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Pop-Up Beer Garden Reportedly Considered In Montco

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - 1 hour 3 min ago
Would you support a pop-up beer garden in your local community?
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco CC Speech Communication Students Hone Skills With Volunteer Work

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - 2 hours 47 min ago
Montgomery County Community College Speech Communication students are doing good things.
Categories: Lower Merion

Pennsylvania State Police investigating road rage incident on I-476

Main Line Times - 2 hours 58 min ago
WEST CONSHOHOCKEN >> Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a road rage incident Thursday afternoon on the northbound lanes of Route 476 around 3 p.m. in the area of West Conshohocken.
Categories: Lower Merion

10 years later, remembering Barbaro

Heron's Nest - 5 hours 4 min ago
It's hard to believe it's been 10 years.

Where does the time go?

The calendar does not lie. It was a decade ago that Barbaro thrilled us by winning the Kentucky Derby, then two weeks later gave us one of the worst images in sports after his right rear leg gave out in the Preakness.

Tomorrow I will no doubt sit in front of the TV and watch the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown. The truth is I'm not that much of a horse-racing fan. I do it in homage to my father.

Yes, he loved the ponies, and was not above making a wager or two on the nags.

How much did dad love horse racing, and all the characters that surround the sport? He is the only man I've ever known who took a vacation in the summer so he could work the pari-mutuel window at Delaware Park.

I wrote this column 10 years ago, after Barbaro broke down, but before he was put down.

Yes, I know it is Mother's Day Weekend, but this one is for you, dad.

* * * They are one of the great anomalies of sport, huge, powerful beasts capable of extraordinary bursts of speed and endurance.

Yet these four-legged locomotives do so on tiny, nimble appendages, little more than matchsticks supporting their huge, muscular frames.

They are truly miracles. Unfortunately, sometimes even miracles don't have happy endings.

I have a special place in my heart for horses. It is one of the few links I have with my father, a man who could not fathom a day without the Racing Form. In the "Sport of Kings," my father was a commoner.

Simply put, he loved the ponies. And the racetrack. And those who populate them. He wasn't much of a betting man himself, but that didn't stop a steady stream of gentlemen from visiting our house, especially on a Saturday morning, to find out who my dad "liked" that day.

How much did my father enjoy the track? He's the only man I ever knew who took a summer vacation so he could work the pari-mutuel window at Delaware Park.

I used to love his stories of the characters and the cons that make up the daily ebb and flow of the track. For some reason, I never really embraced my father's affinity for horses, handicapping and racetracks. Except for three weeks a year.

This was supposed to be one of them. They will run a race at Belmont Park on Saturday. It is the third leg of the Triple Crown. Teased now for two years by Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex, both of whom had local connections and both of whom came tantalizingly close to capturing horse racing's Holy Grail, this was to be the year of our salvation.

That dream ended two weeks ago with a sickening snap seconds after the pack bolted from the gate at the Preakness. Barbaro, another horse with deep local connections, whose owner Roy Jackson was a Delco native, would not capture the Triple Crown. Instead he captured our hearts.

My wife is an animal lover in the purest sense. She loves them for their sheer beauty and for the devotion and joy they willingly shower on those of us who walk upright on two legs.

She is not a horse-racing fan. But for three Saturdays every year, she indulges me and my fantasies of being a part of the "horsey set." She usually sniffs about how they should not make these majestic animals perform these exhibitions for humans. And she always makes a point to wonder how they can possibly perform such feats on those tiny little legs.

A few Saturdays ago we were due for an evening event for which we were running late. Actually, I was the only one running late. I had no intention of missing the Preakness.

So I stalled, camped out in front of the TV in the bedroom. My better half never watches these races. I can never get enough of them, including the buildup, the parties and the sheer indulgence of the landed gentry that make up the racing set.

Earlier in the afternoon, I had consulted with the news desk here at the paper. I had already decided I wanted to lead the next day's Sunday paper with the result of the race. I envisioned a front page with a picture of Barbaro under the headline "Superhorse." If he lost I suggested we use "Heartbreak" instead. That's what wound up on the front page of the paper, but not for the reason I imagined.

Barbaro had blown away the field at the Kentucky Derby. It was the largest winning margin in years. For a newspaper editor, Barbaro made a great story. Just like Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex, he was dripping with local connections. The owner grew up in Delco. His wife worked here. Their farm was in West Grove. Barbaro raced at Delaware Park early in his career. And he was based, along with his trainer, at Fair Hill, Md.

