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Next Meeting:

When Mrs. Kennedy Met Mr. Lincoln – Jim Brazel

Upcoming Presentations

Special Events:

Tredyffrin Township Community Day

Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day

Paoli Blues Fest

Historic House Tour

"Behind the Doors"

Recent Meetings:

The Historic Devon Inn – Michael Morrison

2017 Members Excursion

Past Meetings

News:

New exhibit at Tredyffrin Public Library

TEHS & Devon History on CBS 3 TV

The Society Supports the Paoli Blues Fest

TEHS on Tredyffrin Township TV

TEHS at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

The S. Paul Teamer Awards

Society Elects New President

State Support for the Society

Kirkner Essay Contest Awards

 

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Our Next Meeting

At our next meeting on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 2:00 pm, the featured presentation will be:

 
Samuel Kennedy, Sr. (right) and his second son Samuel Jr. (left) posed for this photograph in their Union Army Private/Musician's uniforms. They had both enlisted in the 67th Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Photo courtesy of Jim Brazel


William John Kennedy, Sergeant, 2nd Pennsylvania Reserves, eldest son of Martha Gibson and Samuel Kennedy, Sr.
Photo courtesy of Jim Brazel


When Mrs. Kennedy Met Mr. Lincoln

by Jim Brazel

The following account is a verbatim quote of an article based on an interview with Mrs. Martha Kennedy, originally published in the Phoenixville Messenger on July 5, 1885:

“During the month of December 1864, I had occasion to call upon the President under the following very unpleasant circumstances. My husband was wounded in the Wilderness in May, 1864 and was sent to a U.S. Hospital in Philadelphia where I was summoned just in time to receive his parting words. I brought the body home. His funeral was scarcely over when I was called to a U.S Hospital in Washington to look after my eldest son, who, like his father, had been mortally wounded in that campaign, and only survived a short time after my arrival. I left Washington with my sad charge about the time the rebels entered Maryland, and it was generally believed, would have taken the capital had it not been for the timely arrival of the Sixth Corps, in which my second son was serving.

As soon as permission could be obtained, he visited the hospital where he was informed I had left with his brother for home. To the surprise of all upon the day of the funeral, my second son stepped in to share our sorrow. After the funeral was over, I could not command sufficient patriotism to allow my son to return to his regiment, and several loyal friends advised me that under the circumstances, I had a just claim for the discharge of my son, he being a minor.”

This program will describe Mrs. Kennedy's efforts to meet with Abraham Lincoln and have him discharge her second son from the Union Army. Samuel Kennedy, Jr. had been officially classified as having deserted on 16 July 1864, an offense for which the death sentence was common.

President Abraham Lincoln

Jim Brazel is a long-time Society member and resident of the area, with a special interest in railroad history.

This presentation will be held at the Easttown Library & Information Center in Berwyn, PA on Sunday 19 February 2018, starting at 2 pm.

 

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Upcoming Presentations

More information will be available soon on these meetings coming up in the months ahead:

18 FEB 2018 Easttown Library When Mrs. Kennedy Met Mr. Lincoln by Jim Brazel
18 MAR 2018 Easttown Library Local Gas Stations and Auto Repair on the Upper Main Line by Bart Van Valkenburgh
29 APR 2018* Easttown Library The Wonders of Bartram's Garden by Joel Fry, Curator
20 MAY 2018 Easttown Library Growing Old in the World of William Penn by Clarissa Dillon, Ph.D.

*NOTE: The April meeting will be held on the 29th, on the fifth rather than the usual third Sunday of the month.

 

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Special Events Sponsored by Other Organizations


Tredyffrin Community Day

 

The Society exhibited again at the 2017 Tredyffrin Township Community Day – “Party in the Park” on Saturday 16 September 2017 from 4 pm until 7 pm at Wilson Farm Park in Chesterbrook, and we enjoyed talking with the many people who stopped by and visited us.

 

Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day

 

The Society exhibited again this year at the 2017 Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day on Saturday 23 September 2017 from 11 am until 4 pm at Paoli Memorial Grounds in Malvern. There was also a re-enactment at twilight.

