September General Membership Meeting

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1 September General Membership Meeting Monday, September 14, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the 1895 Schoolhouse Program: Merci Train - After WWII, the French expressed their gratitude to Americans by sending 49 railroad cars of gifts. Learn about this unique expression of thanks. Fall, 2009 Volume 11, Issue 1 From the Presidentʼs Desk - My, how the summer has flown by. But even during the summer, your Society does not rest! We have been active, and Iʼd like to bring you up to date on the big items. We have made great progress on the 1895 Schoolhouse. In the first place, we have extended our lease from Whitpain Township to the end of which will be well past the term of my presidency. Second, thanks to John Simonʼs persistence in going back out to bid and a generous donation from Anonymous (Thanks, Anonymous), we were able to complete the roof and chimney projects. The new roof looks great and - best of all -it no longer leaks or sheds shingles during storms. We even had sufficient funds left for some other necessary work including insulating the attic so we can cut our exorbitant heating bills. We have also received a lot of financial and moral support from both the Womanʼs Club of Whitpain and the Springhouse Questerʼs. A special grant from the Questers should permit us to redo a lovely piece of stained glass window from Dr. Mattisonʼs Lindenwold which was donated to the Society by Joe Schneider. The story goes that the stained glass features a portrait of Dr. Mattisonʼs first wife. When she died and he remarried, the new Mrs. Mattison asked that the window be moved. It spent years in storage. Now the Society has it and it will be restored. We are also looking at the windows and signage on the front of the building which are in dire need of some aid. Our annual Market Day - which is our biggest fund-raiser of the year - will

2 be held on Saturday, October 10. We will need volunteers for our White Elephant tables and other activities, as well as lots of baked goods. People love to buy our wonderful baked goods, so please show off your talents and help the Society. We have also started planning a big open house on Sunday, May to celebrate many things. This will be a large undertaking, and we will be soliciting all of our members and friends to help on the project. It will be great to show off our accomplishments to the public. Finally, we have what we believe is another exciting group of programs for the coming year. Please check out the programs section on the website ( for a description of these programs as well as for any updates. I hope to see you soon, Russ Bellevance, President 1895 Schoolhouse Open on Thursday Mornings Members and friends are invited to stop by Thursday mornings between 10 and noon when the curatorial/library/archival volunteers are working on the collection. This is a good opportunity to check out the museum and to learn about the Societyʼs activities and to hear some great stories. Volunteers are always welcome!. Graeme Park Outing We are planning an outing to Graeme Park - tentatively scheduled for a Friday in October. Please check web-site for details or call Wissahickon Valley Historical Society Volume 11, Issue 1 - Autumn 2009

3 Thanks to Womanʼs Club of Whitpain for Grant The Womanʼs Club of Whitpain recently donated $200 to the WVHS. At a recent meeting the board approved the use of money to buy additional preservation boxes. We have received several donations for our collection (see below) and after accessioning them, we place them in acid free paper and acid free boxes. Items are stored when they are not on display. Many thanks to the Womanʼs Club of Whitpain for its support. Recent Donations to the Collection from member Joe Schneider: ~ list of Ambler barber shops (Did you know that there were at least 19 barber shops in Ambler since 1950?) ~ 1 small brown bottle ~ a copy of a funeral bill from early 1900ʼs from Ann Snyder, Ambler ~ a math journal which was handwritten by her great-great-grandmother - dated 1821 ~ 2 pairs of leather baby shoes from the early 1900ʼs from Roe Decline, Ambler ~ 2 blue Keasbey-Mattison bottles from Noreen Sonetto, Ambler ~ 3 glass milk bottles from Meyers Dairies from Diane Chiriano, Ambler ~ paper coffee bag from Neiguts, a grocery store which was located at Walnut and Main Street Many thanks for these artifacts that complement our mission and our collection. Remembering Member Bill Kohler Society member Bill Kohler passed away at the beginning of July. He moved to Blue Bell in 1968 and, though he in recent years lived in Warminster, he retained his connections with our community. According to notes from his funeral, he loved to travel and had taken his family to Expo 67 and to Apollo blastoffs. He was especially interested in trains and shared that interest with his children and grandchildren. Our condolences to his widow Peggy and to his children and grandchildren. Consider a Gift Membership When you receive your renewal notice from the Society, please consider giving a gift membership to a friend or neighbor who is interested in local history. Guests are always welcome at meetings and activities.

