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Naomi Wood Trust records


Held at: Woodford Mansion [Contact Us]2300 North 33rd Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19102

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

Woodford Mansion, built 1756-1758, is one of few remaining survivors of the "summer retreats" built along the Schuylkill during the 18th and early 19th centuries by wealthy Philadelphians. Woodford was built by William Coleman, a Philadelphia merchant and close friend of Benjamin Franklin. Coleman and his wife raised their orphan nephew George Clymer, who later signed both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. David Franks, another wealthy merchant, acquired the property in 1771. Franks was a loyalist during the Revolutionary War, and after being arrested for treason, lived out the remainder of his life in poverty in England. In 1781 the property was sold to Thomas Paschall and then again to Isaac Wharton in 1793. The Whartons maintained ownership of the property until 1868 when it was sold to the City of Philadelphia to become part of Fairmount Park.

Naomi Wood was born in Philadelphia in 1871. She was an antiques collector and specified that, upon her death, she wished her extensive collection to be installed and displayed in a historic house museum. She named her friend Daniel Huntoon as her trustee, and after she passed away in 1926, he furnished Woodford Mansion with the Naomi Wood collection and opened it to the public.


Woodford Mansion. "Home." Accessed April 18, 2012.

Woodford Mansion. "History." Accessed April 18, 2012.

This collection is comprised primarily of photographs, correspondence, and administrative records of the Naomi Wood Trust regarding its operation of Woodford Mansion. There is also one notebook that belonged to Naomi Wood, a number of Wood family photographs, and two documents signed by 18th-century residents of Woodford Mansion.

The largest section of this collection is 11 binders on the Woodford Mansion and Naomi Wood's antiques collection, filled with photographs, slides, newspaper clippings, and a few other documents. These volumes are as follows: views of Naomi Wood's antiques-filled apartment in Washington, D.C., circa 1926; assorted photographs, slides, postcards, brochures and drawings of Woodford interior, exterior, and objects, 1929-1982 (3 volumes); scrapbook on Woodford, 1926-1992 (2 volumes); George O. Timanus photographs for Sinkler pamphlet, "Naomi Wood Collection of Woodford Mansion", circa 1943 (2 volumes); captioned photographs of Naomi Wood/Woodford objects (1 volume); binders of slides (2 volumes). There are also some CDs with additional pictures, circa 2000-2011.

This collection includes records of two trustees of the Naomi Wood Trust: Daniel T. V. Huntoon correspondence, 1926-1937, and Martin P. Snyder records, 1959-1983. Snyder's records include correspondence, reference files, and research materials (including correspondence, notes, and photographs) compiled by Snyder and his wife June Avery Snyder for their book The Story of The Naomi Wood Collection and Woodford Mansion at Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, circa 1981.

Other materials relating to the administration of Woodford Mansion include a 2003-2004 condition survey and treatment proposal for the building and a large number of architectural drawings, floor plans, landscape drawings, and heating/wiring diagrams, circa 1960-2000. There are diagrams for many built-in features of the house, such as door frames, paneling, and bookcases.

Materials relating to Naomi Wood personally consist of an antiques research notebook begun by Wood in 1911 and several dozen Wood family photographs. The family photographs are in several formats, including daguerreotypes, tintypes, and cabinet cards. Of special interest is a photograph album of tintypes depicting posed tableaux.

There are only two documents in the collection that relate to the former owners of the property. One is a Library Company of Philadelphia subscription receipt signed by William Coleman, 1737, and the other is a letter from George Clymer to a Mr. Wood, 1787.

Materials bequest of Naomi Wood, circa 1926, or created by the Naomi Wood Trust.

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 Woodford Mansion directly for more information.

Woodford Mansion
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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