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Craven Hall Historical Society local history collection


Held at: Craven Hall Historical Society [Contact Us]599 Newtown Rd. (Corner of Newtown and Street Roads), Warminster, Pennsylvania, 18974-5211

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Craven Hall 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

Warminster Township in Bucks County, Pennsylvania was established 1711. Fifteen years later William Tennent moved to the area and opened a religious school, "The Log College," that educated many preachers of the revivalist First Great Awakening and is considered the antecedent to Princeton University. Later in the century, John Fitch began working on prototypes for what would become the first steamboat to operate commercially in 1790. Warminster again made history in the mid-20th century when the Johnsville Naval Air Development Center was constructed. The Center was home to what was then the world's largest human centrifuge, which was used to train astronauts for the U.S. space program from the late 1950s until 2004.

This collection contains various materials relating to the history of Warminster Township (Bucks County, Pennsylvania) and surrounding areas. It includes ciphering books, account books, photographs, tax ledgers, deeds, and other documents from local people, families, and organizations.

The family and personal papers in this collection principally consist of: Thomas McDowel ciphering books, 1774-1775; an unidentified daybook, 1850-1854; Mary Opdyke school book, circa 1870; an unidentified account book, circa 1880; the marriage certificate of Isaac Bennett and Annie Walker, 1882; an unidentified, undated account book (late 19th century); and an unidentified photograph album, circa 1900-1925, including several World War I photographs.

Materials from local government entities principally consist of: Postmasters' Account and Record Book, 1904-1906; Warminster Township real estate tax ledger (listing property owners' names, addresses, assessments, occupations, and borough, road, and school taxes), 1934-1938; road tax books, 1934-1936; and research from Warminster Zoning Board, 1941-1947. There is a Register of Voters in Warminster Township, 1872-1880, as well as a Poll Book, Primary Republican Enrollment, 1928.

There are a number of local deeds from Warminster, Ivyland, and Southampton, organized by location, circa 1920-1960, as well as several local maps. There is one framed deed from 1847.

The collection features a sizeable portion of records from the Suburban Bucks Jaycees of Warminster, a local branch of the service group Junior Chamber International. The records consist principally of scrapbooks on community development, which include clippings, organizational records, and photographs, 1967-1973.

A small amount of Philadelphia-specific material is present in the collection, including maps and drawings for Belmont Mansion, circa 1850s, and a scrapbook of invoices from Philadelphia businesses, 1932-1936.

Materials acquired by Craven Hall Historical Society at various times.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Craven Hall Historical Society directly for more information.

Craven Hall Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton 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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