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Frankford Haunted History Tour

Another year, another great Haunted History Tour this past weekend!

In case you couldn’t join us, the Frankford CDC, the Historical Society of Frankford, St. Mark’s Church, Frankford Friends Meeting, South Jersey Ghost Research, and the Grand Army of the Republic Civic War Museum & Library (GAR) teamed up for our second annual haunted history tour of Frankford. We had a great crowd of folks young and old from throughout the City, and just loved showing them how fun and interesting Frankford truly is! From the crypt at St. Mark’s Church, to the artifacts in the GAR and the Historical Society, the stories and the experiences just got better and spookier throughout the night.

Of course, we couldn’t have put on the event without a little help from our friends at Revolution Cider (brewed right here in Frankford at Globe Dye Works), Fifth of a Farm, and the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route of Pennsylvania. The event wouldn’t have been the same without them!

And if you weren’t able to join us this year, we hope you will be able to when Halloween rolls around again – and in the mean time, check out some of the pictures we managed to snap here . Let us know if you spot an orb!

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Frankford Friends Construction Kick Off

Frankford Friends School will hold a “Kick-Off” event on Tuesday, September 13, at 1:00 p.m., to celebrate the upcoming construction of our new building! The event will take place outside the school near the building lot, or in the Meetinghouse if it rains.

Mayor Michael A. Nutter will be present at the event. His appearance will be part of the Mayor’s “Smart City, Smart Choice for Jobs” campaign running through this month.

Neighborhood business and community leaders who have generously supported the building project will be honored at the occasion.

The event is free and open to the public. We expect it to last 30 minutes at most. Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions. We hope to see you there!

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Frankford Friends to Grow

As we previously reported, PA House bill 2291 included much needs funds for the proposed addition to Frankford Friends.  The addition requires a zoning variance which is being supported by the Frankford Civic Association.  Read the full report of their last meeting here on  It is gratifying that a prestigious institution like Friends is making this significant investment in Frankford.

The DIGSAU architecture firm has some visuals on their web site of the plans.  Have a look.  It will really transform that intersection.  To see the plans, click on Work and then Frankford Friends.  If all goes well, the addition will be open in Fall 2011.

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When Atlases And GIS Mapping Collide, They Collide In Frankford

philageohistoryPlan Philly has an article about the joint effort of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the Preservation Design Partnership’s trip to Frankford to test out their ability to match up old atlases with current surveying techniques to better document Philadelphia’s rich historical architecture with more efficiency. To quote the article:

A joint effort of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the Preservation Design Partnership is utilizing 19th century atlases and other period maps, GIS mapping, and digital technology in a unique experiment. The result may reveal the archaelogical layers of the city’s history from its early years to its current age.

That’s a mouthful.  But apparently it comes down to the fact that it’s very time intensive to track down all the old stuff in historic areas.  So the researchers are trying to match up old atlases with current mapping techniques and trying to guess which areas of a neighborhood have a high likelihood of having historic stuff.  Sounds kinda vague, but lets take the example of the area near Frankford’s border with Bridesburg, you look on an old map and see the Frankford Creek running up along what’s now Aramingo, you know you don’t have to wonder around Frankford Valley looking for old stuff cause they only filled in the creek recently.  You look at the houses that used be where I95 is now, you know you’re probably not going to get anything historic around where the city bulldozed 50 years ago.  But it also works for where you might find something.  Take Leiper Street around Overington Park.  If you compare old maps with the current surveys, you can see that some of the lot sizes for the estates are the same, meaning the houses are probably still there.  And go figure, they actually came upon this week’s home of the week!

We actually played this very game on the message board a little while ago when we were trying to figure out where the Overington Estate house sat in the park.

You can play along too, a while ago we profiled, a website that will overlay google maps with old atlases they have of Philadelphia, and Frankford is heavily included.  Check out the 1929 Ward 23 map.  And if you find anything neat, let us know!