Lower Merion Historical Society

The Lower Merion Historical Society

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Milestones: January 2021

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The Board of Directors of The Lower Merion Historical Society would like to wish you and your families a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

As we look back on 2020, we had a quiet but productive year. We remain committed to protecting and preserving the history of Lower Merion and Narberth as well as educating the public on our rich and fascinating history. With our mission to serve our community as best we can during this time, we have taken the opportunity to enhance our collection and outreach. We have been fortunate and blessed to have had a number of significant donations to our Special Library Collections.

Although the Academy has been closed to visitors, our website is open and growing, thanks to new board member and webmaster, George Lonsdorf. Here a few 2020 enhancements worth checking out.

The Houses and Estates Photograph Collection is among our most popular resources. It is now online with over 150 estates interactively mapped; they can be sorted by date or name, and filtered by architect. Many images from this collection are available online for the first time, and more will continue to be published.

Most of our Full Text Resources have received a makeover, with more readable typography, bigger photos, and clearer linking and navigation. The First 300, The Lower Merion Society for the Detection and Prosecution of Horse Thieves and the Recovery of Stolen Horses, The Lower Merion Academy: A Legend in Learning, and Public Schools in Lower Merion and Narberth all look better than ever. We added the late Victoria Donohoe’s Narberth chapter from Montgomery County, The Second Hundred Years.

In 2020 we were generously gifted the records of the Gladwyne Odd Fellows and their cemetery, dating back to the 1840s. Included in the records was a cemetery plan, now online as a clickable map for locating burials. This is the first update to our burial records since the late Hammill Horne compiled them 18 years ago.

Until we’re able to gather in person, you will see us come alive with newly researched educational programs using the Zoom platform. Two upcoming attractions are: A History of Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Lower Merion and Lower Merion, the Story of Two Main Lines—the Reading Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad. We will keep you informed of the date and time of these presentations.

Congratulations to our two authors Jim Remsen and Brad Upp, who in 2021 will launch Back from Battle: Pennsylvania Camp Discharge & Its War-Weary Vets, the heretofore untold story of Civil War soldiers’ final tour of duty that took place in our own backyard. It’s efforts like these that your membership dues help support.

When we are permitted to resume our usual library hours, please visit us and see for yourself our headquarters, our Archive Room, and our Special Collections at the Lower Merion Academy. While there, you can purchase a copy of Kevin Righter’s new book entitled Philadelphia’s Pencoyd Iron Works: Forging Along the Schuylkill River. Better yet, become one of our volunteers who preserve our past for the future!

Delivered January 16, 2021