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Benjamin R. Hoffman papers on the Grange estate


Held at: Haverford Township Historical Society [Contact Us]PO Box 825, Havertown, PA, 19083

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

"Benjamin Rose Hoffman [(1879-1958)] was a wealthy Philadelphian who largely lived a life of leisure. He attended Haverford College (class of 1897) and administered his land holdings while traveling extensively. He lived with his mother (Mrs. Sellers Hoffman) and sisters (Hannah, Jessie, Agnes) at the family home, "Burnside," at 60th and Cobbs Creek in West Philadelphia, later purchasing the Grange estate [in Havertown, Pa.]. He married Margaret Clawson [(1891-1973)] in 1922 and they traveled abroad often, both together and separately. Hoffman frequented France and Great Britain in his earlier years, and was at leisure in Europe during World War I. [He passed away in 1958.]" (Historical Society of Pennsylvania.)

The Grange is an historic estate in Havertown, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The oldest section of the extant house dates to 1700. Many important men of the Revolutionary War period were entertained on the property, including George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, Henry Knox, and Thomas Mifflin. Benjamin R. Hoffman purchased the estate in 1913. At the time of his purchase it spanned over 86 acres, comprising the current Chatham Village, the Grange playfield, and St. James Church, although the Hoffmans sold off much of the property during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Hoffmans shared an interest in horticulture, and they added many new specimens to the gardens. After Margaret Hoffman's death, Haverford Township purchased the remaining 9.9 acres from Margaret Hoffman's estate.


Quoted text from: Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Catalog record for Benjamin Rose Hoffman papers, 1885-1951, collection 2160. Accessed April 25, 2014.

Friends of the Grange, Inc. "A Rich History." Accessed April 25, 2014.

This collection consists primarily of correspondence and receipts regarding gardening and planting on the Grange, as well as blueprints, research notes, and other materials relating to the property, dating from the early-mid 20th century. A small amount of the correspondence is in French. There are also some pocket diaries from the 1930s and some copies of Hoffman family wills.

The original Hoffman family papers are supplemented by a substantial amount of secondary-source materials, such as genealogical and research notes, about the Hoffmans and about the Grange property, dating from the mid-late 20th century.

A preliminary handwritten inventory of the collection is available on-site.

Gift of Margaret (Mrs. Benjamin) Hoffman, circa 1965.

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 Haverford Township Historical Society directly for more information.

Haverford Township Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu 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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