MORE loch aerie 1963 photos!!

Loch Aerie, 1963
George W. Pyle, Jr courtesy photo

Yes MORE photos!! How cool is this? (Oh and on SCRIBD you can read the Historic American Buildings Survey of Loch Aerie in the 1960s!)

Loch Aerie, 1963. Photo courtesy of George W. Pyle, Jr.

I always wanted to see more into Loch Aerie when inhabited by the Lockwoods. My friend author Thom Nickels was someone who as a boy got to interview the aged Lockwood sisters and has told me stories of kids trying to sneak through the then woods around Loch Aerie (now Home Depot).  In his book Philadelphia Mansions: Stories and Characters Behind the Walls, Thom brings the Lockwood family and the era in which they lived to light.

One thing Thom speaks of on page 177-178 of his book  was a painting which apparently now hangs in the Valley Forge Memorial Chapel called Washington after the Battle of Trenton by Christian Schussele.

And guess what? Thanks to my new friend Mr. Pyle, I can see how the painting hung in Loch Aerie!

Loch Aerie, 1963. Photo courtesy of George W. Pyle, Jr. – Large painting is Washington after the Battle of Trenton by Christian Schussele.

My friend Thom in his book , speaks of Miss Edith Lockwood and I think I would have liked her.  In Philadelphia Mansions: Stories and Characters Behind the Walls he has a photograph of Edith with her dogs on the back porch.  She had terriers, and they look to have been Scotties.  She was also a gardener, and Miss Edith was an integral part of the Church Farm School’s floriculture program and had quite a hand in the running of the greenhouses, “and a large peony field from which 60,000 to 70,000 flowers were cut and sold annually.”

Now the gardener in me of course wonders if Church Farm School has any of Miss Edith’s peonies left?

Loch Aerie, 1963. Photo courtesy of George W. Pyle, Jr.

According to Thom Nickels’ research the things in the house were auctioned off. Makes you wonder where everything ended up.

It is so cool to have access to these photos.  It is so interesting to see what it was like inside when lived in!

Loch Aerie, 1963. Photo courtesy of George W. Pyle, Jr.

Christ Church (Old Swede’s) Flea Market on December 5th Swedesburg PA

old swede

Come on out for a holiday flea market to support one of the most historic churches in Montgomery County and Pennsylvania at the holidays!

Household items, vintage wares and lots more.

Portion of the proceeds will support the Save Christ Old Swedes Church Campaign to upgrade and restore the church and hall.

Come early for coffee and donuts while they last!

Christ Church Old Swede’s is located at 740 River Rd., Swedesburg, Upper Merion Township 19405.

Yes, this is NOT in Chester County. But there are some old churches and church yards I find magical and historical.  Old Swede’s in Swedesburg (Upper Merion Township PA not too far from Conshohocken, adjacent to Bridgeport) is one of those.

When I first went to the church it was for a Memorial Day a few years ago when they dedicated a formerly unmarked grave of a Civil War battlefield nurse named Sarah Priest. Like many other women of her era who did extraordinary things, she was buried without the proper attention to her accomplishments.

Old Swede’s has been there for centuries. Don’t forget, before William Penn and the English, there were Swedish settlements.

Swedesburg is a small village in Upper Merion, Montgomery County, PA that in essence was cleaved in two by the Pennsylvania Turnpike in 1952.

Old Swedes, once Lutheran, now Episcopalian is a Church that has stood in Swedesburg since the early 18th century.  The church has an amazing history and needs serious preservation.  It’s a damn shame the Episcopalian Church USA doesn’t take more notice because the sheer history contained in this place is undeniable and very exciting.  Even George Washington worshipped here I believe during his time at Valley Forge?

They also do a wonderful Lucia Fest, Main Line Media News covered it in 2012.

It is a beautiful church with amazing windows and an equally historic graveyard. Here is link to photos I took a few years back. Here is their YouCaring donation page that went up recently. This church is in desperate need of repairs and needs funds. Donations can also be mailed to Christ Church Old Swede’s 740 River Road Swedesburg, PA 19405 – it is #GivingTuesday and we need to save sacred and historic places of worship…or they end up like another sacred place I would love to see saved (yes Ebenezer AME on Bacton Hill Road)

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six minutes of television worth watching before the election

Last night I did not watch the Republican National Convention, or listen to Ann Romney’s speech. (See and interview with her here.) To get personal, I am sorry she had breast cancer, but you know what? I am a survivor too.  She also spoke about having multiple sclerosis, and again, I am sorry, but I know a very brave woman who struggles with this every day who I think is amazing.  And she doesn’t tell people about her disease, nor do I tell people what I had so other women will identify with me.  It is simply now part of who I am, and to an extent how I view the world.