Fair Hill is located just a good stone's throw from Oxford, Pa., the town where I grew up. It's just over the state line on the road to Newark, Del. Each year lots us local "townies" donned our khaki pants and blue Oxford shirts and did the Fair Hill races, a steeplechase event that drew heavily on bluebloods from the Main Line. We stuck out like sore thumbs. I think our khakis weren't quite rumpled enough. There was something about these people that made them stand apart from us. They literally looked like money.

Years later, as soon as I saw Edgar Prado pulling up his mount, I had a pretty good idea what had happened. The gruesome TV footage soon confirmed it. Suddenly the Triple Crown didn't seem so important. Now the question was whether Barbaro could be saved.

I went downstairs and told my wife I was ready. I never mentioned the race, or Barbaro's fate. Before we arrived at our destination, Barbaro was headed back up Route 1, destined for Penn's New Bolton Center.

It is world-famous for saving large animals. It was about to become more so. Doctors there not only saved Barbaro's life, but patched up his shattered ankle with a metal plate and no less than 23 metal screws.

The eyes of the racing world will zero in on a big race this Saturday. Not mine. I've seen enough. I hope Barbaro continues his miraculous recovery.

I will continue to wonder how these marvelous animals can perform these tasks on legs that would make a ballerina envious.

They will bestow flowers and a trophy to the winner of the Belmont. But not our hearts. We've already given that away. To the pride of West Grove. And Delaware Park. And Fair Hill. And New Bolton Center.

Get well, Barbaro.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Philadelphia man convicted of robbing Ardmore Radio Shack

Main Line Times - Thu, 2016-05-05 17:21
NORRISTOWN >> A jury deliberated for more than three hours before convicting a Philadelphia man of robbing an Ardmore Radio Shack at gunpoint during which more than $20,000 in merchandise was taken.
Categories: Lower Merion

'Road Rage' Shooting Reported On Blue Route, Police Seeking Gunman

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 17:11
The shooting was reported around 3 p.m. near the Schuylkill Expressway. No one was hurt, reports say.
Categories: Lower Merion

Stoneleigh estate to become nature preserve for public use

Main Line Times - Thu, 2016-05-05 16:19
When John and Chara Haas were still alive they sometimes invited a lucky few onto their property in what they called “Stroll-Arounds.” The walks granted a handful of people the opportunity to see their beloved Stoneleigh estate and the gardens that went with it.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion Teacher Named Finalist For PA Teacher of the Year

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 16:02
A Lower Merion teacher has been named a finalist for the 2017 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.
Categories: Lower Merion

Wynnewood Student Receives Princeton Prize in Race Relations

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 15:50
Congratulations to junior Simone Gibson for earning the prestigious prize!
Categories: Lower Merion

Internet Rallies Behind Montco Teen After Nasty Comments On Prom Photo

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 15:22
Tayja Jones posted what she thought was a nice picture of her in her prom dress. A stream of unkind comments made her take the photo down.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montco Elementary Teacher Named 2016 Phillies All Star Teacher

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 14:19
Kate Bala is one of just 10 teachers across the state to receive the honor. Read the heartfelt letter from a parent that nominated her.
Categories: Lower Merion

Giant Recalls Granola Bars Over Listeria Concerns

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 14:14
Giant is recalling some store brand granola bars due to listeria concerns, the retailer announced Thursday.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion Is Upcoming Stop On Montco 'Conversations With Commissioners' Tour

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 12:01
The Montgomery County Commissioners are holding town hall meetings on important issues in several municipalities, including Lower Merion.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion Man Steals $900K From Farm To Buy Maseratis, Bahamas Trip: DA

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 11:48
DA: The suspect used the money to buy two Maseratis, a Porsche SUV, a Land Rover, a rental home, and a family vacation to the Bahamas.
Categories: Lower Merion

Accused King of Prussia Mall Baby Kidnapper To Appear In Court

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 11:12
The preliminary hearing for accused baby kidnapper Cherie Amoore is Thursday.
Categories: Lower Merion

Montgomery County Expands Bike Share Program

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 10:03
Bikes will be available for rent at several trail-side locations during the 2016 season.
Categories: Lower Merion

Cinco De Mayo 2016: Best Mexican Restaurant In Ardmore

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-05-05 09:50
Check out the top 5 rated Mexican restaurants in the Ardmore area, based on Yelp reviews. Did your neighbors get it right?
Categories: Lower Merion

private joshua johnson and the other old souls at ebenezer a.me. on bacton hill road in east whiteland

Chester County Ramblings - Wed, 2016-05-04 20:11

Someone asked me what it was that made me want to save the graves in the ruins of the Ebenezer AME on Bacton Hill Road in East Whiteland or what old timers in East Whiteland like to call “that old black church”.  What first moved me was the grave you see above of Private Joshua Johnson(1846-1916) who was a member of Company K of the 45th of the United States Colored Troops in the Civil War.

