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Richard Wall House Museum local history collection


Held at: Richard Wall House Museum [Contact Us]1 Wall Park Dr., Cheltenham Township Historical Commission, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, 19027

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Richard Wall House Museum. 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

"Richard Wall's house stands at the entrance to Wall Park [in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania]. The original section of the house is dated 1682 and additions were completed in 1727 and 1800. It is the most historic building in the Township and, until 1978, was the oldest house in continuous residence in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Wall name was lost when Sarah Wall, Richard's granddaughter, married George Shoemaker. The Shoemaker name is another name mentioned quite frequently in association with early development in the Township. Their daughter-in-law developed the Shoemaker Mill on the Tookany Creek, and Shoemakertown (now part of Elkins Park) developed around it."


Cheltenham Township. "History." Accessed August 28, 2012.

The bulk of this collection is subject files compiled by the Museum, consisting of newspaper clippings, research notes, reproduction photographs, scrapbooks, maps, ephemera, and a small amount of personal papers from local families. The subjects covered by the collection include local churches, estates and families, schools, and events. For example, there are files relating to the crash of the Titanic, the Widener family, and Lynnewood Hall; local film director Richard Lester (1954-1967); and Cheltenham High School

The collection also includes small amounts of primary source materials from various people and organizations, such as: annual reports and by-laws of the Women's Club of Wyncote (1943-2012); a small amount of papers of former residents of the Wall House, the Fleck family (circa 1900-1935); the wedding and honeymoon scrapbook of Lillian Shriver (1942); Bissinger tax and estate records (circa 1900); and nine recorded oral histories of local residents (1979-2002).

Some documents and ephemera are on display throughout the building, notably items relating to the First and Second World War.

Lastly, there are also files relating to the preservation of the Richard Wall House, as well as the interpretation of its history. These files include tour scripts, historic structure reports, museum newsletters, cultural resource surveys, and historic resource surveys.

Materials collected at various times from various sources by the Richard Wall House Museum.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2011-2012 as part of a pilot 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 Richard Wall House Museum directly for more information.

Richard Wall House Museum
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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Collection Inventory

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