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Historic House Tour

 

Also on Saturday 23 September, the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust held their 13th Annual Historic House Tour from 12 until 5 pm. The proceeds support the rebuilding of the historic Jones Log Barn and the proposed Living History Center at Duportail.

 

Paoli Blues Fest

 

The Society exhibited again at the 2017 Paoli Blues Fest on Saturday 7 October 2017 from 11 am until 6 pm at Paoli Presbyterian Church. We had good weather and lots of people on hand to enjoy the sights and sounds, as well as great food and drink. See more about the Society's involvement here.

 

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Society Special Events

"Behind the Doors"

The original Tredyffrin Easttown History Club occasionally held meetings at the various historic Inns in the area, as noted in this quote from an article about the history of the Club found in the October 1965 issue of the Quarterly (v.13 no.4, pg. 80):

On March 7, 1939 the first annual Banquet was held at the Windmill Tea Room (the General Jackson Inn) at Paoli. Originally the Club had these affairs at some historic inn. To date the following Inns have played host: The King of Prussia (once), Ye Old Bull Tavern (three times), General Warren (twice), Wayside Inn (General Jackson) (Five times).

Starting in 2013 this tradition was revived. So far we have visited two inns, both with tours and history presentations followed by a delicious five course food and wine pairing dinner. Both events were a great success and we look forward to more in the future. For more information, view the individual invitations for these events:

A portion of the proceeds from these events benefits the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society.

 

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Our Most Recent Meeting

At the public meeting on Sunday, November 19, 2017, the featured event was:

 

The Historic Devon Inn

by Michael Morrison

 
The Devon Inn, 1905. Photo courtesy of TEHS Image Archive

For three decades, from 1882 to 1913, many wealthy and socially prominent families from Philadelphia and elsewhere spent their summers at the well-known Devon Inn. The huge hotel was situated on a knoll about 300 yards south of the railroad station, overlooking well-kept lawns, trees, and gardens. A shaded boardwalk led from the station to the Inn, and carriages and omnibuses met all trains. The Devon Inn was a culture unto itself, attracting visitors not only to stay in style, but also to enjoy the many events and activities that took place on the expansive lawns. Destroyed by fire in 1883, it was immediately replaced with a larger, grander structure, and prospered for years as a center of social life and recreation. In its later years, the structure was used for other purposes, and even served as the first home of the Valley Forge Military Academy until finally lost to fire in 1929.

In this presentation, Michael Morrison shared some of the remarkable photos and colorful stories discovered during his extensive research on the history of this lost treasure of the bygone Main Line.

 

Michael Morrison is president of King of Prussia Historical Society, former president and current board member of TEHS, and an experienced historian. He has recently led an ongoing and very productive research project focused on the Devon Inn.

 

This presentation was held at the Tredyffrin Public Library in Strafford, PA starting at 2 pm.

 

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2017 Members Excursion

On Saturday, July 8, 2017 at 2 pm all current Society members were invited to join us for our Annual Members Excursion to:

 
Washington Memorial Chapel, French Alliance Day 2015. Photo courtesy of WMC

Washington Memorial Chapel

The 2017 Annual Members Excursion took us to the landmark Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge National Historical Park. Joined again this year by members of the King of Prussia and Radnor Historical Societies, we enjoyed an in-depth informative presentation on the history of the chapel buildings and grounds, including the bell tower and carillon. Following the talk and three special tours, the group gathered for conversation and refreshments, including delicious tea sandwiches and seasonal beverages.

 

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The Society Supports the Paoli Blues Fest

2017 Paoli Blues Fest poster with artwork by Dane Tilghman
2017 festival scene near the end of the day

On Saturday, 7 October 2017, the Society participated as an exhibitor for the seventh consecutive year in the nine-year history of the Paoli Blues Fest. We were pleased to have nice late-summer weather and a good turnout, this year in the new location at Paoli Presbyterian Church.

The ten-by-ten foot exhibit tent was located at booth position #54 near the northwest corner of the parking lot exhibit area. The steady stream of visitors who visited the tent throughout the day were fascinated by the diverse collection of historic photographs on display, and enjoyed having the opportunity to both learn about, as well as share their knowledge of, local history. This year we displayed a new set of large, poster-size images of the Main Line Airport for the enjoyment of our vistors.

