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Residents Find Their Home on the HSF Virtual Tour

Charles and Delores Smith attended the monthly Historical Society of Frankford meeting on October 9th not realizing that their house on Orthodox Street would be one of those featured on the program that evening.  The virtual tour of historic homes and sites in Frankford, conducted by Patricia Coyne, Secretary of the HSF, was a PowerPoint presentation of the booklet compiled by the HSF which was partially funded through a grant from the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

This booklet takes you back to the grand old days of the Historical Society with a degree of research information that has not been previously been put into one place.  It will be an eye opener even for long time residents.  Credit should be given to Patricia Coyne, Debbie Klak, Susan Couvreur, Diane Sadler, Kristin Hagar and Richard Thomas for the hours they spent on the project.


The meeting wrapped up with light refreshments as usual.  There was some Revolutionary Cider produced right in Frankford at the Globe.

Coming Up at the Historical Society of Frankford:

Saturday, 27 October 2012 4:00pm
Join us at 4pm on October 27th for the second annual Haunted Tour of Frankford, sponsored by the Frankford CDC, as we walk from the Historical Society of Frankford and visit Frankford Friends Meeting School, St Mark’s Church, the GAR Museum and Library, and historic Frankford Avenue, the site of the W3R-PA movement of French and Continental troops under Washington and Rochambeau. South Jersey Ghost Research will be our “spirit guide” as we learn about this area’s haunted history. The tour is an hour and a half, with refreshments before and after, including locally brewed cider using a centuries-old recipe. Tickets are $6.00, and parking will be available at Frankford Friends Meeting, also on the 1500 block of Orthodox Street.
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 7:30pm
Allen M Hornblum
Author “Confessions of a Second Story Man –
Junior Kripplebauer and the K & A Gang”

Join the author of “Acres of Skin” as he shares the challenges of researching a story of national significance about human exploitation in the name of medical science at NE Philadelphia’s former Holmesburg Prison. A subject of the experiments will offer an insider’s look at the prison.
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 7:30pm
Holiday Tea
Learn about the 2012 NE Hall of Fame inductees, including Frank Shuman (Solar Power) and Leon Sullivan (OIC), and meet/greet former and current ones, including representatives from some of the area’s historic churches. This is our members’ traditional Holiday Tea, so bring desserts or tea sandwiches to share.
Refreshments served. Members free; Others $5.00
1507 Orthodox Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124


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Oakland Cemetery, Where the History Lies Beneath

Doctor David Hewett recently did a walking tour of Oakland Cemetery.  I could not attend but he posted some reflections of that tour on his blog here.  Dr. Hewitt, Botanist, from the Academy of Natural Science and walking with him outdoors is like taking a trip back in time.  I look at a tree and see a tall thing made of wood.  He looks at a tree and see history.

In between Friends Hospital and Greenwood Cemetery, just a bit off Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia, is Oakland Cemetery.  Friends Hospital, founded in 1813, is the oldest private psychiatric hospital in the US, and it also has a beautiful landscape – with its azaleas along the way down to Tacony Creek behind it, with its enormous American elm tucked away into a corner behind one of its buildings, and with the many other trees and flowers dotting and shading it throughout, it’s a surprising little refuge of calm and color in the city, as traffic along the Boulevard rushes by, just beyond the gates and fence of the hospital’s grounds.

You should read the rest of the story here.  It is well worth your time and you might want to take the next walking tour when it comes along.

Thanks for Mary Ellen Post for the tip.

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Historical Society of Frankford Does Frank Furness War Hero

E. Wayne Dovan, Dennis Boylan and Dr. Andy Waskie

I learned more about Frank Furness than I expected at the monthly Historical Society of Frankford meeting on September 11th.  Frankford has one of the surviving structures designed by Furness (the mortuary chapel at Mt. Sinai Cemetery at 1901 Bridge Street) but this program was about his little known history of participation in the Civil war.  He was a Medal of Honor recipient for bravery in battle.

The story was told by three experts: Dr. Andy Waskie (GAR museum and Library on Griscom Street), E. Wayne Dovan, (Chaplin, Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #1506) and Dennis Boylan, (First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry).  The Society has mounted a special exhibit devoted to Furness which includes photos, prints and drawings of his work.

Coming up on September 23rd at the historical society will be something new.  A virtual tour of the historic homes and sites of Frankford which has been under development for some time.  We have, here in this community, a wealth of material and the society has selected the highlights.  This will be a virtual tour, no walking required.  On September 23rd at 2PM at the society at 1507 Orthodox Street.


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Tidbit: Philly History Blog profiles Frankford Creek sewerization

Ken Finkel over on the Philly History Blog gives a profile of the Frankford Creek and the reasons why it was converted into a channel in the early 20th century.  He also points out the remains of Tremont Mills at the corner of Wingohocking and Adams.  We did a before and after of this interesting building in 2009.

Interestingly, he points out a photo with a wide view of the Creek taken in 1912 that is claimed to be at the corner of Dungan and Lycoming streets.

This looks to me to be on Wingohocking near Castor looking down.  I’d love for someone to weigh in here.