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Jeannette Meehan Anderson collection on Thomas Meehan


Held at: Germantown Historical Society [Contact Us]5501 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19144

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

Germantown horticulturalist and nursery owner Thomas Meehan's publications were widely known in the second half of the 19th century. English-born Meehan came to America in 1848 and for a time worked at Bartram's Garden in southwest Philadelphia. He lived in Franklinville (Mount Airy). He began his nursery with land in Ambler and Mount Airy in 1854, expanding it to 75 acres in 1868 with the purchase of the Jacob Hortter farm east of Chew Street. William Saunders, noted Scottish landscape designer, was his partner for about a year before moving to Washington, D.C. to be superintendant of the government ground in Washington. (Saunders worked at Awbury Arboretum, Pomona Grove estate in Mount Airy and Hunting Park in Philadelphia.) A prolific writer, Meehan published "Meehan's Monthly," and "The American Handbook of Ornamental Trees," influencing taste and design. His nursery became the largest in America, with plants shipped to Europe, Australia, South Africa, and South America.

This collection consists almost entirely of photocopies: copies of primary source documents (Thomas Meehan receipts, etc.), contemporary articles by and about Meehan, and more recent newspaper and scholarly articles about Meehan. Many of the articles were annotated by Jeannette Meehan Anderson. There are also drafts of articles by Anderson about Meehan, and Anderson's correspondence about Meehan with publishers, sources, etc. The collection includes a small number of original Thomas Meehan documents, as well as a box of Sotheby's appraisals of original Meehan papers and objects.

Germantown 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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