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Philadelphia Cricket Club 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

"Founded in 1854, The Philadelphia Cricket Club is one of the oldest clubs in the country devoted to the playing of games. As the name indicates, the Club was formed by a group of young men of English descent who had played the game while students at the University of Pennsylvania. With the wish to continue to play together after their graduation, they formed the Club under the leadership of William Roach Wistar. If long on enthusiasm for the game they were short on funds and for the first thirty years of their existence they did not own their own property. They would meet and play Cricket on any ground available and thus they "wandered" from Camden, New Jersey, to Frankford to Chestnut Hill to Nicetown playing against teams who could provide a "home pitch."...

"In 1883, The Club "came home" to Chestnut Hill through the generosity of a benefactor, Henry H. Houston who arranged for them to settle down at The Club's present location on West Willow Grove Avenue in the St. Martin's section of Chestnut Hill.

"Shortly after, other games and amusements were added. The Club was one of the founding members of the American Lawn Tennis Association in 1881. When a National Women's Tennis Championship was inaugurated in 1887, the event was conducted at The Club and held there annually until, in 1921, the championship was moved to Forest Hills, New York. Additionally, one of the highlights of the year, The Philadelphia Horse Show, was held for many years on the grounds of The Club. Today, that show is held annually at the Devon Horse Show grounds.

"When the Golf Association of Philadelphia was organized in 1897, The Club was one of four founding members. The nine-hole course was built in 1895 and a new eighteen-hole course in 1897. The old eighteen-hole course, known as St. Martin's and now reduced to a pleasant nine-hole layout, hosted the United States Open Championships in 1907 and 1910. Because The Club did not own the grounds on which the golf course was built, a large tract of land was purchased in 1920. A new championship course was constructed in Flourtown, which opened for play in 1922. Over the years, it has hosted numerous city and state championships.

" [As of 2011] at St. Martin's, The Club provides facilities for tennis, squash, swimming and paddle tennis. At Flourtown, in addition to golf, a private shooting preserve is maintained. A comprehensive program in all sports is provided for members. The game of Cricket was disbanded in 1924 but was revitalized in 1998 by the Director of Tennis who grew up in New Zealand where Cricket is popular."


Murdoch, Joseph S. F. "The History of the Philadelphia Cricket Club." Accessed December 29, 2011.

This collection includes financial and administrative records of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, as well as publications and ephemera, photographs, and newspaper clippings. There are some secondary materials in the collection as well, such as research notes, histories of the club, exhibit texts, and photocopies of original documents.

The general financial and administrative records of the club include financial reports, long-range planning, spending summaries and financial trends, vendors and services, correspondence to members and staff, and financial statements. There are also minutes and miscellaneous other administrative papers, 1934-1980s. Records from the Associate Branch (Ladies) of the club include meeting minutes and treasurer's reports, 1971-1990; there are also some records of Junior activities, 1959-1999.

Publications of the club include bulletins (some original, some photocopies), 1946-2002; magazines; and annual reports and printed by-laws, 1858-2003. Ephemera and programs from events and matches date from about 1873 to 1950.

There are materials in the collection specifically relating to the club's tennis activities, 1946-2011. There are also golf-related materials, 1912-1995, including ledgers, gold certificates and notices, ladies' golf records, golf grounds committee, calendars, and a bill book (1940-1943).

The photographs in this collection date from about 1900 to 2011 and depict sports teams, club members at the swimming pool, and aerial views of club grounds. There are also a number of newspaper clippings about the club, 1884-2001. Some of the photographs and newspaper clippings, as well as certain oversize documents, have been framed. There are four VHS tapes in the collection: one of the club's sesquicentennial celebrations, and three of the Militia Hill Clubhouse in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.

Chestnut Hill Historical Society also holds various artifacts related to the Philadelphia Cricket Club.

Gift of Philadelphia Cricket Club, 2002.

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.
Access Restrictions

Contact repository for information about accessing this collection. If a member of the public would like to see any possibly sensitive material in the PCC collection, the PCC President will be consulted for permission.

Collection Inventory

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