Quick Links

Next Meeting:

The Hires Root Beer Family Story and Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships – Jeff Groff

Special Events:

"Behind the Doors"

Recent Meetings:

Upper Merion Township: The First 300 Years – J. Michael Morrison, Francis X. Luther and Marianne Hooper

Past Meetings


TEHS at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

TEHS on Tredyffrin Township TV

The Society Supports 2013 Paoli Blues Fest

The S. Paul Teamer Awards

Society Elects New President

State Support for the Society

Kirkner Essay Contest Awards



Our Next Meeting

At our next meeting on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm, the featured presentation will be:

Colonial Springs bottling plant ruins on Mt. Misery Trail
in Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Photo courtesy of John O. Senior

The Hires Root Beer Family Story and Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships

Jeff Groff

This presentation will highlight the late 19th and early 20th century businesses and residences associated with the Hires family. It will discuss the invention of root beer and the history of the business, as well as the condensed milk plant in Malvern, and the Colonial Springs bottling plant in Valley Forge with its Purock brand of spring water.

It will include founder Charles E. Hires' house near the Devon train station, his son Edgar's historic farm “Rehobeth” near Valley Forge, his son Harrison's large stone residence on Cassatt Road, and his son Charles's country place on Yellow Springs Road. The Hires, like many families in the 19th century, had residences in Philadelphia but then moved to Merion, Wynnewood, and Ardmore, and in the 1930s went further west on the Main Line and into Chester County.


This presentation will be held at the Easttown Library & Information Center in Berwyn, PA.

Visitors are cordially invited to public Society meetings and events, and there is no admission fee.

Jeff Groff is Director of Public Programs at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library and is the co-curator of its current exhibition “Costumes of Downton Abbey.” For sixteen years he was Executive Director of Wyck Historic House and Garden in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. He also directed an historical society on Cape Cod, and early in his career was Registrar/Asst. Curator at the Philadelphia Maritime Museum (now Independence Seaport). A native of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, he is a graduate of Bates College where he majored in history. He holds an MA from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture of the University of Delaware. For thirty-five years he has studied, written and lectured on the country places of Philadelphia's “Main Line” and surrounding areas, with an emphasis on architecture, country life and sports. Mr. Groff is the great-grandson of Charles E. Hires who founded Hires Root Beer.



Our Most Recent Meeting

At the public meeting on Sunday, May 18, 2014, the featured event was:

Book Cover

Upper Merion Township: The First 300 Years

by J. Michael Morrison, Francis X. Luther and Marianne Hooper

In 2013, Upper Merion Township celebrated its 300th birthday. Society President J. Michael Morrison and Society Patron member and Tredyffrin Library Local History Director Marianne Hooper presented excerpts from their new book Upper Merion Township: The First 300 Years, including many fascinating photos of our neighboring township, and answered questions from the audience.

Unfortunately, their co-author, former educator and Upper Merion Area School District Principal, Francis X. Luther, was unable to attend as planned.

Immediately following the presentation, there was a book signing, and the authors donated $5 back to the Society for each book sold. For more information visit the King of Prussia Historical Society website.

This presentation was held at the Easttown Library & Information Center in Berwyn, PA.



TEHS Programs on Tredyffrin Township TV

A selection of pre-recorded programs featuring presentations from past meetings of the Society are available for viewing on Tredyffrin Township Television, found on Comcast Channel 15, Verizon Channel 24 and On-Demand.

We are looking for volunteers who would be willing to assist with the recording of our presentations for later broadcast. Free training is available to township residents at the Greenwood Studio facility in the Township Building. Please contact us or Studio Manager Gene Donahue if you are interested.

Program Schedule:

  • 7 am on Sunday and Monday
  • 1 pm on Monday
  • 7 pm on Thursday and Saturday



Society Special Events

"Behind the Doors"

The original Tredyffrin Easttown History Club occasionally held meetings at the various historic Inns in the area, as noted in this quote from an article about the history of the Club found in the October 1965 issue of the Quarterly (v.13 no.4, pg. 80):

On March 7, 1939 the first annual Banquet was held at the Windmill Tea Room (the General Jackson Inn) at Paoli. Originally the Club had these affairs at some historic inn. To date the following Inns have played host: The King of Prussia (once), Ye Old Bull Tavern (three times), General Warren (twice), Wayside Inn (General Jackson) (Five times).

Starting in 2013 this tradition was revived. So far we have visited two inns, both with tours and history presentations followed by a delicious five course food and wine pairing dinner. Both events were a great success and we look forward to more in the future. For more information, view the individual invitations for these events:

A portion of the proceeds from these events benefits the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society.



TEHS at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

Front cover of the new book

Roger Thorne and a visitor at the TEHS table at Devon


From 22 May - 1 June 2014 Society members staffed a table located at northwest corner of the Committee Stand, very close to the main entrance, where our new publication "Rediscovering Devon" was on sale. Many people stopped by and visited, and many others passed by and admired the large "Rediscovering Devon" timeline banner immediately above our display table.

