Scandalous rumors and gingersnaps served at HSR fall meeting

HSR Vice President Mrs. Pat Brunker welcomes members to the October meeting.
HSR Vice President Mrs. Pat Brunker welcomes members to the October meeting.

HSR members converged on Riverton School’s library to reconnect with colleagues after the summer hiatus and hear Society Vice President Mrs. Pat Brunker outline some of the organization’s projects for the coming term.

One agenda item of particular interest to homeowners may be the revival of awarding historical plaques. Many Riverton homes and buildings have displayed these badges explaining the structure’s historic pedigree for some time, but the HSR has not granted any new plaques for several years.

Pat Brunker (l.) and HSR President Phyllis Rogers (r.) display a new plaque.
Pat Brunker (l.) and HSR President Phyllis Rogers (r.) display a new plaque.

Now available—the Historical Society of Riverton will award historic plaques for qualifying structures, minimum 100 years old, of particular architectural significance or of local historical significance. Call 856-786-8422 for an application which the HSR will review. Plaque donation: $150.

Further details on the simplified application process, program particulars, and an online application will be forthcoming in an upcoming post.

Then, Vice President Cheryl Smekal (yes, we have two VPs) told of an upcoming Dickens Tea by returning presenter Alisa DuPuy at the New Leaf on Thursday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m.  Your $15 includes tea and dessert, an evening’s diversion and entertainment, and supports the preservation efforts of the HSR.  Call 856-786-0323 for reservations.

Cheryl Smekal, 2011 Museum for a Day Curator
Cheryl Smekal, 2011 Museum for a Day Curator

Cheryl further explained that on December 7, in conjunction with Riverton Free Library’s Holiday House Tour, Phyllis Rogers and the New Leaf Tea Room will again host an HSR Museum for a Day, last done in 2011, in which the public may inspect rarely displayed artifacts, ephemera, vintage clothing, and photos from the Historical Society of Riverton’s archives. She invited anyone with something to loan for display to contact her at 856-829-9375.

Indentured servant Dorothy Stanaitis shocked this audience with scandalous tales of colonial society she overheard while serving tea.
Indentured servant Dorothy Stanaitis shocked this audience with scandalous tales of colonial society she overheard while serving tea.

Cheryl introduced our evening’s presenter, essayist and certified Philadelphia tour guide, Dorothy Stanaitis.

Speaking from the perspective of a colonial-era indentured servant who has eavesdropped  while serving tea to her well-to-do Philadelphia employers, Ms. Stanaitis divulged scandalous tidbits about American and British figures of her day.

She surprised even the most ardent of history buffs among us with some of the revelations included in her well-researched soliloquy that the history books left out.

Propriety, however, prevents me from repeating such gossip here. You may have to book this chatty domestic for your next club gathering and hear her Scandals, Rumors, and Dirty Rotten Lies for yourselves.

fall refreshmentsAfterwards, light refreshment accompanied many spirited conversations as members resumed that familiar society pastime as though the summer had not interceded at all.

Palmyra Police Officers
Palmyra Police Officers

Meanwhile, Dr. Cliff Johnson obliged by identifying some Palmyra police officers in a scan of a photo that I have had since 2004 when Betsy Ransome kindly let me scan about two dozen old postcards in her choice collection.

Elsie Waters treated us to homemade gingersnaps.
Elsie Waters treated us to homemade gingersnaps.

She used to hang them in her store, Grayson’s Flowers, on Broad Street in Palmyra. Betsy was one of the generous contributors who got the virtual image archive displayed on these pages off to its start.

Eventually, most discussion threads intersected on the wonderful contents of the refreshment table and, in particular, the remarkable homemade gingersnaps that Elsie Waters brought.

The recipe, you ask. I’ll check with Elsie and get back to you.

Please join the conversation about Riverton history here or on our Facebook page. – John McCormick

 

2 thoughts on “Scandalous rumors and gingersnaps served at HSR fall meeting”

  1. Maury Beck’s widow lived next door to us at 614 Highland Avenue. It was my understanding that the Chief took his own life using his service revolver. I was born in 1949 and I never can recall ever seeing him. I am sure there is something in the archives.

    Please give my classmate Phyllis Rodgers a “shoutout” for all the wonderful things she continues to do for the town of Riverton. We were classmates at good ole PHS Class of 67.

    I thoroughly enjoy keeping up with your contributions on this website John McCormick.

    Respectfully,

    Gary R. Weart

  2. Hi, Gary – Great to hear from you from across the miles. Thanks for being such a great friend of the HSR. Will pass along your sentiments to Phyllis. – John

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