To view our newsletter, The Challenge, for September 2016,
Note: For past issues of our newsletter and
Community History Documentation forms and information, please click on the "Archives" page above.
· NEWS ARTICLES ·
(Current and Archived)
STHS History Scholarship
History in Motion
STHS History Scholarship
STHS History Scholarship
Award June 2014
History In Motion
Ambler Theater 2013
New Board for 2013
Marie Kitto Memorial
STHS History Scholarship
Teduyescung Questers Group
"This Place Matters" 2011
Trolley Tour of
Historic Springfield 2011
STHS at Community Day Oct. 2010
STHS Moves Into Black Horse Inn July 2010
Patrons' Reception at Belcroft 2010
Marie Kitto Memorial Award 2009
history of its design
STHS at Chestnut Hill
Van Scivers represent STHS in Memorial parade 2009
STHS History Scholarship Award 2009
moves to new quarters
at the Black Horse Inn
Sept. 28, 2008
Marie Kitto Memorial Award 2008
WANTED - Pictures
for new Springfield Township
Then and Now book
First STHS History Scholarship Award
Garden Tour for
Black Horse Inn a Success
Marie Kitto Memorial Award 2007
Philo T. Farnsworth Historical Marker Dedication
PA Citation Honoring STHS 20th Anniversary
$150,000 Federal Grant for Black Horse Inn
Subdivision Management Options Workshop
Temple University Students Research Township Properties
To go to the
BLACK HORSE INN
Information and Donations Webpage
Molly Wu Wins STHS 2016 History Award
The Springfield Township Historical Society Scholarship Award was presented to Springfield Township High School senior Miquin (Molly) Wu at the school's Senior Awards Assembly on June 14. The award is given to a graduating senior who plans to major in history, social studies or economics and was presented by social studies department head Peggy Zehner.
Molly plans to major in economics at New York University. She was also presented with a certificate of merit from Science Department's Society of Women Engineers, Philadelphia Section, for highest achievement in science.
STHS Third Annual History In Motion|
Nearly 130 Springfield Township Historical Society Friends and their guests stepped back into the 1920s at the historical society's THIRD ANNUAL HISTORY IN MOTION in November. Festivities included a presentation of a 1920s murder mystery by Without a Cue Productions, a silent auction offered by Connecticut-based America's Best Auction, music by Katie Eagleson and her band; wine from Chaddsford Winery and beer from Flourtown Beverage.
Guests were welcomed by board members Cindy Hamilton, Kathy Haight and
Mandy Helwig; incoming board member
Bob Brock and his wife Dorothea served
wine. The production company invited
guests to do the Charleston and to guess
who the murderer was in the play. Christine
Smith, STHS webmaster and former board
member, was the
winner, and was
honored with a
Annie Brong Wins STHS 2015 History Award
The Springfield Township Historical Society Scholarship Award was presented to Annie Brong, at Springfield Township High School's Senior Awards Assembly in June. The award is given to a senior who will pursue an undergraduate degree in history, political science or related fields.
She is attending the St. John's College in Annapolis, Md., where she will enroll in the "Great Books Curriculum". Annie credits her interest in history to her teacher Peggy Zehner, who told stories and talked about people rather than asking students to memorize facts. In high school, she was a yearbook editor and enjoyed art.
Annie was involved in a model convention in Harrisburg organized by the YMCA; the local chapter/delegation that prepares for the model convention is at Springfield Township High School and is run by Zehner. All the students convened in Harrisburg where they conducted a model government with a governor, state house and senate. Annie served as Speaker of the House. She attended the national Youth and Government conference this past summer.
Volunteers Recognized at STHS Program December 2014
Springfield Township Historical Society volunteers past and present were recognized by historical society president T. Scott Kreilick (back row,far left) at the December 4 program. They include (back row) Ed Zwicker,IV; Ed Zwicker III, and Dulie Gray. In the front row are Barb Coleman and Judy Smith. Not in the photo are Ray Smith, Christine Smith, George Silvanney, Heather Killinger, Judge Kate McGill and Frank Vitalli.
