AMP 2018 – Open House at the Historical Society of Frankford

Posted on behalf of Caroline Hayden

President Jim Young presents the story of the historical society’s Duffield Survey Compass, believed to have been used in surveying the neighborhood of Frankford.
President Jim Young presents the story of the historical society’s Duffield Survey Compass, believed to have been used in surveying the neighborhood of Frankford.

The Historical Society of Frankford, on Orthodox Street, had a open house conference on
Sunday, October 7. The event brought in a full house of members from the Frankford
neighborhood and surrounding area, passionate about the local history of Northeast
Philadelphia and the history of Pennsylvania. The event began with a warm reception and meet-and-greet hosted by Board member John Buffington and President Jim Young. An excited buzz filled the room as attendees spoke with presenters and examined materials and collection items set out on tables.

Robert Penn, a descendant from the William Penn family, discusses his experiences as a descendant of Penn, and the genealogical research that brought about the discovery.
Robert Penn, a descendant from the William Penn family, discusses his experiences as a descendant of Penn, and the genealogical research that brought about the discovery.

The speakers were plentiful. Robert Penn; Tom Dayton; Fred Maurer; Jim Young, John
Buffington; Spencer Allen; Fred Moore, Robin Irizarry; and Matthew Smalarz all spoke at the event. The topics ranged from life as Penn descendant, the Swedish – Danish relations in Philadelphia’s early history, to the Campbell AME Church and Pennypack Creek. Also
discussed were the history of the Historical Society of Frankford, the history of the
Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watershed, and the historical society’s beautiful Duffield survey compass.

The Duffield survey compass was stored in the historical society’s basement for years before being restored by an expert in colonial instruments.
The Duffield survey compass was stored in the historical society’s basement for years before being restored by an expert in colonial instruments.

There was such a wide variety of presentations at this 3 hour long conference, that it’s clear Frankford and Northeast Philadelphia have so much history to cover in future events. After the presentations finished, there was another excited buzz as people gathered around and spoke with presenters or caught up more with one another. John Buffington stressed his great interest in repeating this event for next year’s Archives Month, and making it a staple. He joked, “When I grow up, I want to be a conference organizer!”


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