How could he just be abandoned by his church? How could the others? These are people’s ancestors – you know like William Reason who died in 1892? joseph Thomas who was born in 1751? (list below at end of post along with very old article excerpts courtesy of a friend.)

The most history we have on Ebenezer AME was compiled by Eagle Scouts. Daniel Baker was one.  In 1989 he wrote History of the Ebenezer AME Church on Baction Hill Road. Another Eagle Scout,   Mathew Nehring also adopted this site in 2010 and documented graves and did a clean up. Nehring put his results on Find-A-Grave .

This summer is the bicentennial celebration of the A.M.E. Church A/K/A Host of the 50th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference, African Methodist Episcopal Church. It is being held in Philadelphia before the DNC.

Oh yeah, I have tried countless times contacting the AME Church regionally and nationally since we discovered they still own the ruins of Ebenezer A.M.E.  When I did a GIANT e-mail I got some responses last year, but never any follow up. Ministers and church officials asking me to send them information and I have…so many times. And NOTHING.

Ok so NONE of these souls moldering in this forgotten graveyard aren’t my people, don’t share my race or religion, but these people belong to some descendants somewhere, right? Surely the big A.M.E church must care about Ebenezer A.M.E. right?

No. Apparently not.  I have reporters who have expressed interest, but mostly it is just regular people like me and the late Chester County poet A.V. (Ann) Christie. Yes, A.V. Christie. That is how I met her. Because of a graveyard abandoned by time and man.  She died April 7, 2016.  Those of us in East Whiteland and elsewhere who are just regular folk would love to be able to honor Ann’s memory by getting this little graveyard taken care of. She had no tie to it either. Like me she happened upon it.  I believe she helped clean it up a few times a few years ago as well.  Ann once lived nearby to the graveyard.

So yes, #thisplacematters too. 1st District A.M.E. Church is on Twitter about the upcoming bicentennial.  @1stDistrictAMEC is their handle. Maybe they need to be tweeted at to remember the ancestors buried here. They have to be someone’s people, right? The most recent local A.M.E. Church elder I sent information to was a Reverend Lett.

He never replied. It makes me wonder why I care, but I do.  These forgotten people deserve to be remembered and some of the names in the graveyard are still the names of some descendants living in Malvern and Chester County today.

A.M.E. Church does still own Ebenezer A.M.E. Someone trying to assist with research wrote to a friend a few months ago “The county still lists the owners as the African Methodist “Episcapal” [sic] Church, with a mailing address as Malvern R.D. 1. You can see then it hasn’t been used in quite a long time!”

I also sent information to Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III Editor of the Christian Recorder. That is the official paper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. I have contacted innumerable local ministers of A.M.E. Churches.

Yet there the graveyard rots on the eve of their bicentennial.  Yep, that is some way to honor the past. To honor freed slaves and civil war soldiers.

The Daily Local was kind enough this week to pick up the tale of Linden Hall. Hopefully they or SOMEONE will decide that the dead of Ebenezer A.M.E. are worth a little bit of attention.

Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Cemetery is also known as Chester Valley African Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, or Valley Hill Cemetery. You can also see tombstone photos on Pennsylvania US Gen Web Archives – someone named Fred Kelso popsted them in 2008. One of his photos shows that in 2008 someone still left a Christmas wreath on the ruins of the chuch.

If you know anything about this cemetery or people buried here, please leave a comment.

And also read this fascinating write up of another cemetery probably long gone in East Whiteland – The Flat Road Amish Mennoite Cemetery.

Here is an article from the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1999:

A Lonely Battle For Black Cemeteries In This County Alone, At Least Six Are Abandoned Or In Serious Disrepair. Regulations Are Sparse, Records Mostly Nonexistent. By Michael Rothfeld and Brooks Barnes, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF

POSTED: August 10, 1999

Lee Carter pressed paper and pencil to the weather-ravaged tombstone inscriptions, laboring in vain to make out the faded names of the dead…..“It breaks your heart,” Carter said. “You devote your time to these things, and after a while it gets to you. You have to walk away.”

