A historic birthday

Celebrating history: Ryerss Museum and Library, at 7370 Central Ave., recently hosted a party for what would have been Robert Ryerss’ 188th birthday. LOGAN KRUM / TIMES PHOTO

Even though he’d be 188 this year, Robert Ryerss still knows how to throw a good party.

Ryerss Museum and Library on March 9 hosted a party for the local historical figure, who left behind his estate to the City of Philadelphia to be used as a park, library and museum. The party featured snacks, old-time games and arts and crafts for kids. An estimated 25 kids attended.

The party was organized by Friends of Ryerss, who also host a Christmas bazaar and open house in the first week of December.

“We just like to do it for the kids,” said Cathy Earlori, Friends of Ryerss secretary.

Joseph Waln Ryerss, Robert’s father, was a railroad and shipping tycoon, getting involved in trade with China, Japan and England. The building was constructed in 1859 as a summer home. Robert, a lawyer, inherited the estate and left it to his wife Mary Ann Reed when he died at age 65, on the stipulation it was left to the city after she died.

“Ryerss died in 1896, and it opened in 1910 as a museum and library officially, and here we are,” said site manager Martha Moffat.

The museum is located at 7370 Central Ave. in the northeast corner of Burholme Park and is open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ••