In the shadow of Paoli Hospital, lying at its literal feet is a teeny neighborhood. The neighborhood is an island unto itself, squashed between the shadow of the GIANT hospital complex and Route 30.
What is the deal with that neighborhood? Is it something the hospital wishes would go away? What was it once part of?
I am told that this little village in front of Paoli Hospital may have once housed quarry workers as did the one on Route 401 (only 1 house left there now) near the railroad crossing (now bike path). A long time Chester County resident remembers in the 50’s, working class families living at both locations, and was told they worked at the quarry. The quarry supposedly became the Rubino-Knickerbocker landfill (wasn’t that a super fund site?), then 202 purportedly went right through it. The quarry, some say, was known as the L.K. Quarry, and the Knickerbocker Lime Co. where a lime kiln was operated. I guess the kiln/lime works was what the workers were needed for?
What do you know about this little village? Was the reference to a fire that Knickerbocker Lime Co called in at the turn of the 20th century in the Malvern Fire Company history this neighborhood/village?
Now, I have found a couple of things talking about the quarries and landfill:
on TE History:
GREAT VALLEY AREA LIMESTONE QUARRIES
(see Page 16):
Plate 15—East Whiteland Township—of volume two of the 1963 Franklin Survey Property Atlas of the Main Line shows that 154 acres in the quarry area are owned by Theodore S. A. Rubino and another 43 acres are owned by Rae Crowther. The former siding south to the Trenton Cut-Off is now shown as an unimproved road.
By 1970 the quarry was inactive, had been flooded with water to create a natural lake, and was known as the Knickerbocker Sanitary Landfill.
Around 2000, Liberty Property Trust purchased a total of 60 acres—the 30-acre quarry and the surrounding area—from the estate of Samuel and Theodore Rubino for between $7 and $8 million.
Witness to a revolution Retired Chester County Judge Lawrence E. Wood chronicled a crusade that remade Chesco politics.
Rankled by pay-to-play politics, a “rambunctious bunch” of renegade Republicans revved into action in 1970, ultimately prompting reforms that would alter Chester County history.
Decades after the upstarts challenged the entrenched GOP’s balance of power, a former organizer has written a book chronicling the David and Goliath-style uprising.
Author Lawrence E. Wood, who retired from the Chester County Court bench in October 2006, said for years he and the late State Sen. Robert J. Thompson had discussed writing about their 10-year struggle to break the stranglehold of party boss Theodore S.A. Rubino, who was eventually jailed for extortion.
Theodore S.a. Rubino, Long A Power In Chesco
Theodore S. A. Rubino, 77, a self-made millionaire and the predominant power broker in Chester County Republican politics for two decades until he was convicted of extortion in 1977, died yesterday at Bryn Mawr Hospital. He had lived in Malvern.
Mr. Rubino, who entered politics as a Malvern Borough councilman in 1955, was chairman of the Chester County Republican Party for 12 years and chairman of the county commissioners for seven.
He rose to prominence at a time when county bosses could wield considerable power, said William Lamb, the current head of the county’s GOP…..
Although Mr. Rubino had held no official position in the county GOP since 1977, his tight reins on the county’s political patronage system can still be felt.
“You need only look around the courthouse today to see how many people’s careers Ted helped,” Lamb said, adding that for the last decade Mr. Rubino ”had been a friend and an adviser.” The county GOP considered him to be the party’s chairman emeritus, Lamb said.
Senior U.S. District Judge John B. Hannum, whom Mr. Rubino succeeded as county GOP chairman in 1964, said: “He was an exceptional man and a great friend. He had been sick a long time, though, and maybe this is a blessing.”….
The son of an Italian immigrant quarry worker, origins that helped him maintain an easy rapport with the county’s rank-and-file voters, Mr. Rubino considered himself an anomaly among the fox-hunting gentry who controlled the county before him.
“This is real WASP country,” he once said. “Somehow, I just never belonged.”
Despite never being fully accepted by the county’s Republican traditionalists, he did acquire power and wealth.
And controversy frequently followed him.
Through real estate speculation, his ownership of the Knickerbocker Landfill near Malvern and his association with a Paoli insurance firm, Mr. Rubino, a lifelong bachelor, was a millionaire by the early 1970s…..Mr. Rubino’s first public troubles began in 1970, when state officials reported that hazardous wastes had been dumped, apparently illegally, at the landfill he owned with his brother. Knickerbocker was closed for a week in 1971 but was not shut down permanently until 1979, despite efforts by local environmental groups to have it closed sooner…..
Public controversy also swirled over the state’s $1 million purchase of part of his landfill for a stretch of the Route 202 bypass.
Though the legal division of the state Department of Transportation cleared Mr. Rubino of any wrongdoing in the case, public outcry caused enough pressure that he decided not to seek re-election to his county commission post in 1975.
Still, he was re-elected that same year as party chairman without opposition.
Then, in 1977, Mr. Rubino pleaded guilty to having extorted $6,400 from architects who were awarded a $130,000 contract to convert a former West Chester hospital into a county government annex….
As part of Mr. Rubino’s plea agreement, prosecutors read into the record statements that the FBI had taken from businessmen and politicians who had dealt with Mr. Rubino. They indicated that he had established set prices for those doing business with the county, ranging from milk supplies to the leases on court offices. Some of the money went to the county GOP.
As vice president of the Huggler Insurance Agency of Paoli, Mr. Rubino also received commissions from county contracts that he personally directed to the agency.