will be served, and the repast will be enjoyed with a backdrop of classical guitar music provided by Strath Haven High School student Dean Maola.

The party is free and open to the public (donations for the upkeep of the historic house are always appreciated). After this weekend, the house, located at 521 Avondale Road in Wallingford, will close for the winter with tours resuming in spring.

A History Old Union United Methodist Church

Old Union ChurchNether Providence Historical Society & Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society present

A History of Old Union United Methodist Church

Methodism, founded in England by John Wesley, arrived in America in 1771 with circuit riders who travelled from town to town, preaching in the open air. Methodist services in Nether Providence began with camp meetings at Hinkson’s Corner as early as 1804. Chartered in 1811, the Church as we see it today was constructed in 1835 when the original 1813 building was replaced. The cemetery predates the first structure. Soldiers of every war since the Revolution are buried there.

Join us in commemorating the long, rich heritage of Old Union as the Church turns the page on a new chapter in its history. Pastor Lori Wagner will talk about the history of Old Union and its cemetery. The Church will hold its last service on Sunday, June 17th.

Sunday, June 10th at 2 pm at Old Union Church

152 West Rose Valley Road, Wallingford

The program is free and open to the public.

The Delaware River: A History of the Waterfront presented by Nancy Webster

Join Us!

Sunday, June 3rd at 2 pm at The Helen Kate Furness Free Library

Formed in the ice ages, the Delaware River was an early trade route for the Indians and exploration route for Europeans. It has served as a means of transportation and a facilitator for early settlements and later industries. It has been vital in wars, old and recent. It has hosted queens and pirates, pleasure boats and aircraft carriers.
Join us as Ms. Webster takes us on a historical tour of the River.

The program is free and open to the public.

Remembering Dick Clark

Dick Clark Memorial

Click to enlarge.

An informal memorial has sprung up at the corner of Dogwood Lane and Plush Mill Road, near the former home of the late Dick Clark. Clark and his family lived in Nether Providence in the early 60s, while he hosted American Bandstand in West Philadelphia.

An article in the January 1961 Delaware County Daily Times reports on an impromptu visit he paid to a Junior Assembly Dance being held at Summit School across the street from his home. The ‘tweens’ in attendance must have been thrilled when he stuck around to watch them do “The Pony.” Don’t remember that dance craze, made popular by Chubby Checker’s song, Pony Time?  Take a look.

Dick Clark Visits Dance

Click to enlarge.

In the News…February 12, 1959


This is the first in a new series of articles, In the News. To receive notification of new postings, subscribe (top of the left column) or ‘like’ us on Facebook (top of the right column) or both!

In its February 12th issue, the Chester Times reported on Dick Clark’s new home and the Nether Providence School Board meeting.

The Clark family lived at the corner of Dogwood Lane and Plush Mill Road until 1964, when American Bandstand moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. It wasn’t to be the property’s last ‘brush with greatness’. In 1966, Ingrid Jacobson married singer-songwriter Jim Croce in the backyard. Rabbi Louis Kaplan of Ohev Shalom officiated. Ingrid Croce confirmed the location of their nuptials in her response to a 2010 email: “My family and I did live in Dick Clark’s home in Nether Providence and Jim and I were married there, on a little bridge over the creek. It was on Dogwood Lane.” Jim and Ingrid Croce were a folk duo Continue reading

Bovine Hijinks at Swarthmore College – Halloween 1929

In December of 1929, the editor of The Phoenix, Swarthmore College’s campus newspaper (then and now), received a letter regarding an incident which took place during the wee hours of Halloween.

December 4, 1929
Mr. Thomas S. Niceley, Editor In Chief
Swarthmore Phoenix (1)
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa.

Dear Sir:
On the night of October 30th (2) a very peaceful cow was missed from my barn. On the same night a cow, I am told, was discovered on the second floor of Parrish. Rumor has it that these two cows were one and the same. It does not seem possible that my cow could have wandered to Parrish unassisted. If she was assisted I am filled wonder and amazement. This particular animal, when out, has a decided antipathy to assistance of any sort and would require the whole football squad to manage her.

Under the circumstances I am filled with curiosity and envy; curious to know if this cow discovered in Parrish was really mine; envious because I should have liked to have been in on the fun.

Continue reading

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