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
"The history of Tinicum Marsh [in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties], the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetland [in] Pennsylvania, goes back to the first settlements in the region in 1634. [The] Swedes, Dutch and English diked and drained parts of the marsh for grazing. At that time, the tidal marshes measured over 5,700 acres. The rapid urbanization since World War I reduced tidal marshes to approximately 200 acres. The remnant of this once vast tidal marsh is protected by the refuge.
"A diked, non-tidal area of 145 acres, adjacent to the eastern end of Tinicum Marsh, was donated by the Gulf Oil Corporation to the City of Philadelphia in 1955. This area, administered for the benefit of wildlife and people, was known as Tinicum Wildlife Preserve. The areas of open water along with the adjacent heavily vegetated tidal wetlands, formed an ideal habitat for thousands of migratory waterfowl.
"In 1969, the remaining area was threatened by plans to route Interstate 95 through it and by a sanitary landfill on the tidal wetlands. These activities started a long series of injunctions, public hearings and extraordinary efforts by private and public groups to secure rerouting of the highway and termination of the landfill operation. Under legislation passed by Congress in 1972, authorization was given to the Secretary of the Interior to acquire 1200 acres to establish the Tinicum National Environmental Center.
"In November 1991, in a bill sponsored by Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA), the name of the refuge was changed to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum to honor the late Senator who helped preserve Tinicum Marsh."
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. "Welcome." Accessed June 25, 2013. http://www.fws.gov/heinz/welcome.htm
This collection consists largely of reports relating to environmental preservation in Tinicum and wetland preservation, as well as related correspondence, newspaper clippings, pamphlets and brochures. There are also some financial papers. Many documents relate to Rosalie Peirsol (of the League of Women Voters of Delaware County) and Rep. Bob Edgar, both of whom were active in lobbying for the establishment of the Tinicum National Environmental Center. A rough inventory to the collection is available on-site.
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.