|To view past issues of our Newsletter, The Challenge, please see below.|
If you would like to visit the archives, please call our archivist, Alessandra Cartelli, at (215) 233-4600
or email Archives@springfieldhistory.org to set up an appointment.
Research visits are $5 for STHS members ("Friends"), and $10 for non-members.
If you live too far away to do research, we will do research for you for $20 an hour.
|                      Fees for reproductions are as follows:|
Electronic scan         $5.00
8x10 black & white, glossy print (with existing negative)       $15.00
8x10 black & white, glossy print (with new negative)       $35.00
8x10 color print (with existing negative)       $25.00
8x10 color print (with new negative)      $50.00
Color slide duplicated       $20.00
Make slide from photo       $35.00
Postage and Handling         $2.50
|                      Contact us about other photo reproduction fees.|
Our new location is:
Springfield Township Historical Society
The Black Horse Inn
1432 Bethlehem Pike
Flourtown, PA 19031
Note: All MAIL should continue to be sent to:   STHS, P.O. Box 564, Flourtown, PA 19031
Past issues of STHS Newsletters, The Challenge, from our archives
To view March 2013 Click here.
To view November 2012 Click here.
To view September 2012 Click here.
To view May 2012 Click here.
To view March 2012 Click here.
To view December 2011 Click here.
To view September 2011 Click here.
To view May 2011 Click here.
To view March 2011 Click here.
To view December 2010 Click here.
To view September 2010 Click here.
To view May 2010 Click here.
To view March 2010 Click here.
To view November 2009 Click here.
To view September 2009 Click here.
To view May 2009 Click here.
To view March 2009 Click here.
To view November 2008 Click here.
To view September 2008 Click here.
To view May 2008 Click here.
To view March 2008 Click here.
To view November 2007 Click here.
To view September 2007 Click here.
Recent Donations to our Archives
Earlier this summer, Montgomery Newspapers generously donated microfilmed copies of The Sunnybrook Sun which became The Springfield Sun and The Colonial dating from the 1940s through the 1990s. The Sunnybrook Sun took its name from the Sunnybrook Country Club which was the course now known as the Flourtown Country Club. These newspapers will undoubtedly prove useful to future generations of researchers interested in local history. STHS extends its thanks to Montgomery Newspapers for their foresight and generosity.
The Springfield Township Historical Society's Community History Documentation Project seeks to acquire personal recollections from township residents and former residents about the people, places and events that shaped the history of our township. The information compiled will be added to our archive to benefit future generations and may be used for purposes of research, education, publication and exhibition.
We would very much appreciate you taking the time to share your recollections of life in Springfield Township and we look forward to receiving your input to this valuable and interesting project.
For a printable Community History Documentation Form in PDF format for you to fill out and return to Springfield Township Historical Society at the above address Click Here.
In 1955, the Holiday at Paper Mill Glen housing development introduced split level home design to Springfield Township. The development is located in Erdenheim in the area of Paper Mill Road and Cheltenham Avenue. Architect Thomas Brandow touted his design as a "house created for the happiness and completeness of family living."
Holiday House residents Nancy McDonald and Michael Grothusen recently donated a copy of an adver- tisement for the Holiday homes to the archives that was provided by their neighbor, Jack Roback. It contains both exterior and interior drawings and descriptive language that is obviously written to entice new home buyers. For example, wouldn't you be intrigued if you read:
"From the time you drive into the oversized garage with its oversized door until you fall asleep in one of three large, delightful bedrooms you are aware that 'Holiday' is contemporary design at its zenith. Over 300 square feet of carefully distributed storage space includes unusually large closets and a tremendous 11 foot storage wall in the family room."
Other rooms in the house are also highlighted in the brochure. The foyer has mahogany walls, flagstone paved floor and expansive glass windows. The family room boasts a living area with a 37 foot panorama. The spacious living-dining room has a double window wall that looks out onto a rear terrace.
The kitchen is situated in the front of the house. Cabinets are solid maple with walnut and white accent. Apparently very desirable at the time were the pure white formica work surfaces on the base cabinets.
Bathrooms included a hall bath with tub and a master bathroom with a stall shower. There is also a powder room located off the family room.
Lots were advertised to be a minimum of 80' x 155' or a total of 12,500 square feet.
So next time you drive by Paper Mill Road and Cheltenham Avenue look for the Holiday houses, "an exciting new departure in split level home design...in an established, gracious community."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Holiday Houses are located in Erdenheim on the following streets: Fraser Road, Atwood Road, Bent Lane, Harston Road and Haws Lane. The author of this article, John Frantz, is a volunteer at the Springfield Township Historical Society archives.