Historical Society table at Community Day 2014
The Springfield Township Historical Society participated in Community Day on September 7 in Erdenheim's Cisco Park.Visitors to the historical society table looked at a display of photos of township houses in the Gilded Age, an 1877 map of the township, and received information about membership and upcoming events.Supporters onhand at the event to help at the historical society table included board member Kathy Haight, president T. Scott Kreilick, secretary Katie Worrall, archive volunteer Ray Smith, vice president Coxey Toogood and board member Mickey Harris. Missing from photo are archivist Alessandra Cartelli and board member Mandy Helwig. (Photo by Rina Harris)
STHS Presents 2014 Scholarship Award
Nicholas Van Meter (left), a graduating senior at Springfield Township High School, was presented with the Springfield Township Historical Society's scholarship award by historical society president T. Scott Kreilick at the high school's Senior Awards Assembly. The award is given to a senior who will pursue an undergraduate degree in history, political science or related fields. Van Meter, who plans to attend Temple University, won several other awards including the President's Award for Educational Excellence given to seniors who have grade point averages above 3.5; the Dramatics Thespian Society Troupe 1154 Award and the William A. Fricke Memorial Award. He was a member of the school's Concert Choir.
The First Annual History In Motion Event at The Ambler Theater was a huge success! Thank you to our Sponsors, Food Vendors, the Katie Eagleson Band, Silent Auction Item donors, and the volunteers for helping to make a magical night a reality.
Here are some pics from the event.
Meet some of the people
who work to keep STHS Archives
a valuable resource for the community
Standing outside the Springfield Township Historical Society archives at the Black Horse Inn in Flourtown are archivist Alessandra Cartelli (fourth from left) with (from left to right) archives volunteer; Ray Smith, archives volunteer; Liz Jarvis, board member and chairperson of the STHS collections committee; Ed Zwicker, president emeritus and archives volunteer; Sue Duckwitz, board member and STHS volunteer coordinator; archives volunteer Heather Killinger, and Katie Worrall, secretary.
STHS plans to inventory
surviving objects from
A headless statue, located at the intersection of Trumbauer and Duveen Rds. in Wyndmoor, is among the statues remaining from the former Edward T. Stotesbury estate, Whitemarsh Hall, which stood on 300 acres in that neighborhood from 1916 to 1980. The Springfield Township Historical Society plans to identify, inventory, and map all remaining sculptures, urns, gate posts, and other surviving objects from the Whitemarsh Hall estate.Volunteers will be surveying the grounds of the former estate in the coming weeks to locate and document surviving statues and objects. Anyone who knows of any surviving garden features from the Whitemarsh Hall estate in harder to find locations is encouraged to call STHS at 215-233-4600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with information.
Outgoing STHS President Ed Zwicker
presents New Board Members
at our November meeting
At our November program and general meeting, elections were held and STHS outgoing President, Ed Zwicker, presented three new board members. Elected were T. Scott Kreilick as president and Anna Coxe Toogood as vice president. Jack Yeakel was elected to a one year term completing an unexpired term. Kreilick and Toogood are following Ed Zwicker and Charles Zwicker, who are stepping down as president and vice president, respectively. Yeakel is completing former director Phoebe Rosenberry's term. Their terms begin in January.
These three individuals are exceptionally qualified and are very passionate about local history. We look forward to their contributions to help our organization in our mission to collect, preserve and disseminate the history of Springfield Township.
To read the full article about STHS new board members in our March newsletter, please Click on the Challenge link above.
Ed Zwicker presents the
Marie Kitto Memorial Award
to Nancy Parsons
on behalf of her late husband Doug Heller
The Springfield Township Historical Society recently presented its Marie Kitto Award posthumously to Doug Heller in recognition of his broad contributions to the preservation of our community's historic resources, most notably the Black Horse Inn.
The award is given in memory of Kitto, a founder of the historical society, to a person who embodies the tenets of the historical society: research, preservation and education.
In her letter nominating Heller for the award, STHS board member Cindy Hamilton wrote that "When the Flourtown neighbors first began their efforts to save the Black Horse Inn from demolition, Doug was among the core group who recognized the threat and began to advance township-wide discussions of the need to preserve this important vestige from Springfield's stagecoach era."
