Main content

Sky Island Papers

Notifications

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

Sky Island was a refugee vacation hostel run by the American Friends Service Committee in cooperation with the American Christian Committee for Refugees from about 1938 until at least 1947. After two years in Aberdeen, New York, Sky Island moved to a large home in Nyack lent to the program by its owner, Viola Wertheim Bernard. Operating solely during the summer months, Sky Island accomodated a group of 30-40 refugees and provided a respite from the summer heat for those refugees who otherwise could not have afforded the expense of a vacation. The program relied on a mostly volunteer staff of 8-10 to direct, teach English, and provide an American atmosphere.

Flora E. Pottenger was a teacher from Warsaw, Indiana, who worked at Sky Island during the summer of 1946. She was born in 1890, and married Thurl Pottenger, a hardware store owner, about 1920; they had a son, Hal Walker Pottenger, who was a conscientious objector in World War II and served in Waldport CPS Camp, and a daughter, Peggy. Flora died in Michigan in 1980.

This collection includes photocopies of Flora Pottenger's correspondence, refugee reports, job descriptions, and other documents. Taken together, the material presents an in-depth view of life at Sky Island during the summer of 1946. Of particular interest is a color photocopy of a photographic album by A. Mamonoff.

Gift of Don Nagler, 2003 (2003-008)

Publisher
Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
FHL staff
Finding Aid Date
2009
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/.

Collection Inventory

Archival Resource Key. Correspondence, 1945-1947.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Correspondence received and sent. Includes letters sent from Flora to her husband, Thurl ("Daddy"), as well as letters received by Flora from some of the refugees after their stay at Sky Island.

Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Refugee Reports, 1946.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Copies of typescript reports on individual refuges with vitals and esssays on family and history, health, personality, education, employment, and future plans.

Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Miscellaneous Reports and Memos, 1946 & n.d.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes copy of confidential memo on the relationship between the staff of Sky Island and the American Christian Committee for Refugees.

Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Photographic Album, 1946.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Album includes photographs by A. Mamonoff of refugees and staff at Sky Island during the summer of 1946.

Physical Description

1 folder

Archival Resource Key. Newspaper Clippings, 1946 & n.d.
Box 1
Physical Description

1 folder

Print, Suggest