Contacting me: - Update

I have temporarily cleared a small amount of space in my email box. However, spam continues to be a problem. To be sure you get through the filters, be sure to include the name of our city somewhere either in the subject or the body of your email.
You can contact me by phone. Follow this link for phone number.  -John

"Today in Chester's History" on "The Newsstand"
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"Delaware County Historical Society Library & Museum"
Grand Opening Tour of Historic Chester Sites, Saturday October 28, 2006

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Photos courtesy of Caroline

"On Saturday, October 28, 2006, I was among several hundred people at the Welcome DCHS back to Chester, Pennsylvania. To Chester's Old City.

Although I had planned to attend the formal grand opening of the Historical Society's new home, I really wanted to visit and hopefully see a Spirit or three on the Haunted History Bus Tour. For surely a place where Wm. Penn first landed in America, and where the first Court House was built must have a few interesting stories for our curious minds. 

Our trip began early Saturday morning and what a day for a haunted tour. The winds that had howled during the night were still gusting, leaves were dancing in the wind, while the rain continued to lightly fall. We registered again and were given the number of a bus to board. There were at least 10 buses filled with people of all ages. Those of us going for the Spirit haunt, those out to visit historic buildings, places, and young people accumulating credits for a school project.

The Haunted historic tour included the William Penn Park, Caleb Pusey House, Chester Rural Cemetery, 1724 Court House, Widener University Art Gallery, Laran Bronze Factory, and the Delaware County Historical Society Museum where the formal Grand Opening would take place. Each bus followed a different schedule. As we came near Widener, I hoped to see one of the Cadet spirits that is said to roam the University. Instead, while at the Art Gallery a mystery is solved. The answer to where the Grand Lions from the Deshong Museum are to be found. One is on display at the gallery, while the other is stored there, not on display because of a damaged section around the tail. Did any one ride them so many years ago? Then off to the PMC Museum where families enjoyed a moment where their children could masquerade as a PMC cadet.. The grounds are beautiful and the old stone mansions on the campus and surrounding area only add to this University.

The Laran Bronze Factory is a must see for visitors given the opportunity to take a tour. When creating the WWII Veterans Memorial in Washington DC they had to increase the roof line to accommodate the height of the Memorial. What other untold stories are behind the bronze sculptures that are designed there. I was intrigued by one being made of a Molly Maguire that stood ready for a hanging.

For years when talking about the monument at William Penn Park, the location of the monument that marks the spot Penn first landed in America has been in question. Was this the true location because of the distance from the Delaware River to the stone marker . It seems, over the years the rivers flow changed about 300 feet from where it originally banked.

The Court House is a stunning building, not only with its architectural attributes, but for the history that lies sleeping within its walls. Standing there I could not help but think about the trial of James Fitzpatrick. Was he the American Robin Hood of his time. These walls held the secrets, how many spirits roam these rooms. Did the 18th day of September 1778 begin much like this day for James Fitzpatrick, was the wind gusting down and around the Court House windows, would the walls hold the cold of the season. Justice was swift in the 1700s.. Fitzpatrick known as Sandy Flash and Captain Fitz was tried and three days later on the 21st of September hung at the corner of Providence and Edgmont Roads in Chester, PA.

We ended our haunted tour at the Pusey House, disappointed not to have been able to complete the tour with a visit Chester Rural Cemetery. Perhaps another day, another tour. The day ends with the formal ceremony at the new museum home. Best wishes to the Delaware County Historical Society and their desire to join in the rebirth of Chester, what better place than Old City, where history took its first step."



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