The Lower Merion Historical Society
The Lower Merion Historical Society is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to Preserving Our Past For The Future. For over 60 years we have accomplished this by stewardship of local history, education of the community, preservation of historic resources and outreach to promote awareness of the cultural heritage of the Township of Lower Merion and the Borough of Narberth. On the evening of October 24, 1949, about 90 community residents showed up for the first meeting of the Lower Merion Historical Society - about three times the number expected. Their vision was to fill the gaps left by other community organizations and the school system, which did not teach the stories of their surroundings, the heritage left at their doorsteps. [or replace the preceeding with "Their vision was to share the rich history of this area with young and old alike through lectures, tours, slide shows and newspaper articles."] We have not only stayed true to our mission, but have also expanded it to include active conservation - in some cases, even revitalization - of local landmarks and open spaces.
Society volunteers and partners strive to highlight history as a means of giving context to the occurrences of today. Although our claim to fame is our extensive atlas, burial record, photograph, and rare document collections, we are far more than just a library. The Society’s many accomplishments include the preservation of the mile markers that map the region’s relationship with Philadelphia, the restoration of the 1812 Lower Merion Academy building, which is in active use as the Society’s headquarters, and the compilation and publication of The First 300: The Amazing and Rich History of...
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...o easy ways to date a postcard to a specific time period.
In addition to the images, other intriguing pieces of social history are the mundane snippets passed down from correspondents who are now strangers to us – their postcard messages. We have taken the liberty of quoting some of the personal messages found on the backs and fronts of our postcards with descriptions of the local landmarks. Each has its own squirrelly handwriting and misspellings – sometimes an annotation to the postcard image, other times merely sending a greeting or a notice of coming and going. It adds a reality to the images, a connection between buildings and people that no longer exist. Our personal favorite is squeezed on a back corner of the postcard of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, unsigned – almost like it was whispered in one’s ear – simply “Yes, dear. I know I’m handsome.”
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