Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society photograph collection
Held at: Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society [Contact Us]720 First Avenue, Berwyn, PA, 19312
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Tredyffrin Easttown 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
Tredyffrin Township is located at the easternmost edge of Chester County, Pennsylvania. It is part of the "Welsh Tract" settled by Welsh Quakers in 1682; the name "Tredyffrin" comes from the Welsh for "township in a wide cultivated valley." The township was incorporated in 1707. During the Valley Forge encampment period of the Revolutionary War, many of Washington's generals quartered in the nearby homes of Tredyffrin farmers. In 1832 the Main Line of Public Works, a rail and canal system that would later form the nucleus of the Pennsylvania Railroad was constructed. Still, Tredyffrin remained a primarily agricultural community, small but prosperous, until World War II. With its suburban location convenient to Philadelphia along the "Main Line" commuter train, commercial and residential development rapidly progressed in the township throughout the second half of the 20th century.
Adjacent to Tredyffrin, also settled in 1682 as part of the Welsh Tract, is Easttown Township, incorporated in 1704. A prolific farming community in the 18th century, Easttown became an important military site during the Revolutionary War. In 1777 Americans under the command of Easttown native General Anthony Wayne repelled an attack by British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton on Signal Hill. In the next century, like nearby Tredyffrin, Easttown was strongly impacted by the construction of a railroad in the 1830s. By the turn of the 19th century, country estates of wealthy Philadelphians were interspersed with the farms in the area. Building construction and population increased dramatically in the 1950s and continued to grow through the end of the 20th century.
Easttown Township. "Township History." Accessed January 2, 2014. http://www.easttown.org/GeneralInformation/history/history.htm
Tredyffrin Township. "Facts and Figures." Accessed January 2, 2014. http://www.tredyffrin.org/about-us/facts-and-figures
The Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society photograph collection is comprised of paper prints in black and white and color, as well as a significant number of glass plate negatives, film negatives, and slides. It includes seven small sub-collections of photographs arranged by creator/donor, 15 binders of additional photographs, and some oversized items. Incoming accessions are added to this collection on an on-going basis; an updated catalog is available on-site.
The binders contain at least 2,000 photographs and are, for the most part, unarranged, although there are a few subject-oriented albums. Some binders include a few pages of correspondence, articles, and other associated documents. There is also a binder of drawings and prints.
A large percentage of these photographs have been scanned, copied to CDs, and entered into a database. Over 1,000 images are available online at http://the2nomads.org/ImageDatabase/Index.html.
The named sub-collections are as follows:
Baugh Family Photograph Album: This item is a photograph album containing over 150 snapshots dating to the 1914-1920 period. The album was apparently compiled by Marion E. Baugh, the daughter of TEHS founding member Dr. Anthony Wayne Baugh (1867-1938). See articles about him in the Tredyffrin Easttown History Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1945, and Vol. 16, No. 4, Winter, 1978. The photographs in the small album are all identified, and depict primarily family members. There is one identified as Miss Baugh's mother and father. Another is noted as the "Brinton Family." Several are of Tredyffrin area locales. Note: Dr. Baugh's notebooks, in two volumes, were purchased from a book dealer by the Tredyffrin Township Library in 1978, and are held in the Local History Collection there. William Burwell, Valley Forge Buildings and Views (the "Generals' Quarters"), 1898-1900.: This collection consists of 17 photographs of buildings, and 10 photographs of subjects other than buildings, in and around Valley Forge National Park. The images of buildings are almost all structures that have come to be known as the "Generals Quarters," i.e. buildings occupied by General Washington's generals during the Valley Forge Encampment of 1777-78, or by British generals at other times. In addition, the file contains original photographs of 4 additional buildings taken in 1940 by Paul Pritchard, a member of the TEHS. Some of the Burwell images have been attributed to the name William Burrell, due to a clerical error on the part of an unknown person who created captions for some images in this collection. The photographs were published in the Tredyffrin Easttown History Quarterly, Vol. 49, Nos. 1 and 2, July, 2012. The Burwell photographs were the gift of his daughter, Helen Burwell, in 1988. The Pritchard photographs are assumed to be the gift of Paul Pritchard. Dallin Aerial Photographs: There are about 60 images of local aerial photography taken by J. Victor Dallin in the 1920s. All of the original Dallin negatives and prints are in the collection of the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware. The images of the local area have been copied with permission, and are available for the use of the TEHS. They can be viewed on the Society website. Several of these have been printed and framed. Daniel S. Newhall Residence: Collection of sixteen 8 x 10 glass negatives depicting the Daniel S. Newhall (1849-1913) home in Strafford, Pennsylvania (unidentified photographer). There were also several pages of Newhall family biographical information photocopied from unknown sources. The photocopies are stored with the Newhall biographical file. Gift of the Lower Merion Historical Society, 2012. William Morrison Photographs of Tredyffrin and Easttown Estates: William Morrison published his book The Main Line - Country Houses of Philadelphia's Storied Suburb, in 2002. Thereafter he donated his negatives and prints from the project to the Radnor Historical Society. In 2013 the RHS donated just the prints for the Tredyffrin and Easttown locations to the TEHS. There are 65 photographs (with as many as 6 for some properties), documenting 22 estates. There are also 3 photographs of unidentified stables. Only 7 of the properties documented in this donation were included in Morrison's book. The relevant pages from the book were photocopied. Six of the properties are in Tredyffrin Township; the rest are in Easttown Township. A list of all the properties is filed with the photographs. Each set of photographs arrived at TEHS accompanied by a cover sheet headed "Main Line Estate Data Sheet." These sheets list basic information such as date of construction, architects' and owners' names, etc. There are a variety of numbers written on the data sheets and on the backs of some of the photographs, but the numbers do not correspond to any list or index that was shared with the TEHS. Some biographical information on the owners of the homes was also provided. More information on these photographs may be available from the Radnor Historical Society (as are the negatives). For the Tredyffrin properties, the relevant page from the 2003 Tredyffrin Historic Resources Survey has been added to each file. Lucy Sampson Collection.: Lucy Sampson (1852–1920) moved to the Radnor area as a young woman and later lived with her sister and brother in law (their last name was Francis) on Francis Ave. in Berwyn. She never married. She began taking photographs in 1898 at about age forty-six. She captured many churches, homes, and landscape views. Some of her images were published. She also photographed groups of schoolchildren with their teachers, often on the steps of the school. She frequently printed her photographs on postcard stock, and identified the image in handwriting along the left side margin of the card. Many of her prints are stamped on the back of the mount: “L. A. Sampson / Photographic-Artist / Berwyn, PA. The over one hundred Lucy Sampson photographs in the TEHS collection are contained in three boxes (numbered as containers 21-23 within the larger body of Society’s photograph “books.”) See the article on her in the Tredyffrin Easttown History Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 2, June, 2011. Springhouses Photograph Album, ca. 1989: This item is an album of about 45 Kodachrome snapshots of area springhouses and a few other structures. They were taken by Meg Fruchter, a TEHS member. All carry location information. She made small pen and ink sketches of about half of them for a short article she wrote for the Tredyffrin Easttown History Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3, July, 1989. Due to the uniformity of subject matter, this album has been kept intact.
Materials collected by the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society over time.
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 Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society directly for more information.
- Baugh family
- Dallin, J. Victor (John Victor), 1897-1991
- Morrison, William Alan
- Sampson, Lucy, 1852-1920
- Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Cheryl Leibold and encoded 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 Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.