What did I watch? The season finale of HBO’s The Newsroom which I had missed on Sunday night.

But what I do not get about my own political party, the Republican party, is they put the candidate’s wife, Ann Romney, out there to speak to the women of this country, yet behind the scenes there is embracing of political zealots who I feel have very little respect for women, their bodies, their opinions, their wants, their needs.

Look at Rep. Todd Akin and his “legitimate rape” comments. According to him,and his vast medical knowledge,women’s bodies shut down upon violation making pregnanacy, etc impossible. And look in our own political trashcan in Pennsylvania to Tom Smith, who is running for senate.  He drew a parallel in an interview with the AP between babies born out-of-wedlock and rape. HUH????

Neither of these men should be running for those reasons alone, yet they are.  And they aren’t alone.  How am I as a Republican woman supposed to vote a Republican ticket when just underneath the surface exists a current that is terrifying to me?   Don’t misunderstand me, I am not feeling it for Obama for a second term, but I am having a personal political crisis wondering how the hell I am going to vote?

I have said before that I feel the politics of extremism is ruining this country. It is the undeniable truth.  Which is why when I heard what a fictional newsman (who sadly does better reporting the news that major networks in this country do in reality) talk about Republicans and the Tea Party as a fictional Republican, it was very interesting.

Writers do not just draw from imagination, they draw from real life,  out there are a lot of  people who are torn and apathetic at the same time just like me.  I don’t think this all came out of Aaron Sorkin’s vivid imagination alone.  (Read an interesting article on the series in the Atlantic HERE)

I volunteered for the RNC2000 when it was in Philadelphia.  I have to tell you, I believed a lot more than I do now.  But at that convention, the Republican Party on a national level had some balls and the political  zealots and extremists stayed firmly where they belong on the fringe.

I almost wonder what kind of target I will become now as a blogger for saying I am a Republican but political extremism isn’t the way to go?

Anyway, watch the clip I posted.  I don’t care who did it, or what their political persuasion may or may not be, as Americans it is a perspective we should at least hear out.

Here is what Buffalonews.com had to say:

Brilliant ‘Newsroom’ finale has impeccable timing By Jeff Simon

Enough of all the supremely supercilious Sorkin-bashing. No more. Sunday’s season finale of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” managed to be the most timely – and one of the best – season finales of a television show I’ve ever seen (and, in my case, that “ever” covers a lot of chronological distance).

On this very evening, the Republicans are gathered in Tampa to see how much commandeering of the American journalistic agenda a storm called Isaac will allow. Two days earlier, “The Newsroom’s” finale led off with fictional journalistic crusader Will McEvoy leading off his news broadcast with a very real issue hotly debated (“defended” is the most apt word) just a few weeks ago: efforts to deny voting rights to those who have no photographic identification…..Put it together with “The Newsroom’s” usual blowtorching of the Tea Party on the (also) plausible grounds that it represents extremism, not Republicanism, and you’ve got the most extraordinary timeliness ever recorded for a TV show in a presidential election year. And all this, mind you, from an HBO fantasy that, thus far, has had to restrict itself to actual events from 2010, when some of the writing was being done….

In the terrific season finale of “The Newsroom” – complete with historically appropriate sideswipes at “Sex and the City” – Sorkin revealed what his theme music all along should have been: bad, scratchy old recordings of Broadway cast albums from “Camelot” and “Man of La Mancha.”

Now THAT would have been the proper introductory tone – smartass, ironic, dweeby, willing to get bruised while pushing boundaries rather than defending a bunch of Holy Prophets who were never anything of a sort.

 

Like it or not, Aaron Sorkin and HBO via fictional characters have given a voice to people questioning the tides of American politics.  Even registered Republicans.

We, as Americans, have been suffering through an economy not seen since the Great Depression if we are all honest with ourselves.  We don’t (thankfully) have a World War looming on the horizon to snap us out of it, but you know what?  We all need something to believe in.

We need as Americans, to have not only something and someones we can believe in, but practical solutions and not pie in the sky ideals.

We do not need to set women back a century or better, and we need to stop a lot of rhetoric which if continued will merely induce more hatred between races.  We need people who actually want to get together from both parties and govern for the good of the people and this country.

Right now it is bull twaddle as usual in Washington, DC.  And in the actual district you see people running around hedging their bets in case the seat of power changes, which in effect means nothing is getting done and we are still paying for it as taxpayers.