At the time it was feared that the township might have lost the inn, Heller posted a petition to save the Black Horse Inn on the website www.ushistory.org. Over time, the petition was instrumental in saving the 18th century inn at 1432 Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown that is now owned by Springfield Township. In 2008, he was an organizer of "Heritage Day at the Black Horse Inn," held to celebrate the completion of the exterior renovations to the Black Horse, to thank contributors, and to begin fundraising for the inn's interior restoration.
Heller, who died last May, served a term on the Springfield Township Board of Commissioners, representing Ward 1-2 which includes the inn. He was able to further promote the need to preserve the Black Horse Inn and was instrumental in securing the township's commitment to the ongoing restoration, the letter nominating him for the award states.
Heller was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey and Long Island. He attended the University of Rochester, where he majored in history and wrote crossword puzzles for the student newspaper. Heller officiated at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament every year from its inception in 1978 until a few months before his death. A computer programmer and Web designer, he also wrote a computer program to create crosswords and developed the website, www.ushistory.org, for the Independence Hall Association in Philadelphia.
Last fall, the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum dedicated an award in Doug's name for the work he did on the President's House as well as for helping the PAF get a website up and running to further their reach. He was also honored with a proclamation from Mayor Nutter for his work with National History Day Philly and received both the Springfield Democrat of the Year award and the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award in 2012.
STHS History Scholarship Award for 2012
Presented to Frank Vitale
The Springfield Township Historical Society presented its history scholarship award to Frank Vitale IV (left), a recent graduate of Springfield Township High School. Frank, shown here with Historical Society president Ed Zwicker, was given a certificate at the school's senior awards assembly. The award is given to a graduating senior who plans to major in history or a related field and for scholastic achievement. The historical society established the award to recognize the importance of education about the township's past.
Frank will be attending Dickinson College in the Fall where he will be pursuing majors in Political Science and International Business and Management as well as the Secondary Education Teacher Certification Program for Social Studies.
Teduyescung chapter of the Questers
Honor the Black Horse Inn declaring
"This Place Matters"
Members of the Teduyescung chapter of the Questers, an organization that researches and studies antiques and supports preservation and restoration projects, hold a "This Place Matters" banner up during a visit to the Black Horse Inn in Flourtown, where the Springfield Township Historical Society archives are located. This Place Matters is a campaign of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to start conversations about preserving places, and the stories they tell, for future generations. The Black Horse Inn, which was built in the mid-1800s, is now owned by Springfield Township.
Members of the Questers chapter are (front row) Nancy Mitros, Pauline Holt, Jean Perry, Joy Bacino, Esther Kurtz, Judy Mann; (back row) Bea Kline, state president Jean Johnson, Ethel Petruschke, Marie Woodring, Dottie Donovan, chapter president Vera Dierkes and Louise Daft.
|STHS Presents Trolley Tour of
Trolleys were at capacity for the Springfield Township Historical Society's first annual trolley tour of country estates and Revolutionary War sites in and near Springfield Township. On May 22, folks gathered at the Black Horse Inn, where the Historical Society archives are now located, to look around, enjoy refreshments and board the trolleys for the tours.
STHS president Ed Zwicker, co-author of two books in Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series, "Springfield Township, Montgomery County," and "Whitemarsh Hall:The Estate of Edward T. Stotesbury," narrated the country estates tours of summer residences built beginning from the latter part of the 1800s through the 1930s. The properties visited showed the assortment of 21st century uses of large residences, such as institutional/nonprofit; private ownership, and redevelopment.
Zwicker's narration included geneology and information about families, architecture and current usage of Carson Valley School; Camp Hill Hall, the John R. Fell and Sarah Drexel Fell property now owned by WEC International;Belcroft, the Clarence M. Brown mansion on the campus of La Salle College High School; Falcondale, former home of the Rosengarten and Dickey families now owned by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation; Laverock Hill, the former Lloyd family residence now owned by Hansen Properties; Lane's End, the former Samuel B. Rotan estate/University of Pennsylvania Wharton Sinkler Conference Center that is now privately owned, and Rauhala, the present site of Keystone Hospice previously owned by Clayton and Maria Platt, John Welsh and Albert Kelsey, as well as the site of Edward and Eva Stotesbury's Whitemarsh Hall, now the site of post-World War II and late 20th century neighborhoods.
