Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: July 1979 Volume 17 Number 3, Pages 83–84

Notes and Comments

Page 83


A Postscript on Postcards

The pictures for many of the postcards shown in the last issue of the Quarterly, and others of the Berwyn area, were taken by Miss Lucy Sampson.

Miss Sampson was a talented photographer in the early twentieth century. She made her home in Berwyn with her sister Sallie and her sister's husband James Francis, a real estate lawyer and conveyancer. (Francis Avenue in Berwyn was named after him.) There was also another sister, Fanny.

The Sampson sisters were lineal descendants of Harry Sampson and of John Alden, the family coming to this country on the "Mayflower".

Lucy Sampson took numerous photographs of the Berwyn and Main Line area. Her photographs were also entered in competition, and one appeared in the Ladies Home Journal. She also had a dark room in the Francis1 home.

Frank Walker, proprietor of the old Berwyn Pharmacy, recalled a couple of years ago that "the weather never seemed too bad for her to go out [to take pictures] and some of her sleet storm pictures were beautiful". Her cards were sold in both the Berwyn Pharmacy and the Devon Pharmacy. (Dorothy Reed)

Page 84


Old Barn Gets Reprieve

The Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors in May postponed for at least ninety days a request to raze an old barn, parts of which date back to 1792. The 187-year old structure, now in delapidated condition, is located not far from the Revolutionary War headquarters of General Louis Duportail at Valley Forge, and is considered unique in that it was "signed" by the stone masons who built it.

Richard J. Webster, of the history department at West Chester State College, has described the structure as to his knowledge the "only signed piece among Pennsylvania bank barns. Inscribed on the interior plaster of the west gable end, in large script, is 'The Federal Barn 1792', and nearby are the longhand inscriptions: 'Jonathan Moor his Work'; 'John H. Moor 1792'; 'WD 1792; and 'I-H'. On the east gable end are 'John Hamer 1792' and 'I-H'. In addition to these is a date stone in the western gable 'WMD 1792'. The signatures are those of the builders, and the initials stand for William and Mary Davis, occupants of the farm in 1792, and John Havard, owner of the farm and Mary Davis' father. Needless to say," Webster added, "this is an exceptional cultural artifact, worthy of preservation."

Similarly, H. Gilbert Lusk, Superintendent of Valley Forge National Historical Park, agreed in a letter to the Supervisors that this is "an important historic property" and "a major supporting structure for Duportail1s Quarters which ... is on the National Register of Historic Places".

In a letter to the Township Supervisors, the Tredyffrin Easttown History Club also expressed its concern over the proposed demolition. During the ninety day period, a study will be made of possible uses of the property, as well as ways to secure funds for its restoration.


Volunteers at the Freedoms Foundation

It has been reported that additional volunteer tour guides are needed at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Interested persons can get additional information about the program by calling Mrs. Martha Mack at the Visitors' Reception Center at (215) 933-8825. (Frances H. Liggett)


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