HomeNewsHistory lesson in Holme Circle

History lesson in Holme Circle

The Holme Circle Civic Association is getting ready to celebrate the 400th birthday of Thomas Holme in November. Holme is best known as a surveyor who laid out the original plan for Philadelphia, at the invitation of William Penn.

Last week, the civic association invited Jim Murphy, a tour guide and author of Real Philly History, Real Fast, to discuss Penn’s impact on the city. Murphy labeled “Penn and Ben” (Franklin) as Philadelphia superstars, though they never met and Penn was in Philadelphia for only a few years.

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Murphy credited Penn for his religious tolerance and a key reason why Philadelphia has so many churches today. He said it was Penn’s idea to name a number of streets – such as Chestnut, Walnut and Locust – after the trees that grew in Philadelphia.

The author said Penn wanted a “green country town” and encountered a “howling wilderness” when he came to Philadelphia.

Murphy noted that Philadelphia is the smallest of America’s big cities, at 140 square miles. That small footprint is one reason why Philadelphia will at some point in the near future be passed as the nation’s sixth-largest city in population.

For more information, visit RealPhillyHistory.com.

In other news from the April 24 meeting:

• The civic association agreed to donate $250 to Catholic Community Services, 1926 Grant Ave.

• The civic association is not happy that the Water Department is again seeking rate hikes. The Philadelphia Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board is holding a Zoom hearing on Friday, May 10, at 10 a.m. to hear public input on the Tiered Assistance Program Rate Rider. The Water Department wants a rate hike because it is now automatically enrolling low-income people in the assistance program. To testify at the hearing, email WaterRateBoard@phila.gov. The increase would raise the residential bill by an average of 5.9%, around $4.43 per month.

The Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board already approved rate hikes that began last September and another that will begin Sept. 1.

• State Sen. Jimmy Dillon will sponsor $cam Jam on Friday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to noon at American Heritage Credit Union, 2068 Red Lion Road. There will be representatives from the state Department of Banking and Securities, the district attorney’s office, the police department, the state attorney general’s office and AARP. Register by calling 215-695-1020.

• Holme Circle Civic Association will meet on Wednesday, May 22, at 7 p.m. at St. Jerome parish hall, 8100 Colfax St. ••

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