You know, I had a ticket for Paul Ryan’s visit to West Chester but I did not go.  I did not go because I did not feel like dealing with the extremeists from either side who were there, including that old fool Frank Lautenberg.  I enjoy politics, I enjoy hearing what candidates have to say, and sometimes even their wives, which is how I got to meet Michele Obama last election in a small setting. I like to hear what candidates have to say, but I can’t hear any of them this election season because they are getting drowned out by the politics of extremism on both sides.

I am getting off the soap box now.

calling all preservationists and angels: historic st. peter’s church needs you!

It is a horrible economic time to have a crisis with a historic structure, let alone one of the most favorite and beloved in the Philadelphia region.  It is because of that this blog is making a little side trip to the Society Hill section of Philadelphia where I was born.

St. Peter’s, is an 18th century, American Revolution relevent Episcopalian Church in Society Hill and 4th and Pine streets.  I went to grade school at St. Peter’s School, so I have many happy memories of this church (and others like getting a book autographed every year at the St. Peter’s book fair by Marguerite D’Angeli who was a friend of the headmistress.)

St. Peter’s was one of the Society Hill landmarks that was my playground as a child.  It is also one of the most beautiful and serene places in Philadelphia.

I attended Easter Services at St. Peter’s and it was like instantly going back in time to when I was a little girl.  St. Peter’s is one of those places that makes you realize you can go home again.  From her beautiful windows to the high boxes inside the church, to the climb up the stairs for a look out over the church yard, St. Peter’s is just a very cool place.

I learned on the news today that St. Peter’s needs the help of anyone who can spare a dollar or two.  The church is being forced to close due to instability in the roof of the historic structure.  St. Peter’s Church was designed by Robert Smith and opened in 1761 as an offshoot of Christ Church in Old City. The Church’s tower, designed by William Strickland, was added in 1842.

St. Peter’s is a National Historic Landmark.

Saint Peter’s is not just a historic structure, it is a church that does many good things including a food cupboard.  They live their slogan of “Open Hearts. Open Minds”

Can you help save St. Peter’s?  The faster they have angels drop donations on them, the faster they will reopen.

Donations of any amount can be sent as follows:

Saint Peter’s Church, ATTENTION: HISPIC,313 Pine Street Philadelphia, PA  19106

 Media on the topic:

Plan Philly: St. Peter’s Church roof at risk of collapse

St. Peter’s Church at 3rd and Pine streets has been in continuous use since the 1760s, but parishioners will not be able to worship in the sanctuary this Sunday.

The Inquirer reports that St. Peter’s sanctuary roof is at risk of collapse. An engineering firm reportedly inspected the sanctuary’s roof trusses and found their condition dangerous enough to order the building closed until stabilization measures can be completed.

WHYY Newsworks: With roof in danger of failing, historic Philly church takes sabbatical  May 17, 2012  By Kevin McCorry

When George Washington was in Philadelphia for the Continental Congress, he attended services at a relatively new Episcopal church called St. Peter’s in what’s now known as Society Hill.

Now, more than 250 years after it was built, the same church still stands at Third and Pine streets.  It serves more than 400 families and educates children at its elementary school across the street.

The stalwart church, however, is in danger after so many years…..Even after the building is reopened, Laughlin said the congregation will need to raise $1 million to completely update the church’s structure, a prospect which could take up to three years.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Sanctuary of St. Peter’s Church closes amid fears of collapse

May 16, 2012|Bob Moran

The sanctuary of the historic St. Peter’s Church in Society Hill has been closed after several roof trusses were deemed at risk of collapse, the Rev. Ledlie Laughlin told congregants in an e-mail Wednesday.

An architectural engineering firm concluded that the trusses “are sufficiently at risk of collapse that the sanctuary must be closed at once,” Laughlin wrote. The firm said the sanctuary could be reopened in several months if the roof is stabilized. Replacing the roof could take two or three years.

nothing says history like a slots parlor in valley forge

George Washington played the one-armed bandit here? Ick on ick on ick.  In the shadow of some of our most important history on both a local and national scale, there is now one of those blasted “casinos.”   It opened on Saturday and we happened to be stuck in traffic next to it as the police (or was it state troopers?) directed traffic into the site.  Butt ugly about sums up the “architecture” , not that I expected anything less than atrocious adjacent to King of Prussia Mall.

I remember when King of Prussia and Valley Forge were a lot more farm and field than concrete and stucco ick.

So they are talking about all the jobs the casino has brought thus far- great if you are in a service/retail  industry  I suppose, but I still feel in the end this casino will end up being more Atlantic City and less Shangri-La or Nirvana.  It is only a matter of time before we hear stories of kids left in cars while parents gamble, etc. 

These casinos are proven to attract problems and gamblers alike.  What ultimate impact will that have on our region and Historic Valley Forge?  That remains to be seem.

I still think somewhere George Washington is rolling over in his grave.