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Next Meeting:

A Brief History of Freedom and Slavery in Pennsylvania – Dave Montalvo

Upcoming Presentations and Events

Special Events:

Paoli Inn Historic Marker Dedication

Tredyffrin Township Community Day

Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day

Mt. Zion AME Church 170th Anniversary

Historic House Tour

Paoli Blues Fest

"Behind the Doors"

Recent Meetings:

Why Frank Furness Matters – George Thomas

2019 Member Excursion

Past Meetings


Paoli Inn Historic Marker Dedication

TEHS exhibits at local public libraries

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



Our Next Meeting

At our next meeting on Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 2:00 pm, the featured presentation will be:

A woodcut from an 1837 publication of John Greenleaf Whittier's anti-slavery poem, 'Our Countrymen in Chains.' Based on a sculptured medallion, the design was originally adopted as the seal of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in England in 1787, and later used as the emblem of the abolitionist movement in America.

A Brief History of Freedom and Slavery in Pennsylvania

by Dave Montalvo

Slavery existed in the North as well as the South, although in the North it had mostly ended before the Civil War. Slavery as it existed in Pennsylvania was unique in several respects, not the least of which being the extremely early opposition to it. Yet in contrast to that opposition stands the fact that slavery lasted longer in Pennsylvania than in many of the Northern states. Unfortunately, an exhaustive history would really require far more time that we have, so only the major milestones of slavery in Pennsylvania along with facts and figures for Montgomery County will be presented, along with a very brief overview of the local abolition movement and the Underground Railroad. Also discussed will be the differences between slavery and indentured servitude.

Dave Montalvo teaches physics at the Upper Merion Area High School, and is the current president of the King of Prussia Historical Society.

NOTE: Before the presentation, we will hold a brief Society business meeting to conduct elections, present the 2019 financial report, and recognize the S. Paul Teamer award recipients for 2020.

This presentation will be held at the Easttown Library & Information Center in Berwyn, PA on Sunday 19 January 2020, starting at 2 pm.



Upcoming Presentations and Events

Click on the active links to view more information on these meetings coming up in the months ahead:

19 January Easttown Library A Brief History of Freedom and Slavery in Pennsylvania by Dave Montalvo

The remainder of the Winter and Spring 2020 meeting schedule will be announced soon.



Special Events Sponsored by Other Organizations

Tredyffrin Community Day


The Society exhibited again at the 2019 Tredyffrin Township Community Day — “Party in the Park” — on Saturday 21 September 2019 from 4 pm until 7 pm at Wilson Farm Park in Chesterbrook. We enjoyed talking with the many people who stopped by and visited us.


Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day


The Society exhibited again at the 2019 Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day on Saturday 21 September 2018 from 11 am until 4 pm at Paoli Memorial Grounds in Malvern.


Mt. Zion AME Church 170th Anniversary


Mt. Zion AME Church celebrated their 170th Anniversary on Saturday 21 September 2018 from 10 am until 4 pm at 380 North Fairfield Road in Devon. PA State Senator Any Dinniman presented a proclamation at 10 am, and members of the 6th Regiment United States Colored Troops (USCT) Reenactors presented a 21-Gun Salute and Taps, followed by tours of the historic church and cemetery, and a special service and banquet starting at noon.


Historic House Tour


On Saturday 28 September, the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust will hold their 15th 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. Tickets available now.


Paoli Blues Fest


The Society exhibited in past years at the Paoli Blues Fest, but for various reasons, did not exhibit at the 2018 event, and will not attend the 2019 event to be held on Saturday 28 September 2019 from noon until 6 pm at Paoli Presbyterian Church. See more about the Society's past 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.



Our Most Recent Meeting

At the public meeting on Sunday, November 17, 2019, the featured event was:

The front façade of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia,
designed by Frank Furness, 1871-1876.

Why Frank Furness Matters

by George Thomas

Accomplished architectural historian George Thomas shared some of his extensive knowledge about renowned Philadelphia architect Frank Furness.

The very well-attended and successful lecture examined the connections between the industrial culture that shaped Philadelphia and the architecture of Frank Furness, and also some of his students who became quite prominent and influential themselves — Louis Sullivan, William Price, and George Howe. Those students carried forward the ideas and values learned from Furness, and shaped much of what we consider to be modern architecture.

This presentation was held at the Tredyffrin Public Library in Strafford, PA on Sunday 17 November 2019, starting at 2 pm.

Side view from Cherry St.
Front cover of George Thomas' 2018 book.

George E. Thomas is a cultural and architectural historian who serves as codirector of the Critical Conservation Program at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. His books include First Modern: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and, with David B. Brownlee, Building America's First University: An Architectural and Historical Guide to the University of Pennsylvania, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press; and Frank Furness: The Complete Works with Michael Lewis and Jeffrey Cohen. He is also lead author of the Buildings of Philadelphia volume in the Society of Architectural Historians' series Buildings of the United States.