The Revolutionary War/ Colonial Era tour was narrated by Joe Becton, director of Becton Tours and Historical Service and Revolutionary and Civil War re-enactor. Becton, a former park ranger, told of the Revolutionary War happenings at the site of Militia Hill; Hope Lodge; the cemetery at St. Thomas' Church, Whitemarsh, where several Revolutionary War soldiers are buried, and Germantown's Deshler-Morris House, the oldest official presidential residence in the country that hosted several cabinet meetings as well as George Washington and his family. Becton provided commentary on local history as the trolley travelled to Germantown and back to Flourtown.
The trolley tours were organized by STHS' Events Committee, chaired by Vincent Bruner. Members of the committee are Anthe, Dulie Gray and Christine Smith. Sponsors of the trolley tours were BQ Basements, Value Venue, Dan Helwig, Inc. Realtors and Bowman Properties, Ltd. Contributors included Starbuck's Coffee; Salon,Salon of Flourtown and Walgreen's.
Springfield Township Historical Society
Celebrates Community Day
Springfield Township Historical Society board members Barbara Coleman and Katie Worrall welcome visitors to the historical society's table at Cisco Park in October 2010. Barb organized the table which included a photo display of "Laverock Hill", a property in Springfield and Cheltenham townships that is in negotiations for development; a display about Chestnut Hill Amusement Park that was on the Cisco Park land at the turn of the 20th century; pen and ink drawings of township landmarks and information about STHS membership, programs and archives. Also on display was a copy of Whitemarsh Hall: The Estate of Edward T. Stotesbury written by Charles G. Zwicker and Edward C. Zwicker with the Springfield Township Historical Society.
|Home Sweet Home
Springfield Township Historical Society
Moves into the Black Horse Inn
The STHS move into the Black Horse Inn in July 2010 has been a long time in coming for our organization. But it comes as a result of tireless hard work over several years, by public and non-profit organizations, as well as by many individuals, to first preserve and then restore the Inn. Special thanks go out to the Township Commissioners and to Township Manager Don Berger for all their support and cooperation throughout this process, which resulted in the STHS being installed in the Inn as the first, and anchor tenant.
Over the course of two days in July, STHS Board members, Friends, and volunteers helped move our collection, furniture, and office equipment from our former home on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill, into our new headquarters. Many thanks go out to all who participated in this milestone event of the Historical Society. Our Archivist, Susan Anthony, along with volunteers Ginny Bergey, John Frantz, and Dulie Gray, are busy getting everything organized, so that we can schedule an Open House in the near future for Friends and township residents to tour our new home.
STHS is currently occupying two rooms on the first floor, in the South end of the Inn. In addition to housing the collection, our space will offer a research area, museum displays, and eventually a small gift shop. Set hours that the headquarters will be open each week are still being finalized. Congratulations to the Springfield Township Historical Society and their Friends on a successful 25 years of Research, Preservation, and Education of our township's history, and on the move into their permanent home in the Black Horse Inn.
Our new address is -
Christian Brothers at Belcroft Reception
Springfield Township Historical Society president Ed Zwicker (center) presented the Christian Brothers with a framed picture of early photographs of Belcroft, their residence on the campus of La Salle College High School, in gratitude for opening Belcroft to the Historical Society for a patrons' reception. Accepting the picture on behalf of the Christian Brothers were Brother Thomas Chadwick (left) and Brother James Rieck. Belcroft was designed by architect Carl A. Ziegler and built in 1927 for lawyer and businessman Clarence M. Brown. The reception, for individuals who made a donation of $100 or more to the society in its 2009 township-wide appeal, included presentations on "The Gilded Age," "Belcroft's Notable Neighbors," and "Clarence Brown and Belcroft."
(For the full story of the Patrons' Reception at Belcroft, please see the May 2010 Newsletter.)