African American cemeteries are vanishing across Chester County, despite efforts of a small cadre determined to save them. At least six independent burial sites, and a seventh just outside the county, have been abandoned or are in serious disrepair, and no one knows how many may already be lost.

It is a phenomenon taking place across the country, black historians say, for reasons that include a lack of regulation, the remote locations of land granted to former slaves, and rural-urban migration…

A registry or listing of all cemeteries does not exist, Hardester said. While for-profit cemeteries are regulated by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission and state Health Department, no group or agency regulates older fraternal or church cemeteries – where the bulk of people living in the 1800s and early 1900s are buried.

Limited state legislation exists to protect unmarked cemeteries from development and to force municipalities or churches to care for neglected or abandoned cemeteries. But Hardester said such legislation, which dates to the 1930s, is rarely invoked because it is obscure and fragmented.

So it is often left to persistent individuals to save them – such as Roger Grigson, president of the Downingtown Historical Society…..

cultural traditions may also play a role, noting that maintaining an oral record traditionally was considered more important in black culture than marking graves with elaborate headstones.

“The people who do remember the oral histories are the older people,” she said. “When they die, they take the knowledge of who’s buried where with them. It’s happening all over the place, and nobody really seems to care.”…Grigson said he spent six months calling the A.M.E. Church’s District 1 headquarters in Philadelphia and was all but ignored.

“They didn’t want to cooperate,” he said. “I called the A.M.E. over and over with no response. When I did get somebody, I was told, `Keep your nose out of it.’ ”

Renee Carey, a South Coatesville resident who is trying to create a database of the people buried in forgotten cemeteries, said she also failed to get any information from the A.M.E. Church after sending repeated e-mails to the records office….The remnants of one A.M.E. church stand next to a trailer park on Bacton Hill Road in East Whiteland. A long-forgotten cemetery surrounds the church, hidden in a jungle-like mix of tall grass, trees, rocks and moss. A headstone has become embedded in a tree trunk.

Many graves there are crudely marked with rocks, which are rounded by rain and embedded like teeth in the ground. The clearest headstone belongs to Joshua Johnson, a Civil War soldier who lived from 1846 to 1916 and whose military unit is etched on his headstone.

Township records say the land belongs to the “AME church at RD 1” in Malvern. Asa McCollum, vice chairman of the trustees for St. Paul’s A.M.E. Church in Malvern, said that the church was not affiliated with his and that the ground belonged to A.M.E. District 1.

Graves identified by Matthew Nehring:

A., H. 54

Bently, James
b. 1819 d. Jun. 12, 1849

Brown, Ann
b. 1811 d. Feb. 5, 1901

Brown, John
b. 1837 d. Apr. 17, 1852

Cogins, Jane
b. 1849 d. 1887

Curtis, Walter
b. 1879 d. Mar., 1880

Davis, Hannah
b. unknown d. Apr. 5, 1898

Edwards, Harriet
b. 1809 d. Dec. 25, 1839

Gassaway, Alice
b. 1867 d. Aug. 28, 1911

H, A E
b. unknown d. unknown

Hooper, Anna E
b. 1821 d. Feb. 23, 1868

Hooper, John
b. unknown d. Apr. 23, 1847

Hooper, Mary Ann
b. 1812 d. Jun. 22, 1889

Johnson, Howard J.
b. unknown d. Oct. 8, 1921

Johnson, Joshua
b. 1846 d. 1916

Johnson, Winfield
b. 1861 d. Jun. 22, 1907

Jones, Clara Bertha
b. unknown d. Jul. 13, 1886

Jones, Sarah
b. unknown d. Jan. 18, 1875

Jones, Sarah J.
b. unknown d. Jan. 12, 1891

Laws, John
b. unknown d. Mar. 20, 1879

Poinsley, William
b. unknown d. Aug. 20, 1906

Reason, Mary
b. 1823 d. Jun. 30, 1888

Reason, William
b. 1817 d. Nov. 26, 1892

Smith, Viola
b. Nov. 30, 1899 d. Mar. 26, 1913

Thomas, Joseph
b. 1810 d. Sep. 10, 1849

Thomas, Joseph
b. 1751 d. Sep. 16, 1840
Trowery, Mabel Bell
b. May 1, 1906 d. Nov. 1, 1906