4 Noting Abraham Lincolnʼs Bicentennial 2009 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Test your knowledge of Abraham Lincoln, and then check you answers on our web-site Lincolnʼs parents were Thomas and Nancy Lincoln. When and where was Abraham born? (a) Feb. 22, 1809 in Illinois, (b) Feb , Virginia, (c) Feb. 12, 1809, Kentucky, (d) Feb. 12, 1809, Indiana. 2. Abraham Lincoln spent most of his young life on the family farm and helped to run a ferry. At 19, he got his first chance to see something of the outside world Where did he go? (a) Williamsburg, Virginia, (b) New Orleans, Louisiana, (c) Springfield, Illinois, (d) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 3. Lincoln was in the military and served in the Black Hawk War. What was his rank? (a) Captain, (b) Major, (c) Lieutenant. 4. Lincoln had many different jobs. What were some of Lincolnʼs early occupations? (a) surveyor, (b) postmaster, (c) rail-splitter, (d) storekeeper, (e) all of the above. 5. Lincoln was first elected to office when and where? (a) Kentucky, 1845, (b) Virginia, 1832, (c) Indiana, 1836, (d) Illinois, Lincoln went to Washington, D.C. as a representative to the US Congress in what year and from what state? (a) 1846, Indiana, (b) 1844, Kentucky, (c) 1847, Illinois, (d) 1844, Illinois. 7. Lincoln ran for President of the United States, and he became President in Who did he run against? (a) Andrew Johnson, (b) Stephen A. Douglas, (c) John C. Breckinridge, (d) John Bell. 8. When did Lincoln sign the Emancipation Proclamation? (a) Sept. 12, 1862, (b) Jan. 1, 1863, (c) Sept. 17, 1862, (d) July 4, On November 19, 1863, Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. What was the occasion of his speech? (a) dedicate Gettysburg as a National Park, (b) at the opening of a museum in Gettysburg, (c) dedicate a National Cemetery, (d) reelection campaign During Abraham Lincolnʼs presidency, the Civil War began at Fort Sumter on April 12, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General U.S. Grant at Appomattox, on April 9, 1865 ending the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. This quiz originally appeared in the newsletter Grist, The Millbrook Society Journal. The Millbrook Society, headquartered in Hatboro, is interested in local history and sponsors archaeology projects.

5 Beginning at 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Fall Market Day ~ Saturday, October 10, 2009 Our annual flea market fundraiser will be held on Saturday, October 10th. Hereʼs your chance to give back to our Society - we need your help to make this a successful yearly event. We continue to look for donations for our White Elephant table - clean your your attics, basements, and garage and donate your unwanted items for the sale. W e a r e c o l l e c t i n g household items for sale. W e a r e c o l l e c t i n g household items, books, and collectibles, while a n t i q u e s a r e m o s t desirable. Please contact Josephine Sawicki to make your donations. She can b e r e a c h e d a t Something Smells Good! We also could use fresh baked goods for our Bake Table. Cookies, brownies, pies, breads, and more are s u r e t o s e l l. J e a n Bellevance is in charge of the bake table. She can be reached at Vendor Tables Are Still Available: If you or someone you know are interested in renting a space, please call Bob Notoris at Volunteers: Members, friends, etc., we need people! Are you willing to work a couple of hours during the day of our fall flea market event? Please contact Marie Russo at or Josephine Sawicki at to schedule the time you are available to assist. Ambler s Octoberfest WVHS will have a booth at Ambler s Octoberfest on October 3. Stop by our Butler Ave. site. Mission Statement The Wissahickon Valley Historical Society is dedicated to serving the people of Ambler, Lower Gwynedd Township, and Whitpain Township by seeking, describing, and preserving - at the Society s headquarters - the artifacts, documents, pictures, maps, books, and bore of the past of these locales and their residents for the purpose of entertaining, informing, and educating the public about the history of these areas. In these efforts, we seek to educate and lead the public in the preservation of historical structures.

6 Wissahickon Valley Historical Society Monday, Sept. 14 Meeting and Program...7:30 p.m. Program: Merci Train - see first page for details Sunday, Sept. 20 Open House...1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28 WVHS Board Meeting...7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3 Octoberfest, Ambler...10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 4 Open House...1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 Fall Market Day/Flea Market...8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12 Meeting and Program...7:30 p.m. Program: Rose Brown Finding your Family, Collecting Oral Histories Historical Society of Mont. County. Please check web-site for additional events and details. The Wissahickon Valley Historical Society Newsletter is published four times a year. General membership meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month and are open to the public. Wissahickon Valley Historical Society - Wissahickon Valley Historical Society 799 Skippack Pike Ambler, PA

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