Photo courtesy of Jack P. Lieberman.
|2009 Marie Kitto Memorial Award
Presented to Richard Wood Snowden
The Springfield Township Historical Society presented its Marie Kitto Memorial Award to Richard Wood Snowden (pictured on the right) at its annual meeting on December 3. The award is given in memory of Kitto, a founder of the historical society in 1985, to a person who has made significant contributions to the historical society's tenets of research, preservation, and education.
"This year's recipient has quietly demonstrated a strong commitment to preserving Springfield Township's history over parts of the last three decades. For his inspiration he had to look no further than his own grandmother, Virginia Wilmsen, who herself was one of the founders of the Historical Society along with Marie Kitto and others," STHS president Ed Zwicker (pictured on the left) said, while presenting the award.
Through the years, Snowden, along with his grandmother, worked behind the scenes to protect some of Springfield Township's larger tracts from becoming high-density developments. Some examples include three Wyndmoor properties: Griffiths Tract (Biddle Woods), Stenton Avenue and Paper Mill Rd; Buttonwood Farms on Montgomery Avenue,and Lane's End, the Wharton Sinkler Estate at Gravers Lane and Flourtown Avenue.
High-density development had been proposed for the Griffiths Tract property to create apartments and a shopping center. Snowden became involved and was instrumental in finding a solution whereby a limited number of houses would be constructed with the open space protected by easements, which were donated to the Natural Lands Trust.
When a nursing home was proposed for construction on the site of Buttonwood Farms, Snowden assisted in making the development work with the retention of the main house as a single-family house and the retention of the barn and conversion to a single family house. There were easements taken to protect the house and land in perpetuity.
At the time the University of Pennsylvania announced the sale of Lane's End and there was discussion of the potential for new construction on the site, Snowden lent his expertise to help retain of all existing buildings and the protect all open space.
In addition, over the years when the Historical Society was in need of a home, Snowden has provided a location in which to store archives where researchers could access them.
The Story behind our STHS Logo
Visitors to Chestnut Hill may have noticed the logo depicted on our new sign in front of the STHS archives at 8428 Germantown Avenue. We thought it timely to include some background and history on our STHS logo.
In the 1990s, local resident, architect, and former STHS board member, Kes Lukas, designed the STHS logo. The design was intended to echo the general look of the Springfield Township seal, while depicting elements specific to the township's history. The coat of arms shield represents the combined family crests of the Penn and Springett families (William Penn and his wife Gulielma Maria Springett) who founded our township. Symbolically, the metallic shield and the colorful banner above it are representative of an established society with the strong social structure and manufacturing capabilities. The oak leaves represent the virgin American forests that existed when the area was first settled and the oak tree is closely linked to William Penn's legacy here in Springfield. The shield, overlapping the leaves, represents the arrival of established society. The acorns at the sides represent the seeds of a new civilization planted by the Penn family and those who followed. As an Historical Society, we preserve that link to those original seeds and this logo is our symbol of that connection.
We appreciate the work Kes Lukas has done in designing this logo for STHS, and recently in updating these graphic files to make them compatible with the latest computer technology.
|STHS at the Chestnut Hill Garden Festival
STHS was happy to participate in the Chestnut Hill Garden Festival in May 2009. Since our archives are currently located on Germantown Ave., we were able to have our archives open to visitors and also use the porch space and area in front of our building for various activities, crafts, demonstrations and sales.
(pictured below) Andy Logan (as Edward Stotesbury), Ellie Hamilton, Christine Smith and Joan Dessureau.
|Carol and Joseph Van Sciver
represent STHS in the Memorial Day parade
|STHS 2009 History Scholarship
Evan Studenmund (left) was presented with the Springfield Township Historical Society's History Scholarship Award, by historical society president Ed Zwicker. The award is given to a graduating senior of Springfield Township High School who plans to major in history or a related field and for scholastic achievement. The historical society established the award to recognize the importance of education about the township's past. Evan plans to attend Elon University in North Carolina.
|STHS Moves into New Quarters! (January 2009)
Many hands made light work on a Saturday morning in January as the Springfield Township Historical Society moved its archives from their home for the last several years to a new temporary location at 8428 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill. The Black Horse Inn on Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown will be home to the historical society in the future.
