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Wissahickon Valley Historical Society local history collection


Held at: Wissahickon Valley Historical Society [Contact Us]Whitpain Public School 1895 Building, 799 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, 19422

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

The Wissahickon Valley is named for the creek that runs through central Montgomery County and into the City of Philadelphia, where it empties into the Schuylkill River. The Wissahickon Valley Historical Society documents the history of that portion of the valley that encompasses the Borough of Ambler and Townships of Whitpain and Lower Gwynedd. The Borough of Ambler was originally known as the Village of Wissahickon. From 1881 and for nearly a century, the borough's most prominent business was the Keasbey and Mattison Company, asbestos manufacturers. The palatial estate of company founder Dr. Richard V. Mattison, "Lindenwold," has been occupied by St. Mary's Villa for Children since 1936. Ambler was also the home of the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women, one of the first schools in the nation to educate women for careers in horticulture and agriculture. The nearby townships of Whitpain and Lower Gwynedd are among the oldest in Montgomery County. Both settled by Quakers in the 17th century, Whitpain Township was established in 1701 and Lower Gwynedd Township in 1891 when it broke off from Upper Gwynedd.

This collection includes information on local businesses, schools, events, and churches. The records cover townships and boroughs in the Wissahickon Valley area, including Ambler, Whitpain, Blue Bell, Lower Gwynedd, and Philadelphia. The collection is comprised of original ephemera, photographs, receipts, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings. There are also secondary materials and histories compiled by the Wissahickon Valley Historical Society and its members.

Topics of special interest may include the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women, Reading Railroad, the Keasbey and Mattison company, and Lindenwold Castle/St. Mary's Villa.

Materials collected by the Wissahickon Valley Historical Society.

Wissahickon Valley 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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