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Henry H. Houston Estate collection


Held at: Chestnut Hill Historical Society [Contact Us]8708 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19118

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Chestnut Hill Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Henry Howard Houston (1820-1895) was a prominent Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist. He worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad beginning in 1851, and became a high-ranking executive. Houston convinced the Pennsylvania Railroad to run the west line to Chestnut Hill, opening in 1884. As a property developer, he helped establish the affluent neighborhoods of Chestnut Hill and Germantown. In 1883-1884 he built the Wissahickon Inn in Chestnut Hill, which later became Chestnut Hill Academy. Brothers G.W. and W.D. Hewitt designed his mansion, Druim Moir, in Chestnut Hill in 1885-1886. He also paid for the Hewitt brothers to design St. Martin-in-the-Fields church, built 1888-1889, in Chestnut Hill. He donated a building and property in Chestnut Hill to the Philadelphia Cricket Club.

This collection consists of two donations of materials relating to the estate of Henry H. Houston.

The first series, donated by Sarah L.O. Smith (accession 2004.198), includes correspondence and other materials concerning Philadelphia Cricket Club and the Houston estate. There is property-related correspondence about leases, taxes and mortgages on the Philadelphia Cricket Club building, as well as administrative records of the club, including member lists and annual reports. The collection includes a site plan for the club grounds (dated 1905), and a canvas sign hung at "Druim Moir" (the Houston family mansion) during World War I, indicating the family's move to a smaller house on West Mermaid Lane after many servants left for military service.

The second series, donated by Carol Evatt (accession 1998.67), consists of three estate ledgers prepared by George K. Watson & Co., dated 1938, 1940, and 1951.

Gifts of Sarah L.O. Smith, 2004 and Carol Evatt, 1998.

Chestnut Hill Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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