Board members and their relatives were joined by friends and high school students as they moved furniture that had been on loan to the Montgomery County Fire Academy and boxes of deeds, photos and books from its previous rented space at the Chestnut Hill Historical Society and the Friends of the Wissahickon to a 19th century frame building three blocks south of the CHHS/FOW headquarters. Relocating to another site enables the Chestnut Hill Historical and the Friends of the Wissahickon to have more room.
The first floor space at 8428 Germantown Ave., is being provided by Bowman Properties Ltd., a Chestnut Hill firm, and the Snowden family. Richard Snowden, general manager of Bowman Properties, said that his grandmother, the late Virginia Wilmsen, had been a founding board member of the Springfield Township Historical Society.
Mrs. Wilmsen, who lived in Wyndmoor, was a leader in the successful fights against 1967 plans for a high-rise apartment building at the corner of Stenton Avenue and Paper Mill Rd., and against 1980 plans for a shopping center on the same property, according to STHS co-founder Shirley Hanson. Six houses were eventually built on a portion of the property; another part belongs to the Natural Lands Trust, Hanson said.
According to Susan Anthony, STHS archivist for the past four years, the STHS archives includes items of media such as photographs, papers, books, maps, three-dimensional artifacts and more, dating from colonial times to the Wyndmoor Hose Company's 100th anniversary last year. Anthony said that the archives includes an extensive collection on estates in the area, such as Edward T. Stotesbury's Whitemarsh Hall and properties on Montgomery Avenue in Wyndmoor, as well as photocopies of deeds dating to the 1700s, material from organizations such as the League of Women Voters and the Women's Club of Flourtown, and local history books. "People need to understand that their past is Springfield Township's past," said Anthony, as she looked at a photocopy of a photo album that was recently donated to STHS.
Anthony accepts donations of scanned photos and photocopies of albums because she understands that families would want to keep the originals. The STHS archivist said that she would like to have more genealogical information in the archives because she gets requests from genealogists doing research on families.
Working with Anthony in the archives are volunteers John Frantz, Dulie Gray and Leslie Smith who help enter information on the STHS PastPerfect cataloguing software system and organize the collection. The volunteers were on hiatus in the weeks after the move while the shelving and computer system were set up.
The building at 8428 Germantown Ave. retains some of its original appearance with a ground floor porch, boxed framed openings and gabled dormers with a paired sash from the 19th century. Records in the Chestnut Hill Historic District inventory state that no deeds show a frame building on the property prior to 1864. The property is said to be the birthplace of John G. Johnson (1841- 1917), a lawyer and scholar whose art collection is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Heritage Day at the Black Horse Inn
Visitors to Heritage Day at the Black Horse Inn on September 28th took a step back in time to enjoy colonial crafts and music, while looking ahead to the future. The event at the inn, a Flourtown landmark which is currently undergoing renovations, was planned by the Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee, the Springfield Township Historical Society and the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike, to celebrate the completion of the exterior renovations and the beginning of the last phase of fundraising for the inn's interior as well as to thank contributors.
Highlights of the festivities included making Native American and colonial-style toys and visits with re-enactors Carl Closs who portrayed George Washington; Noah Lewis, who did living history portrayals of as Revolutionary War hero Ned Hector, and Joe Becton who appeared as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
Seated on the porch of the inn, colonial musicians Jan & John Haigis entertained guests as they went inside to hear glass armonica player Carolinn Skyler, and look around the first floor, where there was information on the Black Horse Inn and other inns along Bethlehem Pike. A frame of a staircase has been built, and a pressed metal ceiling is in place enabling a visitor to envision what the interior will look like after it is completed.
At a podium on the side porch of the inn, speakers included State Rep. Larry Curry and historical society president Ed Zwicker, among others. Curry spoke about Bethlehem Pike's connection to the Battle of Germantown, which took place in the fall of 1777, and Zwicker discussed the history of the inns along Bethlehem Pike. Zwicker and historical society vice president Charles Zwicker talked with visitors at an information table and historical society and Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike members were among the many volunteers who helped at Heritage Day.
