Held at: Delaware County Historical Society [Contact Us]408 Avenue of the States, Chester, Pennsylvania, 19013
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Delaware County 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 Shmith was born on August 21, 1899 in Germany. He used various spellings for his name, including Heinrich Schmitz and Henry Schmidt. Shmith traveled extensively, working as a professional chef at many locations including the Princeton Hotel in Avalon, NJ (late 1950s); Glen Mills Country Club in Delaware County, PA (early 1960s); the Wilmington Country Club in Delaware; and Conyngham, PA. In the late 1950s he was personal chef for Albert M. Greenfield (a prominent leader in Philadelphia in the fields of real estate, banking, retailing, hotels, and transportation) at his home in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Shmith's personal interests included stamp collecting, sailing, and skiing. He married Edna G. Butterworth, a native of Chester, Delaware County, PA. The couple settled in nearby Glen Mills, where Shmith died in 1982.
This collection consists of about 20 scrapbooks compiled by Henry Shmith, with many photographs as well as clippings, ephemera, stamps, greeting cards, and letters. The scrapbooks are heavily annotated by Shmith, mostly in German with some English. There are some notes/signatures from people he met. Most of the scrapbooks focus on areas in the Delaware Valley or in and around Germany. Most of the photographs of Germany (including Spiegelau) date from after World War II, though there are a few from before and during the war (captions are minimal).
Some of the scrapbook subjects include: Germany; Marfield Farm and Luzerne County, PA; Conyngham, PA (summer residence of Governor of Pennsylvania David L. Lawrence); Wilmington, DE; Haverford, PA; postage stamps; and family photographs. A rough list of the volumes is available on site.
There is also a book of sketches by Shmith of "The Lovely Home of Ravenscliffe" (Large MSS 587).
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 Delaware County Historical Society directly for more information.
- Delaware County 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.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Delaware County Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.