I prepared this PowerPoint presentation on a history of Dreer’s Nurseries so that it could be running in the background on the stage of the Porch Club as people came through on their way to or from one of the several stops on the popular bi-annual Garden Tour in June 2010.
From modest beginnings in a storefront on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Henry A. Dreer, Inc. would grow into a vast organization with an international reputation selling seeds, plants, bulbs, and associated sundries. In the course of expanding the business, Dreer moved to 300 acres in Riverton, NJ in 1873, where the enterprise became a major employer of the town.
The prestigious house of Dreer closed due to a variety of circumstances in 1944 and the land that it occupied in Riverton was developed into housing lots. A few people still remember Dreer’s Nurseries and its effects upon Riverton and its citizenry.
The PowerPoint is loaded with information and many illustrations. Be sure to download the accompanying PDF file script for the slide show which also prompts you when to click your mouse for the animations and to advance to the next slide.
If you like to look at old photos and postcards, then download the script that accompanies this PowerPoint slide show so that you can sort out the many places and players as you leaf through this huge 115 slide production, full of all kinds of historic facts and images about Riverton, NJ. First shown at the January 2008 HSR meeting, this presentation does not contain exhaustive details on any one topic. Instead, it contains a little bit about a lot of different topics related to Riverton. (This presentation spawned two shorter spinoffs,”A Short History of Riverton Public School,” which is already posted and “A History of Dreer’s Nursery,” which will be featured later on. )
Regular readers of this column will recall the earlier posting of the shorter January 2007 slide show. This one duplicates some information found in that one and introduces more that I had learned in the interim. Topics in this 2008 sequel include:
Old New Era newspaper clippings relating events from the past
Many vintage family photos, school portraits, and Riverton postcards
A short history of the famous Dreer’s Nursery
News accounts of the Japanese beetle scourge as well as a Riverton sighting of the Jersey Devil
Reports of internationally ranked swimmers involved in meets at the Riverton Yacht Club and a 150 mile bicycle race from NYC to Riverton
Dozens of views of local historic maps, ephemera, and real photos of places
A complete small 16-page booklet about Sacred Heart Church written in 1904
Information and photos about the men of the celebrated Riverton Athletic Association and the renowned “Riverton Nines”
A description of the exclusive Riverton Gun Club and its high-stakes live pigeon shoots
Discover these things and more that you may not know about Riverton, and please consider the slide show’s ending message, “You can help preserve historic images and information.”
If you can help in this endeavor, please contact us so that we may increase the utility of this digital archive and make it available to a larger audience. We welcome your submissions for Gaslight News articles and blog postings, and invite you to support the Historical Society of Riverton by becoming a member.