Lecture, Wednesday, March 11, 7:30 p.m.
Wanamaker and Family: Gilded Age Citizens and Residents
One of the most illustrious citizens of Philadelphia’s Gilded Age was John Wanamaker.
His exploits spanned three careers: Merchant, Politician, and Civic Activist. Several of his children,
also residents of Chelten Hills, achieved their own fame and fortune. This presentation by author and
Society Vice President, Tom Wieckowski, will review the accomplishments and lives of these notable citizens,
and the Lindenhurst estate that was the center of many of Wanamaker’s life events. Lecture will be held in
Homestead Hall, the parish house building of the Church of Our Savior in Jenkintown on Homestead Road,
one block south of the Jenkintown Library. This lecture is underwritten by a grant from the Jenkinstown Lyceum.
Presentation and Reception, Sunday, March 15, 2:30 p.m.
Herkness Real Estate Books
The Society and Penn State Abington are pleased to host a special showing of the Herkness Real Estate
Book at the Penn State Abington library in the Woodland Building. The event celebrates the digitization
of the books. The Society also has a complete set of the books on CD-rom at the archives. The books
document the developments of Herkness & Stetson Inc. and later Wayne and Malcolm Herkness who, more than
any other people, charted the development of Rydal and Meadowbrook prior to 1940. Their realty books
chronicle in photographs, plot plans and blueprints the houses bought and sold – and sometimes built – by the
Herknesses in Abington, Bethayres, Huntingdon Valley, Jenkintown, Lower Moreland Township, Meadowbrook, Rydal,
and Upper Moreland Township. These books are part of the collection at Penn State Abington and were recently
digitized and made available online through Penn State University Libraries. The event will include a
brief presentation about the Herknesses and the digitization process from David Rowland, Society President,
and Dolores Fidishun, head librarian at Penn State Abington. General discussion, Q&A and a reception will
follow where guests may view the original books and tour the library’s Ogontz School archive room.
The event is free and open to the public.
Lecture, Wednesday, April 8, 7:30 p.m.
Riding the Reading to Bethlehem
You may remember when the Reading Railroad had service from Philadelphia, through Jenkintown,
to Bethlehem. Steve Stewart, who taught American History in the Abington Schools for 30 years
remembers, and will take us on a tour of the route as it was from 1930 to 1970. From the famous
Reading Terminal, through Jenkintown Junction and up the Bethlehem Branch, the route covered
the old North Pennsylvania Railroad line, built in 1855. The North Penn System was taken over by the
Reading Railroad in 1879 and turned over to SEPTA, in 1963. Join us for a ride on the Reading. Lecture
will be held in Homestead Hall, the parish house building of the Church of Our Savior in Jenkintown
on Homestead Road, one block south of the Jenkintown Library. This lecture is underwritten by a grant
from the Jenkinstown Lyceum.
Special Event, Sunday, April 12, 2:00 p.m.
William Penn Warrant Campaign Unveiling and Reception (by invitation only)
Spring Outing, Sunday, April 26, 1:30 p.m.
Eastern State Penitentiary
Join us for a private tour of Eastern State Penitentiary. Eastern State was once the most famous prison in the world,
but stands today almost in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Built in 1829,
the prison was known for its grand architecture and strict discipline. Prisoners were kept in solitude; this was
the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. The
system of solitary confinement eventually eroded away until its end in 1913. The prison continued until it closed in 1971. Many
of America’s most notorious criminals were incarcerated here, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and gangster Al Capone. The
bus will depart from the Jenkintown Library parking lot at 1:30 pm and return before 5:00 pm. Cost is $25 for members and $29 for non-members.
Click here for a registration form.
Lecture and Annual Meeting, Wednesday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.
John Sullivan and the Battle of Brandywine
On September 11, 1777, British General Sir William Howe moved to capture Washington’s troops arrayed along Brandywine Creek.
The defeat of Washington allowed Howe to take Philadelphia unopposed. Author Michael C. Harris will argue that while
traditional history blames the American loss on General John Sullivan, an analysis of the primary documents paints a
far different picture. Harris is the author of Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but
Saved America. Lecture will be held in Homestead Hall, the parish house building of the Church of Our Savior in Jenkintown
on Homestead Road, one block south of the Jenkintown Library. This lecture is underwritten by a grant from the Jenkinstown Lyceum.
The Annual Meeting of the Society will precede the May lecture. Officer and Committee reports will be presented and the Nominating Committee will
present a slate of Officers and Executive Council members to be elected for the 2015-2016 program year.
Reception, Sunday, May 17, 2:00 p.m.
Annual Patrons’ Party (Invitation only)