City in a Park by James McClelland and Lynn Miller

City in a Park: A History of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park System by James McClelland and Lynn Miller Temple University Press, 392 pp., cloth $39.50 A substantial, richly illustrated book highlighting the significance of Fairmount Park and its place in the larger urban parks movement has been long overdue. City in a Park has finally arrived to fill that void. Augmented with 150...
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Germantown: Gateway to the New World

We went on board the Concord at Gravesend, the 24th, 5th month, and after we lost sight of England, which was in about three weeks time, we were forty-nine days before we saw land in America, and the 1st 8th month, some of us went ashore in Pennsylvania. The blessing of the Lord did attend us, so we had a very comfortable passage, and had our health all the way. With these words James Claypoole...
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The Wissahickon Valley: To a Wilderness Returned

The rural Wissahickon Valley, near center-city Philadelphia, typifies the rugged landscape which greeted the first white settlers. Today, its huge hem­locks and towering sycamores contrast markedly with the busy factories and row houses only a mile away. But this valley of contrasts has always been different from the sur­rounding region. A century ago, when most of America was rural or wild, the...
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William Penn’s Colony of Cave People

Of all the stories and accounts relating to the significant role Quakers played in the settlement of the New World, none better illustrates their extraordinary determina­tion and capacity to endure and live for freedom than the way they approached the housing shortage in Philadel­phia in the 1680s. They simply resolved the problem by living in caves along the banks of the Delaware and Schuylkill...
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Shorts

Fort Hunter Day, a celebra­tion of autumn, will be hosted on Sunday, September 19 [1993], from 10 A. M. to 5 P. M. by Fort Hunter Mansion and Park. The event, free and open to the public, will feature crafts show and demonstrations, carriage rides, period entertainment, and numerous activities designed especially for children. Also featured throughout the day will be demonstrations of...
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Currents

Fancy That! “Capricious Fancy: Draping and Curtaining, 1790-1930,” an exhibition tracing the history of design sources for draping and curtaining American and European interiors during the span of nearly one hundred and fifty years, will open at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia on Monday, December 6 [1993]. On view will be a selection of rare books, prints, and trade catalogues drawn...
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A Walk on the Wild Side: Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Creek

At one time deli­cately depicted on dainty lamp shades, the Wissahickon Creek has offered generations of Philadelphians a verdant retreat from the stress of urban life. It is a place to meet old friends, engage in spirited recreational activities, or simply seek solitude. Each person’s reason for seeking respite along the Wissahickon is as unique as the individual, but all share a common...
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Letters to the Editor

Wild Side As a regular subscriber, I read with great interest the article by Susan Oyama entitled “A Walk on the Wild Side: Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Creek” in the fall 1993 edition. I was excited to find in this article an account of my ancestor John Wise’s death in 1803! We knew he had drowned in the mill stream, but had no other details. Hildegarde P. Wise...
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Bridging the Past for the Future

Because Pennsylvania was one of the first settled areas of the United States, it should come as little surprise that it possesses one of the most interesting collections of historic bridges of any state. Its ever-expanding population and consequent transportation requirements made the Keystone State a pioneer in transportation innovation, particularly in the design of bridges. Following the...
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The Watering of Philadelphia

In the glory days of the early republic, the Fairmount Water Works was one Philadelphia’s most famous landmarks: a marvel of engineering, scenic beauty, stylish design, and civic mindedness. It was built for the most practical of purposes – to provide a clean and plentiful supply of that most essential elixir: fresh water. Today, Philadelphian’s are blessed with one of the best...
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