Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: October 2003 Volume 40 Number 4, Pages 144–145

Notes and Comments

Page 144

Berwyn Acme Closes

The Acme supermarket in the Berwyn Shopping Center closed its doors for the last time on Monday July 7, after serving customers at the location for nearly thirty-seven years. The next day a greatly expanded and renovated Acme opened two miles to the east in the Devon Square Shopping Center. For the first time since the early 1920s residents of Berwyn were without a local Acme.

On the last day, a group of residents gathered outside the door to reminiscence. Carol Butler, poet laureate of Berwyn, recited a poem she wrote to honor the store, its customers, and its employees:

I know where everything is,With long lists or short lists,
Well almost everything,It doesn't take me long
Except for the breadcrumbs,To wind through the store,
The ketchup, and cocoa mix.Unless I talk to neighbors and friends.
I come here daily after work,But these days are now past.
Or after church on SundaysThere will be a new store,
For just a few small thingsA bigger store down the road,
I forgot to buy yesterday.Where I won't know where anything is.
I live so close, I can shopSo farewell small store,
In all kinds of weather.Good-bye friendly place.
Snow, sleet, hail, thunderstorms.I don't want to leave you.
It's fun shopping when the lights go out.It's time to move on down the road.

The group joined hands and sang “God Bless America” to end the farewell. They dispersed to their homes, and so ended an era in Berwyn.

National Constitution Center Dedicated

The $185 million National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is now a reality. It was dedicated on July 4, 2003 in the presence of many dignitaries, including Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Prior to the ceremony (marred by the falling of stage props barely missing Justice O'Connor), she received the Liberty Medal from the City of Philadelphia.

The Center is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress in 1988. Its mission is to promote a national conversation on democracy, freedom, and the Constitution.

Page 145

The History Club was involved in a now forgotten preliminary to the construction of the NCC. In the fall of 1989 a “hot” subject was the demolition of the Judge Edwin O. Lewis Fountain on Independence Hall Quadrangle proposed by Hobart G. Cawood, Superintendent of Independence National Historic Park, to make way for the Center. At its November 26, 1989 meeting, the History Club went on record as opposing the demolition of the fountain, and secretary Ann Slaymaker directed a letter to Mr. Cawood telling him so. His two-page response is still lodged in the Club records. His letter concludes, “I hope this information will better explain our position and the sequence of events that have led us to this point.”

Paoli Announces Plans for 250th Anniversary Celebration

On Tuesday, September 9th the Paoli Business and Professional Association announced plans for a year-long celebration in 2005 of the 250th anniversary of Paoli's founding. The event took place at the Carriage House of the Upper Main Line YMCA and was attended by about 100 business and community leaders. Chairman, Ed Auble, said a main focus of the celebration will be “The Front Porch Program” that will match youth with businesses and professionals in the community in a mentoring program. One of the committees for the celebration is a History Committee co-chaired by John Beatty and Betty Colmery that is already at work on plans to publish an illustrated history of the greater Paoli area.

Stone Arch Bridges Preservation Plan

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has announced Project Keystone, a plan to identify and prioritize stone arch bridges in the five county area of Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, and Philadelphia counties for a pilot long-term preservation program. As of this date 126 bridges have been identified. Twenty-four of them are in Chester County and two are in this immediate area: bridge 24A04 on Mill Road north of the intersection with Duportail Road, and the bridge on Gulph Road just west of the intersection with Richards Road near Route 422 north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Bridges must be over 20 feet in length and must be highway bridges. They are rated on seven variables: condition, transportation, waterway adequacy, development pressure, historical significance, rehabilitation aspects, and public sentiment. More information may be found at


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