Curry presented awards to winners of the "Young Historians Essay Contest" for students at Springfield Township High School and Springfield Township Middle School. Winners of the high school contest--- Jenny Uehling, Lina Sorg, Rebecca Sherwood and Scott Vierick—each read portions of Jenny's first place short story, "Spying History". The Springfield Twp Middle School winners were Aaron Caplan, first prize; Michaela Fallon, second prize; Kelli Bray, third prize, and Billy Sorg, merit award.
Band musicians from the Springfield Township High School and Springfield Township Middle School under the direction of Chuck Gottesman and Marcy Klugman entertained guests between speakers and presentations. Rich Lalena, a town crier for historic sites such as Carpenter's Hall, brought a colonial style to announcing activities of the day.
The inn, parts of which are believed to have been built in the mid-18th century, was the first stop on the Philadelphia-to-Bethlehem stagecoach line. Expanded in the 19th century, it was a stop for farmers, when grain was taken to the local flour mills, and later used for meetings of the Society for the Apprehension of Horse Thieves, township commissioners, voting and horse trading. It continued to operate as a restaurant or tavern until the 1990s when the property was sold. Plans called for the building to be razed or relocated before the property deed was transferred to Springfield Township and efforts to restore the building got underway.
The restoration of the inn is being funded by individual contributions now exceeding $120,000, and state and federal grants. The grants include a federal $150,000 Save America's Treasure grant; two $500,000 Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants and an $85,000 Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Keystone Preservation Grant. A feasibility study is now underway for raising funds to complete the renovations to the interior of the inn.
Members of the Heritage Day Committee were STHS board members Cynthia Hamilton and Christine Fisher Smith, township commissioner Doug Heller, and Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike members Ellen Swoyer Manning and Don Mitchell. Hamilton is also a member of the Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee.
Above photos in descending order:
|Don Mitchell Receives
Second Marie Kitto Memorial Award
The historical society presented its second annual Marie Kitto Award to Don Mitchell, former president of the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike, at its meeting on May 29. Don was honored for his work for the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike, the Black Horse Inn restoration project and for historic preservation. Don, who recently stepped down as president of the Friends, has been involved in fundraising and construction as well as communications for the restoration of the Black Horse Inn. The friends are working to raise awareness of historic preservation along Bethlehem Pike. In his acceptance remarks, Don thanked many people who have helped these efforts. The award is given in memory of Kitto, who helped to found the historical society in 1985, to a person who has made significant contributions to Springfield Township that exemplify the historical society's tenets of research, preservation, and education. Last year, the award was given to Richard J. Meyer, Jr., who was a general contractor specializing in historic restoration before his retirement in 1987 and has been part of many restoration projects in the Eastern Montgomery County area, including the Black Horse Inn.
(pictured above) Don Mitchell with Charles Zwicker, vice president of Springfield Township Historical Society, during the award presentation at our May program.
|New Book Coming!
Springfield Township - THEN and NOW
This is a companion volume to the "Springfield Township" and "Whitemarsh Hall" books, already both in their 4th printing!
The Springfield Township Historical Society is proud to announce that they are working on a new Springfield Township book, with completely new and unique pictures and text. They are working with Arcadia Publishing, as part of the publisher's new Then & Now series of books. The book will be organized by areas of the township, with a history told through pictures and stories of each of its neighborhoods: Erdenheim, Flourtown, Northwoods, Oreland, the Pan Handle and Wyndmoor.
But We Need You!!! The Historical Society is currently collecting pictures and stories to include in this book. This is your chance to preserve some of your family's history in print for generations to come! Contact Ed Zwicker (215-885-3413 or email@example.com) if you have any materials you would like to have considered for inclusion. All your pictures will be returned to you after we scan their image into our computer, unless you would like to generously donate them to the Historical Society's permanent archives.