To purchase a copy of the "Rediscovering Devon" book, please visit the Devon Horse Show & Country Fair website.

John & Nancy, Dixon, Jim & Herb on "booth duty"

On 15 June 2014, the Society held our 2014 Member Excursion at DHSCF.
Click here for more information and photos.



S. Paul Teamer Awards

As we passed the milestone of our 75th anniversary as an organization in 2012, it seemed fitting to establish a new annual award to recognize the especially significant contributions made by some of our members over the years. In considering what name this award should have we decided to reach back to the very beginning of what was then The Tredyffrin Easttown History Club and to founder and first president S. Paul Teamer. It is certainly worthwhile to look back at those first few volumes of the Quarterly and rediscover the noteworthy articles written by Teamer and his colleague Franklin L. Burns, among others, who set a high standard for those who followed.

At the January 2012 Annual Meeting, we were pleased to present the S. Paul Teamer Award for outstanding contributions to the Society to the first three recipients: Sue Andrews, Herb Fry, and Joyce Post.

At the January 2013 Annual Meeting, we were pleased to announce the names of the next two recipients of the award: Bob Goshorn (posthumous) and Mike Bertram. Since Mike was unable to attend this meeting, his award will be presented at a future meeting.

At the January 2014 Annual Meeting, we were pleased to announce the names of the next two recipients of the award: Franklin L. Burns (posthumous) and former president Roger D. Thorne.

Society Vice-President John O. Senior with 2014 award recipient Roger Thorne and President Michael Morrison
Society President Michael Morrison with 2012 award recipients (L-R):
Joyce Post, Morrison, Herb Fry, Sue Andrews


Society Elects New President

At the January 2012 Annual Meeting, the Society elected Michael Morrison as its new president. Michael takes over from Roger Thorne who served as president for nine years, leading the Society through a period of remarkable change and growth, including the transition to a 501(c)(3) organization. Roger will remain active as Board of Directors Chair with our thanks and appreciation for his vision and dedication.

Michael is a published historian who has led the Archives Committee for several years, and his passion for history and great enthusiasm for the Society will help us to continue to grow and develop.

Michael Morrison and Roger Thorne



The Society Supports 2013 Paoli Blues Fest

2013 Paoli Blues Fest artwork by Dane Tilghman
(L-R): John O. Senior, Loyd Pakradooni, and Nancy Kimmons
staffed the TEHS exhibit at the 2013 Paoli Blues Fest.
Photo by Pete Bannan, Main Line Media News

On Saturday, 5 October 2013 the Society participated as an exhibitor for the third consecutive year in the five-year history of the Paoli Blues Fest. Unlike last year's cool and blustery weather, the sunny and warm early autumn day was quite pleasant and the turnout for the event was large.

The ten-by-ten foot exhibit tent was configured and staffed by Society vice president John O. Senior, his wife and set-up supervisor Nancy Kimmons, and secretary Loyd Pakradooni. The steady stream of visitors who visited the tent throughout the day were fascinated by the diverse collection of historic photographs on display, and enjoyed having the opportunity to both learn about and share their knowledge of local history.

Exhibiting at this community event was a wonderful way to introduce the Society to a new and wider audience, as well as to connect with many friends who stopped by to chat. If you are interested in the enjoyable work of helping to staff the booth next year, please contact the Society by email or speak to one of us at a Society meeting.

Information about our Blues Fest participation in previous years can be found here: 2011 and 2012.

2013 TEHS booth layout

Visitors at TEHS booth

Photos Courtesy John O. Senior



State Support for the Society

Andy Dinniman and Roger Thorne
Photo courtesy John O. Senior

At our June 2011 special meeting at Historic Waynesborough, we were pleased to once again welcome State Senator Andy Dinniman, this time to present the Society with a special state proclamation recognizing seventy-five years of exceptional community service.

Roger Thorne also expressed our appreciation for the support that Sen. Dinniman provided in helping us to obtain the recently concluded 2009 DCNR grant that funded several important projects, including the acquisition of new aerial photos of the region, other selected historical photographs, and a noteworthy collection of recorded and transcribed oral histories.

Andy reading the proclamation
Photo courtesy John O. Senior

At the September 2009 meeting, we were pleased to welcome State Senator Andy Dinniman and former State Representative Carole Rubley to recognize them for their valuable assistance in helping the Society to receive two DCED grants that have supported our Digitization Project.

Senator Dinniman presented us with a check for a new DCNR grant to support several important projects.

Roger Thorne with Andy Dinniman
Photo courtesy John O. Senior


2006 Kirkner Essay Contest Awards

At the October 2006 meeting, prizes and commemorative
plaques were awarded to the four winners of the
The 2006 Mildred Kirkner Memorial Essay Contest.
For more information, click here.


Past Meetings


Page last updated: 2014-07-26 at 10:54 EDT
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