2019 Member Excursion

The General Store and adjacent structures. © 2018 Compli Photography

On Sunday, 16 June 2019, all current Society members were invited to join us for our Annual Member Excursion, which this year took us to Historic Sugartown in Malvern.

Along Sugartown Road in Willistown Township stands the remarkably intact and lovingly restored, 19th-century village of Sugartown. In the early 1800s, with the American Revolution behind them, Sugartown's early residents established a school, general store, other businesses, and meeting places, creating a vibrant crossroads that provided goods and services to its surrounding farming community. The village was soon known as Shugart's Town, after tavern keeper Eli Shugart, and served as a vital stop for weary travelers hauling wagonloads of goods to the markets of Philadelphia and other parts of the county. Sugartown remained a social, educational, commercial and municipal center throughout the 1800s.

With the guidance of tour guides, we explored nineteenth-century village life and culture through rich collections and authentically restored buildings of Historic Sugartown. Our tour featured the General Store, the Ivanhoe Lodge within the same building, the Carriage Museum, 1805 William Garrett Quaker Farm House, the Cheever Bank Barn, and the Book Bindery, with special demonstrations of bookbinding and paper marbling.

Following the group tours, we enjoyed a Victorian-era-inspired Ice Cream Social, along with other snacks, for our refreshment on an early summer Sunday afternoon, as well as gathering for conversation and watching the wonderful paper-marbling demonstration. As has been the case for the past few years, we werejoined again this year by members of the King of Prussia and Radnor Historical Societies.


RSVP: To assist us with planning for the event, we asked that participants let us know that they were planning to attend. The cost per person was $10.00, payable by cash or check upon arrival.

1:00–3:30 pm, Sunday, 16 June 2019

690 Sugartown Road
Malvern, PA 19355


Directions: Historic Sugartown is located at 690 Sugartown Road, near the intersection with Spring & Boot Roads, 1.2 miles south of Paoli Pike in Malvern. By GPS, enter 273 Boot Road, Malvern, PA – it should direct you right to Historic Sugartown's parking lot.



Paoli Inn Historic Marker Dedication

Paoli Inn historic Marker

To commemorate the long-gone Paoli Inn, the Paoli Business & Professional Association (PBPA) has placed an historic marker on the original site, near the eastern end of the Paoli Plaza at the Paoli Village Shoppes, close to the North Valley Road bridge and the Paoli train station. Society members were invited to join the dedication celebration, and many did come out to support this recognition of an important part of Tredyffrin Township's historic legacy.

Due to the rainy weather forecast for the original date, the postponed event was held on Thursday, 16 May 2019 from 2:00–2:30pm at The Paoli Village Shoppes, near the Paoli Train Station and the North Valley Road bridge.

In addition to remarks from members of the PBPA, there were several invited speakers, including Society VP Bart Van Valkenburgh, Tredyffrin Township Supervisor Murph Wysocki, and Pennsylvania State Representative Melissa Shusterman. Seven members of the Revolutionary Military Honor Guard, dressed in period uniforms, also participated in the ceremony.



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


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 exhibits at local public libraries

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.

The current exhibit highlights Herb Fry's book collection.

C. Herbert Fry was an active contributing member and officer of the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society for over thirty years. Herb gave numerous talks and wrote over two dozen local history articles for the Society's History Quarterly periodical. He and his late wife Barbara amassed a collection of historical photographs, books, articles and other research materials that filled two closets. Following his death in July 2018, all of his local history materials came to the Society. One of his special interests was Valley Forge, and his books on the subject numbered over forty. Eight of these are displayed in this case.


Another example is this book by Frank Resavy & Tom McNichol.

TEHS display case at Easttown Library & Information Center

During the month of April 2018, a display case in the main entry hall of the Easttown Library & Information Center in Berwyn contained an exhibit featuring nine historic photos of Berwyn with intriguing captions, testing the viewer's knowledge of the area.



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.



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.



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.

S. Paul Teamer Award Recipients
  († posthumous, * since deceased)

2012Sue Andrews, Herb Fry*, Joyce Post*
2013Bob Goshorn†, Mike Bertram
2014Franklin L. Burns†, Roger D. Thorne
2015Barbara Fry†, Mary Robertson Ives*, Clarissa F. Dillon
2016John O. Senior
2018Tim Lander, Cheryl Leibold, Michael Morrison
2019Jim Brazel, Heidi Sproat

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.

(L-R): Roger Thorne and Society President Michael Morrison
with 2016 award recipient Vice-President 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.

At the January 2019 Annual Meeting, Heidi Sproat (unable to attend) and Jim Brazel were recognized as new recipients.

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.)
2019 award recipient Heidi Sproat
with John O. Senior
2019 award recipient Jim Brazel
with Roger Thorne


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 remained very involved and continued to serve on the Board of Directors through 2018.

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.



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: 2019-11-18 at 18:43 EST
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