Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: July 1997 Volume 35 Number 3, Pages 107–108

Other Sources of Information on Local History

Herb Fry

Page 107

In addition to the Club archives, our local public libraries are a ready resource for history material which should not be overlooked. The Baugh notebooks shelved at the Stratford library, Frances Ligget's collection of oral history transcriptions at the Paoli library, and Heathcote's "History of Chester County" at the Easttown library in Berwyn, come to mind as rich and useful resources.

Dr. Anthony Wayne Baugh, a native of Tredyffrin, practiced medicine in Paoli and was one of the founders and charter members of the History Club. He had an avid interest in local history, which was evident in the great store of historical and classical lore which he delighted to impart both to the Club and to his friends. His death in 1938 was keenly felt by his many associates.

Shortly after the 1976 move of the Tredyffrin Library into its present quarters in Stratford, the library staff was looking to add to its local history shelf. Among the miscellaneous books and ephemera listed in a second-hand book catalog, they found two volumes of the notebooks compiled by Dr. Baugh which, happily, they were able to secure.

Page 108

The information contained in the notebooks is set down in Dr. Baugh's own hand and, as a history resource, is of exceptional value. It was compiled during the years 1913 and 1914, shortly after Dr. Baugh's 45th birthday. Volume I com­mences with the words, "Copy of minute book of the School Board of Tredyffrin Township. The book was found in the attic of the Davis house in the Valley, one cold day in February 1913. Harry Davis and I spent two hours going over the old books and papers in his garret, and this was the only manuscript book that re­warded our search. Four years of school work are given in the minutes, from June 3, 1872 to May 25, 1876."

Another considerable body of material is "copied from the scrapbook loaned to me by Mr. Henry Pleasants of Wayne, Pa." and consists of newspaper accounts from the late 1890s and early 1900s on varied historical subjects. Tredyffrin Rates (tax lists) for years 1765 to 1785, and a copy of the Docket Book of William W. Davis, Justice of the Peace in Tredyffrin, 1875-1893 also are included.

The Baugh notebooks are shelved at the Tredyffrin Library in Strafford, but the History Club archives has a complete index, and photo copies, of over 100 of the approximately 400 pages.

The Frances Ligget notebooks found at the Paoli Library are an equally valuable resource. Frances Ligget and her husband, Robert, lived at Echo Valley Farms on Yellow Springs road just outside Valley Forge Park. The Ligget home was the Headquarters during the Revolutionary War encampment of General Lord Ster­ling.

The first of the three notebooks deals with the history of the Revolutionary War years. The second volume is a collection of oral history reminiscences of those who lived in the neighborhood of Valley Forge Park in the Valley during the first half of the twentieth century. The third notebook is a repository of Frances Ligget's research concerning her house and farms, as well as neighboring Chesterbrook Farm, and the local schools, etc.

In 1932, Charles W. Heathcote Sr., West Chester State Normal school professor of social sciences, published "A History of Chester County, Pennsylvania." It is part of the local history collection at the Easttown library in Berwyn, and contains more modern biographical material and business information than Futhey & Cope's history of fifty years earlier.


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