For a copy of a "Holiday Houses at Paper Mill Glenn" brochure from our Archives in PDF format
A high level view of the development of Springfield Township and surrounding areas is available to us in the form of maps. Using an internet connection, you can examine them from the 1700s up through modern times. Some of the early maps are simple road maps, showing towns and villages with the names of roads in that era. Later maps have more detail, showing where buildings were located, names of property owners, rail lines and various other items that will fascinate many of us.
To begin, you'll need a computer with a high-speed internet connection, a fairly current web browser and a current Adobe PDF viewer. Maps contain large amounts of details, so viewing them with dial up connections would be very slow and frustrating. To get the most out of these maps, you'll also need to be comfortable with "scrolling" and "zooming" in a web browser. Folks who aren't computer wizards or don't have high-speed connections may want to visit the library or ask neighbor High School and College students for consultation.
When looking at maps, keep in the back of your mind that older maps aren't as accurate as the newer ones. Some of the maps were intended for planning purposes and contain roads that were to be built in the future, and never built. Also, map makers would imbed errors in maps, so that if they were illegally copied, the errors would be copied, proving the theft.
An impressive source of maps and aerial photographs is www.philageohistory.org . While it is targeting Philadelphia, our township is adjacent and included in many of the maps. If you visit this site, you'll see two main sections, a "Resource Browser" containing individual maps and aerial photographs and an "Interactive Maps Viewer" which lets you overlay maps and photographs, so you can see the differences between them. The resource browser should be your starting point. It is much easier to use and contains a larger variety of maps. Some of the maps are books of maps. You'll need to identify the "Plates" for our township. See the list below for guidance.
All of the maps are dated. This should help you find things such as "Chestnut Hill Park" or the "Fort Washington railroad" since they had known life spans.
www.andysantiqueatlases.com is another source of maps with interesting details. Springfield Township is contained in three maps. Click on "Pennsylvania" then click on "Montgomery" then "1893." You'll then see a list of plates. Springfield is in one plate and Whitemarsh in two plates. The Whitemarsh plates will cover the edges of Springfield.
Montgomery county has a web site, http://propertyrecords.montcopa.org, for tax records. In addition to information tracing prior ownership of land parcels, the site has mapping of the plots that can be "zoomed." I'd use this as a "current" view of Springfield Township.
Two more websites, containing aerial views of our area, were brought to our attention by Jim Cooper, of Glenside. Penn Pilot, from the Pennsylvania Geological Survey, contains aerial views of the area from the late 30's to the early 40's. It is located at www.pennpilot.psu.edu.
Historic Aerials, a commercial site, has aerial views from 1948 to the present. You can find a view that you are interested in, and then, by clicking on the different years, see how the area has changed over time. The web site is www.historicaerials.com.
If you have any additional links or information regarding Springfield Township maps, please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org for STHS. The author of this article, Raymond Gery Smith, has been a resident of Springfield Township for 21 years and a longstanding member of Springfield Township Historical Society.
Below are LINKS to the sites referenced above:
The Enfield Elementary School is located at Paper Mill and Church Road. Ever wonder why the school was named "Enfield?"
The name Enfield can be traced back to a man by the name of J.H.Dulles (Joe) Allen. The Allen family owned the farm at Paper Mill and Church Road. According to family lore the name Enfield was given to the farm by Joe's grandfather who had come to Philadelphia from Enfield, Connecticut and before that from Enfield, England.
In the area called Five Points where Church Road, Paper Mill Road and Oreland Mill Road meet there were great deposits of iron ore and clay. Joe became interested in using the clay to make artistic pottery and tiles. In 1905, Joe started a small business which he named Enfield Pottery.
While he started making pottery, it was the tile business that would have the greatest success. The first major commission was tiles for the Pan American building in Washington, DC. Notable contracts for tiles included the Bok Carillon Tower in Florida and the Delaware River (now Benjamin Franklin) Bridge. Locally there are Enfield tiles in buildings at the Carson Valley School.
The stone house that was used as the office for Enfield Pottery was located at the corner of Paper Mill and Church Roads. Because of the postal activity created by the tile business, a post office named Enfield was opened in the same building. The building still exists in private ownership across from the elementary school.
Around the time of the great depression the pottery and tile business declined. In 1930 the government closed the post office and soon after the business was shut down.
So, when you are traveling through the Five Points intersection and see the stone building across from the Enfield Elementary School take a second to remember Joe Allen and his Enfield Pottery business.
Enfield Tiles from 1928 catalogue, Enfield Pottery and Tile Works,