Exhibiting at this community event is a wonderful way to introduce the Society to a new and wider audience, as well as to connect with many friends who stop by to chat. If you are interested in the enjoyable work of helping to staff the booth, please contact the Society by email or speak to one of us at a Society meeting.

Information about our Blues Fest participation in previous years can be found here: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Roger Thorne talking with visitors in the 2017 booth
 

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TEHS Programs on Tredyffrin Township TV

A selection of pre-recorded programs featuring presentations from past meetings of the Society are available for viewing on Tredyffrin Township Television, found on Comcast Channel 15, Verizon Channel 24 and On-Demand.

We are looking for volunteers who would be willing to assist with the recording of our presentations for later broadcast. Free training is available to township residents at the Greenwood Studio facility in the Township Building. Please contact us or Studio Manager Gene Donahue if you are interested.

Program Schedule:

  • 7 am on Sunday and Monday
  • 1 pm on Monday
  • 7 pm on Thursday and Saturday

 

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Display case exhibits at Tredyffrin Public Library

During the month of January 2018, the two display cases in the main entry hall of the Tredyffrin Public Library will contain exhibits showcasing the History Quarterly.

TEHS display case at Tredyffrin Public Library TEHS display case at Tredyffrin Public Library

TEHS display case at Tredyffrin Public Library
TEHS display case at Tredyffrin Public Library

Did you know? The TEHS maintains a display case of local history materials in the Local History Room at the Tredyffrin Public Library.

Many thanks to Jeff Groff, the great-great grandson of Hires Root Beer founder Charles Elmer Hires, for lending the items from his collection of Hires memorabilia currently on display. The exhibit was inspired by Jeff's substantial and very informative article in the July 2016 History Quarterly in which he described the history of the Hires company and the four generations of his forebears who lived in our area.

1891 trade card
1891 trade card featuring the "Hires Boy"
Courtesy Jeff Groff
 

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CBS 3 SummerFest visits Devon

On Friday 2 June 2017, as part of their ongoing SummerFest series, local television network affiliate CBS 3 (KYW) spent much of the day at the Devon Horse Show & Country Fair, with a video crew and several on-screen personalities, exploring various aspects of the event. A combination of pre-recorded and live segments appeared during the Eyewitness News broadcasts at 5, 6, and 11 pm.

Earlier in the week, Society president John O. Senior, and former president Michael Morrsion were interviewed by producer Aubrey Clerkin about the historical background of Devon. The Society provided several historic photos that were included in the program, along with short segments from the interviews. The first portion of the program, focusing more on history and including this content, was originally shown on Friday just after 5 pm, and is provided below.

The complete story, as it appears on the CBS 3 website may be viewed here.

 
 

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TEHS at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

Front cover of the 2014 book

Roger Thorne and a visitor at the TEHS table at Devon

 

From 22 May – 1 June 2014, Society members staffed a table located at northwest corner of the Committee Stand, very close to the main entrance, where our publication "Rediscovering Devon" (prepared in collaboration with DHSCF) was on sale. Many people stopped by and visited, and many others passed by and admired the large timeline banner immediately above our display table.

On Friday 12 September 2014, we once again set up our display table in the same location during the Devon Fall Classic.

 
John & Nancy, Dixon, Jim & Herb on "booth duty"

On 15 June 2014, the Society held our 2014 Member Excursion at DHSCF.
Click here for more information and photos.

 

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S. Paul Teamer Awards

As we passed the milestone of our 75th anniversary as an organization in 2012, it seemed fitting to establish a new annual award to recognize the especially significant contributions made by some of our members over the years. In considering what name this award should have we decided to reach back to the very beginning of what was then The Tredyffrin Easttown History Club and to founder and first president S. Paul Teamer. It is certainly worthwhile to look back at those first few volumes of the Quarterly and rediscover the noteworthy articles written by Teamer and his colleague Franklin L. Burns, among others, who set a high standard for those who followed.

