Friends' Home for Children
Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. 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
Friends' Home for Children ("Friendly Acres") was established in 1881 in Philadelphia by Hicksite Quakers. Rebecca Walker was its primary founder and the first teacher. The Home was a residential facility for orphans and other children in need, modeled on a homelike environment rather than the large institutional more typical of the era. Young children, generally between the ages of five and twelve, came under the care of the Home until their situation allowed them to find a permanent home or foster home, or be placed in an apprenticeship or other educational program.
The Home was administered by a Board of Managers which originally was composed entirely of members of the Society of Friends. It was first located in a rented building at 3401 Germantown Avenue. In 1885, it was relocated to 4011 Aspen Street. In 1888, this property was purchased from Mrs. Catherine Wentz, who donated half the purchase price. In 1930, Mrs. Bertha Fullmer donated a farm at Gilbertsville, Montgomery County. This became a summer camp, "Camp Sommerdale," a summer facility for the children.
In 1947, Friends' Home for Children moved to a location outside of the City, at 900 South Avenue, Secane, in Delaware County. The sale of the Aspen Street property and Camp Sommerdale provided the funds for the purchase of the new facility which was given the name "Friendly Acres."
While maintaining ties to the Society of Friends, the Home became non-sectarian over the years. As attitudes towards the care of children changed and costs soared, it was decided in 1979 to phase out the residential program, and the name was changed to Friendly Acres Community Services with its mission focused on community programs, such as day care and senior services. In 1988, Friendly Acres Community Services merged with the Community Y of Eastern Delaware County, another community service organization. The merger afforded the building of a new facility on the site, the Ridley Area YMCA, a branch of the Community Y of Eastern Delaware County. With this merger, Friends' Home for Children and its successor, Friendly Acres Community Services, ceased to exist.
This collection contains records of Friends' Home for Children, a residential facility for orphans and children in need, established in 1881 by Hicksite Quakers. The collection includes minutes of Board of Managers (1883-1937), miscellaneous material, and photographs. Arrangement within each series is chronological.
The collection is divided into three series:
- Official Records
Donor: Ridley Area YMCA, a branch of the Community Y of Eastern Delaware County
Accession number: 98-014
The collection was given by the successor to Friends' Home for Children ("Friendly Acres").
The artifacts in Series 2 are stored in the FHL Artifacts Collection. The photographs in Series 3 have been transferred to the Picture Collection, PA 76.
The photographs in Series 3 have been transferred to the Picture Collection, PA 76.
- Charities -- Pennsylvania
- Quakers -- Pennsylvania
- Quakers -- Societies, etc
- Society of Friends -- Charities
- Women in charitable work -- Pennsylvania
- Children -- Institutional care -- Pennsylvania
- Youth -- Services for
- Quakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
- Children -- Institutional care -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
- Charities -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
- Quakers -- Pennsylvania -- Secane
- Society of Friends -- Pennsylvania
- Orphanages -- Pennsylvania
- Nonprofit Organizations -- Pennsylvania
- Social service -- Pennsylvania
- Social service -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding Aid Date
- Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-RUU/1.0/.
Includes loose duplicates.Physical Description
Removed to Artifact Collection.
Removed to PA 76.
Includes mounted 11×14 photos
4 mounted b w photos
8×10 color photo
approx 30, small color snapshopts
Only a few dated and identified. Children, staff, activitiesPhysical Description
Only a few dated and identified. Children at work and play at residence on South Avenue.Physical Description