A Village Remembered: Recalling the historic sites of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania (Paperback – Large Print Edition)
by Carol Worthington-Levy and Arthur Turfa
In 2017, Preservation Pennsylvania added Abolition Hall and the Corson/Hovenden farmstead to the Pennsylvania At Risk. Located in Plymouth Meeting (Montgomery County) this village was Pennsylvania’s very first National Register Historic DIstrict. Now threatened with a townhouse development, locals banded together to support its preservation.
This book is an effort to acknowledge and celebrate Plymouth Meeting’s extraordinary history and raise awareness of the effort to preserve Abolition Hall and the Corson legacy.
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From Amazon’s book webpage:
A collection of original fine art and poetry created to inspire and educate the reader about the historic Village of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. A pre-Revolutionary War community to the north and west of Philadelphia, and with one of the nation’s oldest Society of Friends Meetinghouse (c.1709), Plymouth Meeting served as an important hub for the Underground Railroad, the Abolitionist action that helped slaves escape to freedom in Canada, prior to the Civil War. The Friends Meetinghouse is a place of worship for the Plymouth Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends — a religious denomination also known as the “Quakers”. Three of these important buildings were owned by the Corson/Maulsby family since the 1700s. The meetings held in the Abolitionist meeting hall, a part of those properties, included respected speakers, abolitionists who were committed to the end of slavery in the United States. They included included Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lucretia Mott and William Lloyd Garrison. A number of these buildings are now endangered by the encroachment of modern development. Their proximity to one another and to the Friends Meetinghouse are core to their function as an irreplaceable part of our history.
Other important history markers in the Plymouth Meeting area are its lime kilns, built to process limestone — a substantial part of the economy in this area. Over the years, a good number of these lime kilns have been destroyed as development has crept into what is an ancient community by American historical standards. Such actions need to be stopped, and remaining sites preserved, lest an essential piece of American culture be forever lost.
The authors of this book, Carol Worthington-Levy and Arthur Turfa, spent over two decades living in Plymouth Meeting, and grew up learning about its history, hearing stories told by their parents as well as by descendants of the Abolitionists, and even studying in the tiny library at the Friends Meetinghouse compound. The work we present here is not meant to be as much biographical as inspired by these brave people and places that were the saving grace for thousands of freedom-starved [enslaved people], through over two decades prior to the Civil War. This book is more than just a collection of thoughts, art and historical notes — it’s a tribute to the living and breathing history of one of the oldest settlements in our country. We are hoping by the time you have spent time with The Village of Plymouth Meeting, you’ll feel the same loyalty to its heritage and understand the need to preserve and protect these monuments to the generosity and resourcefulness of the brave Americans who took a stand against the practice of slavery in the United States.