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Historical Society September Program

The Historical Society of Frankford (HSoF) will present its September program, live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube, at 7:30 pm on September 14, 2021.

John Buffington will discuss some of the current activities at HSoF, and then read a paper, “The History of the Dummy Car,” by Thomas Creighton, first delivered to the Society on January 28, 1916. Dummy cars were self-propelled, powered by steam engines, and they replaced horse-drawn street cars for transportation between Frankford and Philadelphia in 1863. They served that purpose until they were replaced by electric trolleys in 1893. Thomas Creighton had first-hand recollections of the dummy cars in operation, and also collected stories from the operators.

This program will remain available as a video on both Facebook and YouTube indefinitely.


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Diane Sadler

Diane passed away on August 12th. She was a noted local historian and Director and Curator at the Historical Society of Frankford.


Local history activist John Buffington commented, ‘No one has ever been as devoted for as long or as diligently to Frankford history as Diane Sadler. She was an inspiration to us, and we will keep at it. But Diane will be sorely missed.’

Services will be held at Emmanuel Resurrection Episcopal Church, 8201 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19136 on Tuesday, August 24th at 11:00 A.M. Church will be open for Viewing and Greetings at 10:00 A.M. No flowers please. Donations can be made in Diane’s name to The Historical Society of Frankford, P.O. Box 4888, Philadelphia, PA 19124. .

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The Historic Free Burying Ground of Frankford

Thanks to Joe Menkevich, noted Northwood Historic Researcher, Wilmot Playground (also known as The Square) has been nominated for inclusion on the Philadelphia register of Historic Places.

As you can read in the full text of the nomination (here), the Burying Ground, which dates to 1811,  lies below Wilmot Park.  It was in active use as a cemetery through the early 1900s.


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Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum’s New Location

After 63 years in our current building, we are excited to announce that the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, the only museum in the Philadelphia area solely dedicated to the remembrance of the history of the Civil War, has a new historic home at 8110 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA.
We are very pleased to have been able to relocate to another certified historic building in a far more accessible area of the city. 
To accomplish the immense task of moving the museum to our new location we will need your assistance and financial support
Packing and moving will be a monumental task over the next few months which will require the help of many.  If you can give some time as a volunteer to assist with the move, please contact the Museum by replying to this message:
The cost of archival packing and storage materials plus the additional cost of the actual move are quite extensive.  We require certified archival materials to assure that our historic collection is properly protected.  Please consider donating to the museum to support our efforts as we begin the move to our new location.
As a 503(C)3 non-profit organization, all donations payable to the “GAR Museum” are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.  Donations should continue to be sent to our current address, GAR Civil War Museum, 4278 Griscom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124.
As of July 2, the Museum will be closed.  The Archive and Library will be open for research by appointment only.  We look forward to opening in the fall.
We invite you to become a part of the next chapter of the Museum’s history.