From the HSR Playground

I concluded Illuminating Riverton’s Past, the first post made on our renovated website in January 2011, with “This will be no fun at all if no one out there is listening.”

Embracing the Law of Attraction, the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on, I implored readers to help illuminate incomplete parts of Riverton’s historical record by contributing information and images to our virtual archive to be accessed online.

Six years, 355 posts, 32 newsletters, and thousands of images later, folks are listening, contributing, and I am having a ball.

It seems we may have reached a kind of critical mass where the networking aspect of this outreach effort now results in viewers regularly contributing content to the site.

Roger Prichard’s recent photo commentary on the Clothier Carriage House and scans of a c.1887 Fitler-Lindsay photo album are only the latest in a string of reader contributions.

Jeanette (Jessie) Hunter Choate at right with Bertha Lothrop possibly c.1920s

A penciled note in the Fitler-Lindsay photo album, mentioned above, suggests that either Bertha Lothrop or her father, David Lothrop, took the photos. Last fall, Raven Davis Cotter stumbled across our website while researching her family history and sent us a scan of a photo we believe to be of Bertha Lothrop. The June 2013 Gaslight News tells much more about these commercial photographers.

Riverton’s PRR Station Plans and Elevations CREDIT: Jerry Mooney

Just posted on the IMAGES tab under the RIVERTON RAILROAD STATION section is this architect’s plan submitted by HSR member Jerry Mooney.

These scans of a classic Riverton Fire Company crew photo and a family home on Fulton Avenue c.1885 sent in by cousins Mary Ann Banko and Katherine Strohlein are a treat.

Can you see the faces in the window of the home? Mary and Katharine are trying to figure out who they are.

216, 218 Fulton Street c1885
Riverton Fire Co. c1925

Katharine writes: Adolph Strohlein is in the back row, tall, in-between the 2 torches, 6th from the left. He was a volunteer firefighter. I’m guessing this is around 1925.

Always a bonus when the donor can provide context. Except for Granddad Adolph, we don’t know other identities, but we welcome your suggestions. A google search for an ancestor or a old homestead has directed many visitors our way.

Other 2017 posts highlighted items from Sheila Hines, Carl McDermott, Rich Rosmandoand, well…, me. 

Palmyra Record, Mar 15, 1918, p1.

Ninety-nine years ago the Palmyra Home Guard received its weapons for defense of the homeland during the Great War and were planning to unite with Riverton on maneuvers and drill. Watch soon for publication of “On the Home Front,” in the March Gaslight News, which recognizes contributions of Rivertonians to World War I. Such articles help us all appreciate our debt to the past.

I have been working recently with Wheelman Gary Sanderson and Carlos Rogers, creator of the Historic Riverton Criterium, preparing a slideshow to accompany their April 18 presentation at the Porch Club, Riverton Bicycling: Then and Now. Such endeavors remind us that events today are tomorrow’s Riverton history. We appreciate members who send in photos and information about current happenings, too.

When our volunteer web developer, Mike Solin, recently asked me how things were going since he implemented an events plugin, a google search plugin, and performed some maintenance, I replied,

Thank you for your continued care and feeding of the website… But I must say you have given me the best adult playground ever.

Maybe don’t google that.

If you are stuck in the house during this snowstorm, see what you can find to shed further light on Riverton’s rich past. – JMc

Founder Henry A. Dreer on right, son Wm. F. Dreer on left

REV. 3-15-2017: Katherine Strohlein adds: “George A. Strohlein is on the left of the house photo. I think Henry Dreer may be on the right.”

Here is a scan from a 1938 Dreer’s Garden Book. Maybe a reader can can confirm or suggest who else the man in Katherine’s photo might be.

Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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