Trowery, Pauline
b. Apr. 1, 1894 d. Sep. 25, 1906

Williams, Amelia
b. Jul. 11, 1832 d. Feb. 3, 1911

Williams, Ellen
b. unknown d. Apr. 21, 1841

Woodyard, Hiram
b. 1824 d. Dec. 20, 1900

Woodyard, Sarah B.
b. unknown d. Aug., 1896

Collection: African American Newspapers


Date: December 18, 1873


Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Rev. Wm. H. Davis writes from Phoenixville, December 8, 1873. MR. EDITOR:

Upon my arrival at my post I found one of my points at the Deep Valley, the church was in a bad condition, about to fall down. We tore it down and rebuilt it gain, and on last Sunday the 7th we had a good time in the Church. As my presiding elder could not be with me, I got the Rev. R. Norris of West Chester who dedicated the church anew on Sunday morning. I tried to preach, 1 Cor. XV, 57. WE took a collection and got the last dollar. In the afternoon having raised in the morning the last dollar owed on the church the Rev. W.R. Norris commenced the grand jubilee in the afternoon and selected for his text Joshua VI, 16, and the Lord blessed us. WE have a church worth two hundred dollars, today at the Deep Valley.
Collection: African American Newspapers


Date: June 7, 1883


Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


PHILA., PA., May 14, 1883.

To the Bishop and Conference: DEAR FATHER IN GOD, AND BRETHREN, -We, your committee, to whom was assigned the sad and solemn duty of considering the life and demise of our brethren and co-workers in the vineyard of the Lord, whom death has claimed as his since last session of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, beg leave to submit the following as the result of our labors”

Rev. Shadrach Blackson was born in Christeen, Deleware, in the year 1809. His parents being in bondage, he was born a slave. His master sold him to a Presbyterian minister in East Whiteland, Chester County, Pa., in 1814. Here he received a common religion and joined the A.M.E. Church at Valley Hill, where he held his membership for over 60 years. 50 years of this time he labored as a local preacher and was a local member of the Philadelphia Annual Conference over 39 years. He departed this life on the 18th day of March, 1883, in the full triumph of faith. He leaves a wife and three children to mourn their loss, but their loss is his eternal gain.
Collection: African American Newspapers


Date: November 20, 1890

Title: —– —–

Author: REV. J.M. PALMER, P.E.

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Downingtown circuit under Bro. Reuben L. Patterson is showing signs of improvement worthy of one of far more experience. Membership and interest both increasing.

A genuine quarterly meeting was hat at Ebenezer (Valley Hill) recently began Saturday morning, with preaching by five of the brethren. The great spiritual feast on the Sabbath old fathers declared had not been equaled in many years. Downingtown will soon have a new church. We are confident the people have a mind to work.
Morning Republican, January 27, 1894
Revival meetings were started at the Ebenezer A.M.E Church, near Bacton, on Sunday evening. They are being conducted by the pastor, Rev. R. L. Patterson.
Morning Republican, May 31, 1899
The colored people of Bacton will give a strawberry and ice cream festival on Henry Tinson’s lawn, on mile west of Bacton, Saturday night, June 10th, for the benefit of Ebenezer A.M.E. Sunday School. Committe of arrangements: Henry Tinson, Annie Tinson, Lundon Asparagras, Mary Asparagras, Susan Thomas, Ameilia Johnson, Lydia Wilson. All are welcome.
Morning Republican, December 26, 1899
The Ebenezer A.M.E. Sunday School of Bacton will give their Christmas entertainment in Bacton Hall on Saturday night. There will be recitations, dialogues and singing by the school, and tree sharing and treats for the scholars, after which there will be a sale of refreshments and oysters for the benefit of the Sunday School treasury. The committee of arrangements consists of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Tinson, Mr. and Mrs. Louden Asparagus, Mrs. Amelia Johnson, Mrs. Susan Thomas, Miss Lydia Johnson, Miss Laura Jacson (sic), secretary.
Daily Local News, April 11, 1934
Visitors in the Chester Valley speak of the little building which was once well-known as the colored Baptist Church of Bacton. It has been unused for services for some time, but is yet in fair condition, with the old-fashioned box and pews and the coal oil lamps, and beneath the building the groundhogs have been sleeping in comfort during the past winter. Many old stories are told about that church and the enthusiastic meetings held in other days.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Survivors Of Brain Injury Express Creativity At Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Wed, 2016-05-04 16:01
Incredible work: survivors of brain injury displayed artistic work at a recent gallery hosted by Bryn Mawr Rehab's Brain Injury Program.
Categories: Lower Merion