At the January 2012 Annual Meeting, we were pleased to present the S. Paul Teamer Award for outstanding contributions to the Society to the first three recipients: Sue Andrews, Herb Fry, and Joyce Post.

At the January 2013 Annual Meeting, we were pleased to announce the names of the next two recipients of the award: Bob Goshorn (posthumous) and Mike Bertram. Since Mike was unable to attend this meeting, his award will be presented at a future meeting.

At the January 2014 Annual Meeting, we were pleased to announce the names of the 2014 recipients of the award: Franklin L. Burns (posthumous) and former president Roger D. Thorne.

At the May 2015 Meeting (rescheduled from the January 2015 Annual Meeting cancelled due to adverse weather conditions), we were pleased to recognize the 2015 recipients of the award: Barbara Fry (posthumous), Mary Robertson Ives (emeritus), and Clarissa F. Dillon.

At the January 2016 Annual Meeting, we were pleased to present the award to: John O. Senior.

For several reasons, the award was not presented in 2017, but at the January 2018 Annual Meeting, Michael Morrison, Tim Lander, and Cheryl Leibold were recognized as new recipients.

(L-R): Roger Thorne and Society President Michael Morrison
with 2016 award recipient Vice-President John O. Senior
Society President Michael Morrison with 2012 award recipients
(L-R):Joyce Post, Morrison, Herb Fry, Sue Andrews
 
Society Vice-President John O. Senior with 2014 award recipient Roger Thorne and President Michael Morrison
 
(L-R): Roger Thorne (on behalf of Mary Roberson Ives), Herb Fry (on behalf of Barbara Fry), President Michael Morrison, and Clarissa Dillon
receive the 2015 awards
 
2018 award recipients Michael Morrison, TIm Lander, and Cheryl Leibold with President John O. Senior (Note: The Philadelphia Eagles were playing for the NFC championship later that day, so John was wearing the team colors.)
 

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Society Elects New President

At the January 2012 Annual Meeting, the Society elected Michael Morrison as its new president. Michael took over from Roger Thorne who served as president for nine years, leading the Society through a period of remarkable change and growth, including the transition to a 501(c)(3) organization. Roger will remain active as Board of Directors Chair with our thanks and appreciation for his vision and dedication.

Michael is a published historian who led the Archives Committee for several years, and his passion for history and great enthusiasm for the Society has helped us to continue to grow and develop.

Michael Morrison and Roger Thorne

In April 2016, Michael stepped down and Vice President John O. Senior took on the duties of President. Michael has remained involved and continues to serve on the Board of Directors.

John initially became involved by creating the Society's website in 2006. His role gradually expanded as he managed the digital conversion of the History Quarterly back issues, serving on the board since its inception in 2008, and as Vice-President starting in 2010, and he has been editor-in-chief of the History Quarterly since 2013.

 

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State Support for the Society


Andy Dinniman and Roger Thorne
Photo courtesy John O. Senior


At our June 2011 special meeting at Historic Waynesborough, we were pleased to once again welcome State Senator Andy Dinniman, this time to present the Society with a special state proclamation recognizing seventy-five years of exceptional community service.

Roger Thorne also expressed our appreciation for the support that Sen. Dinniman provided in helping us to obtain the recently concluded 2009 DCNR grant that funded several important projects, including the acquisition of new aerial photos of the region, other selected historical photographs, and a noteworthy collection of recorded and transcribed oral histories.

Andy reading the proclamation
Photo courtesy John O. Senior


 
At the September 2009 meeting, we were pleased to welcome State Senator Andy Dinniman and former State Representative Carole Rubley to recognize them for their valuable assistance in helping the Society to receive two DCED grants that have supported our Digitization Project.

Senator Dinniman presented us with a check for a new DCNR grant to support several important projects.

Roger Thorne with Andy Dinniman
Photo courtesy John O. Senior



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2006 Kirkner Essay Contest Awards

At the October 2006 meeting, prizes and commemorative
plaques were awarded to the four winners of the
The 2006 Mildred Kirkner Memorial Essay Contest.
For more information, click here.
 

Page last updated: 2018-02-16 at 19:18 EST
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