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Northeast history on display

Byberry Friends Meeting trustee president Mary Ellen McNish, community engagement coordinator Mike Doyle and clerk David Nepley.
Debbie Carlisle-Szymanski and Friends of Northeast Philadelphia History board member Fred Moore.
Patty McCarthy holding Hark Back with Love.

Friends of Northeast Philadelphia History presented the Northeast Philadelphia History Fair on Saturday at Cannstatter’s.

There were historic displays, presentations on local history, books, prints, photographs, historical items and a special book reprint.

Debbie Carlisle-Szymanski presented Northeast Village: The Life Experience & Resiliency of a Generation. Northeast Village was a 239-acre development of 1,400 homes, stores, a school and a firehouse built after World War II that was generally south and east of Comly Road and Roosevelt Boulevard. It lasted only until the early 1960s, with the city using the land to expand the airport and create an industrial park.

There is a “Northeast Village natives” public group on Facebook, along with an annual reunion on the first Saturday in October at Neshaminy State Park.

Patty McCarthy presented Hark Back with Love by Frances Richardson.

Friends of Northeast Philadelphia History partnered with Byberry Friends Meeting to offer a reprint of Frances Richardson’s 1970 memoir, Hark Back With Love, a first-hand account of growing up in the Byberry section of the Northeast around the turn of the 20th century. In 1889, when Frances was 3, she and her siblings – whose parents had died – were sent to live with their four unmarried aunts, who owned Chestnut Glen, a 34-acre estate in Byberry. The property was on Academy Road below Comly Road, now the site of St. Martha Catholic Church and School. The Richardsons were members of Byberry Friends Meeting, which they regularly attended for worship and where Frances went to elementary school. She taught at Byberry School for a number of years.

The fair also featured authors and about 30 participating organizations.

For more information, email nephillyhistory@gmail.com or follow the Northeast Philadelphia History Network page on Facebook. ••

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