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The Cowden Drum

What is the Cowden Drum?

This valuable artifact from the Civil War was gifted to the Historical Society of Frankford by the Cowden family.  It is the subject of their May 10th meeting.

Historical Society president Jerry Kolankiewicz will discuss the rediscovery of the Cowden family and this Civil War drum’s history. Lara Kaplan, arts conservator at Winterthur Museum will explain her careful restoration of the drum.  Andy Waskie, an authority on the historical period, will provide some context.

The meeting is open to the public at the Society building at 1507 Orthodox Street at 7:30 PM on May 10th. In addition it will be live streamed live on their Facebook page and available on YouTube live.

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Coming up at the Historical Society of Frankford on October 8th

Lecture for October 8th at The Historical Society of Frankford will be a show of lantern slides produced by the members of The Frankford Camera Club.

The club was founded in 1889 and made it’s home at the Wright’s Institute for about 50 years. They were a group of men and women who were amateur photographers during an age when the technology was becoming available to everyone.

Come view these slides on our projector called a Balopticon that dates from around 1914.

Lecture begins at 7:30 pm followed by light refreshments. Open to all free of charge. Donations gratefully accepted.

Historical Society of Frankford

1507 Orthodox Street

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Historical Society Hosts TTF Watershed

 Robin Irizary, Watershed Coordinator of Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc. spoke to people at the Frankford Historical Society on Tuesday April 11, 2017.

Robin showed maps and charts and a video about how important the watershed is to the Frankford community. After, there were questions and answers and refreshments.

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The next meeting of the Historical Society of Frankford will be on May 9th at 7:30 PM at 1507 Orthodox Street.
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TTF Watershed program on Whitaker Mill at Historical Society of Frankford

As part of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford (TTF) Watershed Partnership‘s “Trails Through Time” series, local author and historian Fred Maurer presented a history of Whitaker Mill in Tacony Creek Park at the Historical Society of Frankford on Saturday evening, July 18th.   With photographs, newspaper articles, and an engaging slide presentation, Fred shared the evolution of Henry Whitaker’s textile mill, built in 1813 at Cedar Grove along Tacony Creek.  Those in the audience, many of whom live in the area adjacent to the original mill, enjoyed refreshments and the opportunity to view some of the Historical Society of Frankford’s items related to the Mill.

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Follow this link to a blog post by   for more information and some great photos from Fred’s presentation.


The TTF Watershed Partnership, located in the repurposed Globe Dye Works at 4500 Worth Street in Frankford, shared maps and information on their ongoing efforts to improve the health and vitality of the watershed neighborhood by engaging communities in education, stewardship, restoration, and advocacy.

More information is available at and

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Historical Society OF Frankford 110th Anniversary Programs

* 110th Anniversary Renaissance *

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 7:30pm
Nicole Salomone, Medical Historian/Lecturer /Author
Late 18th Century domestic medicines could include folk remedies, family tales, Indian lore,
homegrown herbs, patent medicines and local concoctions of inconsistent efficacy. Until the
founding of Frankford Hospital in 1903, area residents resorted to some creative cures. Join Medical
Historian Nicole Salomone for this lecture/display.
Refreshments served. Members free; Others $5.00
Sunday, 19 April 2015 1:00pm
I Zanni Illuminati
Performance, Kid’s Medieval Workshop
For your amusement, Impresario David K Schreur (Baron Fum, Society for Creative Anachronism) and
his group, I ZANNI ILLUMINATI, will entertain in the timeless tradition of the Commedia Dell’Arte.
Following their one-of-a kind presentation, a Medieval Performance Workshop will be conducted for
the young folks, culminating in an impromptu production. As the children’s workshop is conducted,
adults will enjoy listening to live music on period instruments, viewing the Society’s extensive
library and museum collections reflecting the history of Northeast Philadelphia, and sipping adult
libations. A light Continental brunch will be available throughout.
Community Social – Refreshments served. Fee $5.00
Sunday, 26 April 2015 3:00pm
Joseph Krupa, Master Pianist, Performer, Collaborator, Instructor
Pianist Joseph Krupa has a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Calgary,
appeared as a concerto soloist with the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia and Chestnut Hill
Orchestra, and participated in workshops and master classes in Europe, Canada, and the United
States. His piano performance will include compositions by Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, and
Rachmaninoff. Guests will have the chance to dialogue with him about the music and composers
during a reception with light refreshments following the performance.
Refreshments served. Members $12.00; Others $15.00
1507 Orthodox Street (PO Box 4888)
Philadelphia, PA 19124