From the distribution of awards to changes on the board to a summary of past and future events, this year’s Annual Meeting and Open House showcased Delaware County Historical Society as it moves forward while cherishing its past.
In line with the start of its fiscal year, DCHS holds an Annual Meeting and Open House to which this year attendees filed the Society as Thomas C. Grubb was elected board chairperson, a position held by outgoing Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge Linda A. Cartisano.
The board of DCHS also welcomed Delaware County Councilman Kevin Madden to its ranks.
DCHS Executive Director Laurie J. Grant explained how the public is intrinsic to the society and its Chester home.
“This is really open to the public,” she said. “This is your story. It is our collective Delaware County story. Our displays purposely don’t have a lot of information associated with them. That’s because we don’t want to tell you your story. You bring your own story that these artifacts remind you of.”
She explained that DCHS is trying to remain true to its original mission of collecting, protecting and preserving artifacts and as part of that, must be good stewards, as evidenced in the full house inventory that continues.
Grant highlighted two major accessions this year: the original manuscript, written and composed by Jennifer Campbell, of the Four Seasons of Delaware County and a family loom that dates to the 1600’s. She encouraged the community to consider DCHS, especially to expand certain aspects of the county’s history.
“We are missing part of the collective story and a lot of that is Black History,” she said. “We can only showcase what we receive and what is in our collection. So, we are always looking for people to share their story from their family.”
Throughout the past year, DCHS also sent out 300,000 postcards to raise awareness and fund raise to restore, maintain and preserve the 1860 Abraham Lincoln presidential campaign banner.
“We’re going to continue this campaign until we can complete it,” Grant said.
This upcoming year, Grant explained, will feature a lecture, demonstration and tasting by archaeologist, anthropologist and chef, Henry Ward; a series of genealogy lectures and the launching of the DCHS Young Professionals spearheaded by DCHS Board Member and Marketing and Membership Manager Erica Burman as the society prepares for its 125th anniversary in 2020.
During the meeting, Angela Hewett received the prestigious A. Lewis Smith award for her dedication and passion for the contributions she’s made to history in Delaware County. Hewett is the longtime president of Friends of the Thomas Leiper House and is a founder of the Nether Providence Historical Society. Among her research is editing two booklets of Leiper correspondence, one with Thomas Jefferson and another with James Madison.
In addition, Board Member Sandra Tutton received the Gail Irvine Memorial Award and Andrew Saul was the recipient of the DCHS Volunteer of the Year Award.
The occasion was also a kickoff for the new exhibit at DCHS, “Another Glimpse of Delaware County’s History,” and featured guest speaker Beverly Rorer, who gave an overview of county mills, in conjunction with the Year of the Mill.
The exhibit remains on display at the home of DCHS at 408 Avenue of the States, please call 610-359-0832. It is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month. It is closed on Tuesdays. Appointments are also available upon request. Parking is free in the lot behind the building or across the street in the city’s municipal lot.