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Next Meeting:

A Seven-Year-Old Remembers July 31, 1956 – Bart Van Valkenburgh

Upcoming Meetings

Special Events:

Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day

Paoli Blues Fest

Historic House Tour

"Behind the Doors"

Recent Meetings:

2016 Members Excursion

Archive Additions in 2016 – Cheryl Leibold

Past Meetings


The Society Supports 2016 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



Our Next Meeting

At our next meeting on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm, the featured presentation will be:

Bart's snapshots from 1956

A Seven-Year-Old Remembers July 31, 1956

by Bart Van Valkenburgh

In this unique presentation, Bart will be “connecting the dots” between his childhood memories of a wide variety of subjects including: Autocar trucks and the devastating Autocar factory fire in Ardmore; the 5th Armored Division; the Paoli and Berwyn Fire Companies; a square-rigged ship named the Christian Radich; Hollywood; Cinerama; and the legendary Boyd movie theater in Center City Philadelphia.

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



Upcoming Presentations

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

23 Apr 2017 Easttown Library “July 31,1956 A Seven-Year-Old Boy Remembers” by Bart Van Valkenburgh
21 May 2017 Easttown Library “A Century Under Wire” by Frank Tatnall
8 July 2017 Valley Forge Park 2017 Member Excursion to Washington Memorial Chapel


Special Events Sponsored by Other Organizations

Tredyffrin Community Day


The Society exhibited again at the 2016 Tredyffrin Township Community Day on Saturday 17 September 2016 from 4 pm until 7 pm at Wilson Farm Park in Chesterbrook. Many people stopped by and visited with us! The rescheduled July 4th fireworks display followed, starting 7:45 pm.

The Society previously exhibited at the 2014 Tredyffrin Community Day and Wilson Farm Park Tenth Birthday Celebration from 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday 4 October 2014 at Wilson Park in Chesterbrook.


Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day


The Society exhibited for the first time at the 2016 Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day on Saturday 24 September 2016 from 11 am until 4 pm at Paoli Memorial Grounds in Malvern. A good size crowd came to enjoy the demonstrations, displays, food, crafts, games, and more.


Historic House Tour


Also on Saturday 24 September, the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust held their 12th Annual Historic House Tour from 12 until 5 pm. The proceeds went to support the rebuilding of the historic Jones Log Barn.


Paoli Blues Fest


The Society exhibited again at the 2016 Paoli Blues Fest on Saturday 1 October 2016 from 12 until 6 pm at the Paoli Viallge Shops area in Paoli. Despite the cool and misty weather, a fair-sized crowd was on hand enjoy the sights and sounds, as well as great food and drink. See more about the Society's involvement here.



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.



2016 Members Excursion

On Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 2 pm all current Society members were invited to attend our Annual Members Excursion to the Old Roberts School.

Old Roberts School, 2011-10-31. Photo courtesy of Vytas Masalaitis

Old Roberts School

The 2016 Annual Members Excursion took us to the Old Roberts School in Wayne. We were joined by members of the King of Prussia Historical Society and the Radnor Historical Society in the old schoolhouse for an informative presentation by Michael Morrison on the history of the school and grounds. Following his talk, the group gathered for conversation and refreshments, including delicious tea sandwiches and seasonal beverages, and intrepid visitors were encouraged to explore the grounds, particularly the trails of the adjacent 90-acre McKaig Nature Preserve.

2–4 pm, Sunday, 12 June 2016

Roberts Elementary School
889 Croton Road
Wayne, PA 19087

In 1848, Jonathan Roberts, farmer and U.S. Senator, built a school to educate the poor children from the mill workers' houses on Croton Road, and for the pupils from the Henderson, Hughes, and Roberts farms. A ten-acre site was set aside and the first school was built mostly from logs, lasting for 50 years. It was abandoned in 1917, and reverted under terms of its original deed to the Roberts estate. After that it remained abandoned and fell into decay. In 1957, the King of Prussia Historical Society initiated a fundraising effort to restore the old school. Today the school remains as a monument to historic preservation under the watchful eye and constant care of the Upper Merion Park and Historic Foundation.
(Courtesy of the King of Prussia Historical Society)



Our Most Recent Meeting

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

Devon Inn ruins, 1929 — Courtesy TEHS Archives

Some noteworthy donations from the 2016 collection:

  • Newspaper clipping collections are very useful in documenting the lives of residents and their goings-on—a snapshot in time. The clippings also reveal period linguistic parlance. This year we are fortunate to have received several newspaper clipping scrapbooks that cover the Berwyn-Paoli area during the late 1920s and into the early 1940s, including three scrapbooks with 35 photographs assembled by Franklin Burns, several of which have never been seen before.
  • Many people in our area have at least heard of the Devon Inn, that remarkable hotel originally constructed in 1882 and located just 300 yards south of the Devon train station. For three decades the Devon Inn was a popular and well patronized summer and fall resort destination for families in search of rest and relaxation - and who came to see and be seen. Did you know that Philadelphians staying at the Devon Inn were reportedly considered to “hold sway?” Years later, the former Devon Inn briefly served as the first site for the Valley Forge Military Academy before sadly burning to the ground in January 1929. One of our 2016 donations is a remarkable photo of the ruins of this once-magnificent building taken soon after the blaze.
  • A third donation is a collection of essays written by A. Edward Newton, the world-famous book collector and antiquarian who had amassed a library of 10,000 books at his estate, Oak Knoll, located just south of the Daylesford train station. Notably, these donated essays by Newton were originally created as elaborate Christmas messages, and there is sure to be at least one treasure that sparks your interest in this unique collection.

Archive Additions in 2016

by Cheryl Leibold

Society archivist Cheryl Leibold presented an overview of the various photographs, memorabilia, and other research materials donated to the Society in 2016.

Following Cheryl's presentation, we showed a special preview of:

Five Generations of Business and Community: The Fritz Family in Berwyn

In their 2016 interviews with filmmakers Anne Leith and John Welsh, Bill and Howard Fritz tell stories about the long history of their family business, Fritz Lumber. This ongoing video project, produced in collaboration with the Society, also looks at the ever-changing town of Berwyn, and viewers were encouraged to share their memories and perspectives.


This presentation was held at the Easttown Library & Information Center in Berwyn, PA starting at 2 pm.



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



TEHS at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

Front cover of the new 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 new publication "Rediscovering Devon" was on sale. Many people stopped by and visited, and many others passed by and admired the large "Rediscovering Devon" 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.

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.



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.

Society President Michael Morrison with 2012 award recipients
(L-R):Joyce Post, Morrison, Herb Fry, Sue Andrews
(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


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 has led the Archives Committee for several years, and his passion for history and great enthusiasm for the Society will help us to continue to grow and develop.

In April 2016, Michael stepped down and Vice President John O. Senior took on the duties of President. Michael intends to remain involved and will continue to serve on the Board of Directors.

Michael Morrison and Roger Thorne



The Society Supports 2016 Paoli Blues Fest

2016 Paoli Blues Fest artwork ("Clapton") by Dane Tilghman
2016 booth layout, before the crowds

On Saturday, 1 October 2016 the Society participated as an exhibitor for the sixth consecutive year in the eight-year history of the Paoli Blues Fest. While the weather was a little cool and misty, a good-sized crowd came out to support the event.

The ten-by-ten foot exhibit tent was located at booth position #71, near the entrance to TJ's. 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 six large, poster-size images 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 next year, 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. and 2015.

TEHS Secretary Bill Keltz chatting with a visitor
Photos courtesy of Roger Thorne



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


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: 2017-04-06 at 14:08 EST
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