STHS member Deborah Wilson of Oreland found this early 20th century postcard showing an interior view of the Black Horse Inn and notified STHS of this rare find. Ms. Wilson acquired the portcard on behalf of STHS and we are pleased to include such an important item in our collection.
|First STHS History Scholarship
Christopher Capone (pictured at left) received the Springfield Township Historical Society's first History Scholarship Award at the school's senior award's assembly in June 2007 from Charles Zwicker, vice president of the historical society. Capone plans to major in history at Ursinus College in the fall. The award is given to a graduating senior who plans to major in history or a related field and for scholastic achievement. The historical society established the award to recognize the importance of education about the township's past.
|Garden Tour a Success for
Black Horse Inn
On Saturday, June 9th, the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike hosted a garden tour, proceeds from which benefitted the
restoration of the Black Horse Inn. The event, which included seven local private gardens, concluded with a reception at the
Carson Valley School. Local historian and author, David Contosta, local garden photographer Rob Cardillo and award-winning
author Adam Levine were available to sign their wonderful books relating to Carson Valley School and gardens of the region.
|Marie Kitto Memorial Award
presented to Dick Meyer
At our March 2007 program, our first annual Marie Kitto Memorial award was presented to the very deserving Richard J. Meyer Sr.This award has been created to recognize someone who has made significant contributions to the historical society's tenets of research, preservation, and education. The award will be given annually in memory of Marie Kitto, our first executive director who was the driving spirit behind our organization and was considered to be the unofficial hitorian of Springfield Township. She compiled the majority of the research, pictures, and other artifacts that make up the core of the STHS collection.
Richard J. Meyer Sr. with Ed Zwicker, president of Springfield Township Historical Society, during the award presentation at our March program.
|Philo T. Farnsworth State Historical Marker
Installed in Springfield Township
In September 2006, STHS proudly dedicated the first official state historical marker to be installed in Springfield Township. The marker, located across from Laurel Beech Park on Mermaid Lane in Wyndmoor, commemorates Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of the electronic television and the site of his former station, W3XPF, where some of the first experiments in live local television broadcasting were undertaken in the 1930s. If you haven't already seen the official blue and yellow marker, make a point to drive by and see where television was born.
State Representative Lawrence Curry (right) presented a citation from the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives to Springfield Township historical society president Ed Zwicker in honor of the historical society's 20th anniversary.
The historical society was organized in 1985 to research and preserve the history of Springfield Township and educate the general public about township history. The presentation took place at our November 2005 program at which local residents and organizations showed their collections.
|Representative Schwartz Announces $150,000
Federal Grant for Historic
Black Horse Inn
Washington, D.C. – On Friday, July 29, 2006, Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-Pa.) announced that she has secured a $150,000 federal grant for further preservation and conservation efforts at the historic Black Horse Inn.
The funds were included in the Save America's Treasures program within the Fiscal Year 2006 Interior and Environmental Appropriations Act. The bill passed the House, with Rep. Schwartz's support, by a vote of 410 to 10.
In announcing the grant, Schwartz praised local organizations for their efforts to preserve the historic landmark.
"Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike, the Springfield Township Historical Society, local elected officials, as well as local citizens, should be applauded for their hard work to preserve and protect the Black Horse Inn," said Representative Schwartz.
"I am honored to be able to support the efforts already underway to preserve the Black Horse Inn by securing a $150,000 federal grant for conservation efforts. The inn is a well-known landmark and I am pleased to help insure the site's historic integrity is preserved," added Schwartz.
"Representative Schwartz's announcement caps off a great month for the historic Black Horse Inn," say Friends president, Donald Mitchell. "At the beginning of July the building was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Then in the middle of the month, with the help of township staff, our public appeal letter hit virtually every mailbox in the township. While that was happening the chimneys on the building were being restored, thanks to the contractor coordinating committee and the Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee. And now, thanks to Rep. Schwartz, we're seeing some of our earlier fundraising efforts pay off as well."
Note: On Thursday, August 4th, @ 12:30 PM Representative Schwartz will hold a formal check presentation at the Black Horse Inn.
NOTE - Click on BLACK HORSE INN for Donations and Information.
The Springfield Township Historical Society and the
|Temple University Students
Research Historic Township Properties
Temple University students suggested to the Springfield Township Planning Commission on May 3, 2005 that the township research and begin the nominating process to place architecturally-significant buildings in the township on the National Register for Historic Places and consider nominating a Wyndmoor neighborhood as a National Historic District.