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At the Historical Society of Frankford

At the Historical Society of Frankford on Sunday, October 6th, from 3 to 6 PM, the  Society hosted The Second Annual Conference for Archival Researchers and Friends.

Fred Moore had four big maps and talked on Pennypack Park & the water ways all around different neighborhoods around Frankford Creek.  He answered questions from the audience about where the mouse started and ended take us back in time on about the waterways was very good and informative.

Robin Iriszary with the TTF Frankford watershed and working out of the Globe Dye Works talked about a bus trip November 16th at $20 and how you will visit both mouths of the Frankford Creek.  Alan Levin will be there and others from the Department of recreation and you can meet at I and Ramona Street at 10 a.m.

Professor Matt Smalarz, Professor at Manor College, talked on real estate development in Northeast Philadelphia after World War II from 1950 to 1960.

Fred Prescott talked on a bamboo airplane built to protect Frankford Arsenal going world War l.  The story was written by Bruce Beaton and is available in full at this link.

A 90 year old Elaine Peden talked on how she got a bill passed in Congress and signed by President Reagan to promote William Penn and Hannah Callowhill Penn his wife to become honorary United States citizens.  She is a Frankford resident living here for 90 years who owned the bar on Foulkrod Street just below Frankford Avenue.

There also was a visit by Harry Kyriakodis talking about his past books and John Buffington also talked about Charlie McCloskey who did a book on the Gordon, Saltar, Wharton Family Papers, 1723-1858.

Tom Manton spoke about Petty’s Island and his family roots on the island.

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Old Frankford Reunion 2019

The Frankford area and Deni Playground were well represented at the Old Frankford Reunion. A great time was had by all  on Friday night, Sept 27th, 2019, at the FOP Lodge.
Jim Barry, Judy White,Standish, Doug and Gloria Morrison, Jim Margiotti, and myself and others who helped signing in, you all did a great job!! Also thanks to Bob and Pat Smiley and the Frankford Gazette for the advertising of the event.

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Thanks for coming out, hope you all had a great time, as we did?    This party came together in about 4 months, as a birthday party for about 15 people who were 70 years young and became a Old Frankford Reunion. Some people have not seen others in about 40 yrs.
John Hewitt.


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Frankford Quarry Mystery Unveiled

At the Historical Society of Frankford meeting on September 10th, John Hewitt with the help of Bob Smiley searched and retrieved old newspaper article’s about the quarry at the intersections of Adams Avenue and Church Street. The story is how some 11 children and an adult lost their lives after falling into a Frankford bluestone quarry that later became Deni Playground in about the years 1871 to 1897.

Donald Clark assisted in taking pictures that night.  Thank you very much for your help Donald. Pat Smiley spoke about Keep the Faith in Frankford and the upcoming things going on and Joe Taylor from the organization talked about the clean up at Saint Joachim Cemetery. Pat also talked about Bob Smiley’s book coming out and his talk November 12th at the Historical Society of Frankford. There will be updates about the book.

In the absence of Jim Young, President of the Society,  Jerry Kolankiewicz did the introduction of speakers. Thank you Jerry and a big thanks to Susan Couvreur & the other board members who helped to make this presentation a good one.

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Coming up at the meeting on October 8th will be a slide show- Images From The Old Frankford Camera Club  of glass slides created by the members of the Frankford Camera Club which was founded in 1889. They were based at Wright’s Institute which was located at Unity and Griscom streets.

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Historical Society June Meeting

At the meeting of the Historical Society of Frankford on June 11th, Justin C. Bailey, Secretary, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, presented 190 year old books of minutes, in four boxes from the Odd Fellows Lodge #14 in Frankford to the Society for addition to their collections.

Before the presentation, salads, sandwiches, coffee, tea and desserts were put out and all had a good time.

The next meeting of the Historical Society of Frankford will be on September 10th at 7:30 PM.  The program subject to be announced at a future time.


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Historical Society April Program

Story and photos by John Hewitt

Tom Nickels, author of the book: Philadelphia Mansions, gave a talk at the Historical Society of Frankford on Tuesday April 9th, 2019. The talk was well received buy a packed house. Refreshments were served afterwards.

Richard Aregood on left, in blue (Pulitzer Prize winner) former editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, introduced Tom Nickels in black jacket, author of the book: Philadelphia Mansions 

Jim Young, President of the HSF, received a book of minutes and a gavel given to them by the Knights of Columbus by Tom McAvoy.  The Knights of Columbus that were housed at the Ruan House on Griscom Street Frankford for many years.  The Ruan House now houses the Grand Army of the Republic.

Tom McAvoy presents Knights of Columbus minutes book to Jim Young.

Also on this night Jim Young, Jerry Kolankiewicz, and Vanessa Couvreur won election to the board for 3 more years.

Coming up at the meeting on May 14th, Will Fenton, Ph.D., Director of Scholarly Innovation at The Library Company of Philadelphia will present: The Paxton Boys:

In December of 1763, in the aftermath of the French and Indian War and Pontiac’s Rebellion, a vigilante mob of ruthless frontiersmen of Scotch-Irish descent from Paxtang Township in central Pennsylvania, based on unfounded fear and unprovoked by any Indian hostility, massacred 20 Native Americans in Lancaster County. The “Paxton Boys” were responsible for this Conestoga Massacre.  The Paxton boys reportedly numbered as many as 1,500 members and wreaked havoc throughout the Province.