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The Story of Wistar Park

The Historical Society of Frankford live streamed Fred Prescott’s presentation of the Story of Wistar Park last night in place of their regular monthly in person meeting.

Fred is our former neighbor from Griscom Street and his roots go way back in Frankford history.  He packed a lot of history into this video.  Take a look.


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The Historical Society of Frankford Livestream October 13th

Join us for the Historical Society of Frankford’s next live streaming event on Tuesday evening , October 13th, at 7:30 PM, when board member Fred Prescott will discuss the history of Wistar Park, the first official ballfield in this part of town.

Fred’s lecture will be drawn from our archival resources but will also be flavored by his own personal recollections of growing up in Frankford. The growth and development of amateur and semi-professional sports locally will be shown in the context of the rise of professional sports leagues throughout the United States in the years following the Civil War. And learn the story of the found, lost park.

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Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter266 will be holding their annual name reading at the memorial on Saturday Oct. 24 at 12 noon. It is also the 33rd anniversary of the memorial. The memorial is located at Front and Spruce Sts.
Please come out to show your respect for the 648 men and women from Philadelphia who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. Chapter 266 is also looking foe new members. If interested email or call Chuck at or 215-722-3518.
masks and social distance required
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Commodore Percival Drayton, Union Hero of the Civil War


Presents a New Program via ZOOM

Commodore Percival Drayton, Union Hero of the Civil War and Philadelphia

SUNDAY, October 4, at 1:00 pm

Presented by:  Captain Jack Lieberman (USN, retired)

Please send a request to reserve a virtual seat for this outstanding presentation by replying to this e-mail at

Percival Drayton was the son of a wealthy South Carolina Congressman William Drayton. He entered the United States Navy as a midshipman in 1827, and served continuously up to the Civil War, being posted to stations that included the Mediterranean, the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Brazil, Paraguay and at the Naval Observatory, Washington, DC.   His older brother, Thomas Fenwick Drayton, was a West Point Graduate and a United States Army officer who remained loyal to the South and became a Confederate Brigadier General.  When the Civil War began Percival was stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Yard, but was soon given command of the warship “USS Pocahontas.”  He commanded the vessel in the successful Union Naval assault on Port Royal, South Carolina in November 1861.  In that action, he fired upon troops and positions commanded by his brother Thomas who was commanding Confederate troops on shore in a literal, classic instance of the   “BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER” phrase often used to describe the American Civil War.

He was promoted to Captain, US Navy in July 1862, and was assigned to Admiral David Farragut’s West Gulf Squadron and commanded Farragut’s flagship USS Hartford in the celebrated Naval assault and capture of Mobile Bay, Alabama in August 1864. The bay was heavily mined (tethered  mines at that time were called TORPEDOES).   Farragut ordered his fleet to charge the bay. When one of the Union Monitors struck a mine and sank, the other Union ships began to retreat.  Farragut could see the ships pulling back from his high perch, where he was lashed to the rigging of his flagship.   “What’s the trouble?” he shouted through his megaphone to the forward lookout.  “Torpedoes!” was shouted back.   “DAMN THE TORPEDOES” said Farragut, “FOUR BELLS – CAPTAIN DRAYTON, FULL SPEED AHEAD”   The bulk of the fleet then succeeded in entering the bay. Captain Drayton died August 4, 1865 and was buried in St John’s Church in Washington, DC, however his remains were exhumed three months later and he was re-buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery, in Philadelphia, on November 18, 1865, next to his father, William Drayton.

You will be sent a link with a password that will enable you to access the program within 24 hours of the start of the presentation.

As a lover of history, you know how critical it is to keep history alive, especially today!  We very much appreciate your continued support for the GAR Civil War Museum