Virtual Heritage Tourism

Since all of our historic sites are temporarily closed, here is a list of quarantine-friendly activities to continue to get our historic organizations and sites get visitors during the pandemic and beyond. This list has been compiled by Delaware County Planning Department and Visit Delco PA

Please continue to support our historic organizations and check with each individual site as to when they will reopen- the full list of organizations is here.

If you have any suggestions to add to this list, please email cliffordk@co.delaware.pa.us

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Videos link here

Yes We Can Center

Chester City

Two video documentaries about the Yes We Can Center: 

Coming to Herself- Yes Center Story and Finding Home: The Ruth L. Bennett Story

Yes Center Chester Website

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Video link here

Green Lawn Cemetery

Chester Township

The story of Green Lawn Cemetery in Chester, Pennsylvania, breathes the dark truth about racism in America. Blacks were not allowed to bury their loved ones within the city limits of Chester.

 

The history, abandonment and efforts to preservation of Green Lawn Cemetery comes into question and is explored in this documentary.

 

The Greenlawn Cemetery is located at: Across from Haven Memorial Cemetery at 2500 Concord Road, Chester Township, PA.

Green Lawn Cemetery Project Website

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Video link here

Heritage Festival

Haverford Township

A video about the 2014 HTHS Heritage Festival. It is cancelled for 2020, but will be held in 2021. 

Haverford Township Historical Society Website

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Video link here

Thomas Massey House

Marple Township

The Thomas Massey House is a monument to the American dream – the home of an indentured servant who became a landowner, and like the American dream the house has endured over 300 years. The Thomas Massey House is one of the oldest English Quaker homes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  It is on the National Register of Historical Places, and the Historical American Building Survey.

The video is available on the website- the Video link goes to YouTube

Thomas Massey House Website

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Oral History Project Website

Thornbury... Our Life and Times

Thornbury Township

The Thornbury Township Delaware County Oral History Project video compilation of interviews of present and past residents documenting our wonderful history.  The interviews took place from 2012 through 2016 and  provide a rich archive of the Township as its 20th century landscape transitioned from a rural agrarian setting dominated by dairy farms to the largely residential communities that emerged by mid-century. 

Thornbury Historical Society Website

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Videos link here

Lazaretto

Tinicum Township

Videos about the Lazaretto and why it was built (a little appropriate pandemic viewing):

Precious Places: The 1799 Lazaretto

Fever 1793: The Healthy City

Fever (1793-1820)- Philadelphia: The Great Experiment

Fever: 1793 - A Virtual Tour with Sam Katz

Friends of the 1799 Lazaretto Interpretive Museum Website

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Video link here

Longwood Gardens- Our Gardens Your Home

Regional- Chester County

We miss you. We miss our Gardens. So, we thought we’d bring part of our Gardens right to you. Our Gardens Your Home is designed to keep you connected to your favorite garden (and ours) in a different way through stunning imagery and video of what’s in bloom, engaging online classes and activities for all ages, our legacy, and special moments expressing our mission of horticulture, education, and the arts. Our desire to create beauty and offer you a world apart has never been more important. Stay connected with us and make our Gardens your home.

Longwood Gardens Website

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List of pages here

House Beautiful

World- Virtual Tours

Multiple compiled lists of virtual tours of places around the world that you can view from your home. Selections include:

8 Historic Sites

8 Museums

5 Gardens

10 Historic Homes

Biltmore Estate, Paris Catacombs, Mark Twain's House, Buckingham Palace, Outer Space

and many more!

House Beautiful Website

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Google Arts and Culture Website

Google Arts and Culture

World- Virtual Tours

Virtual tours of museums and exhibitions from around the world.

Enjoy art at the Musee d'Orsay with accompanied music

Virtually tour the wonders of the world in Spain, Seoul, Italy and 

    India

Watch live shows

Recreate art using masterpieces as inspiration

Do activities at home

and much more! 

There is also an app available to play games associated with art

Amazing Earth Day Images from Space- here

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Tours link here

National Museum of Natural History

World- Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

360 degree tour of museum:

Permanent Exhibits

Temporary Exhibits

Past Exhibits

Museum Support Center & Research Stations

Other Smithsonian Tours:

   Smithsonian Castle

   Hirshorn

Museum of Natural History- Website

Wonder From Home Website

Atlas Obscura- Wonder From Home

Activities

Activities and articles from Atlas Obscura related to the pandemic:

Around the World in Pandemic Street Art

Build Megaliths with marshmallows or foam

Get seeds for your Quarantine Garden

Hobbies to Hone when Hunkering Down (using public tv)

10 Cultural Craft Projects for Kids

Help Librarians, Archivists, and Scientists from your Home

And lots more!

Atlas Obscura also includes tons of sites and articles about the odd things around the world to visit/ read about. 

Atlas Obscura- Website

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Gallery of projects here

Museum Survival Kit

Activities

#MuseumSurvivalKit is a collaborative social media project designed to share tips, tricks, and tools rooted in the traditional skills and life ways found in our museums and cultural organizations.

A goal of the project is to show how all communities have faced challenges creatively, so we want to feature a diversity of institutions and individuals that interpret many different people and ways of life.

​By sharing information from your museum, historic site, or program in this quick, friendly format, you can help people sheltering in place today learn some of the skills our forebears had, or pick up pointers from neighbors who practice them today.

You can see what other museums and institutions have added, and add your own!

Museum Survival Kit Website

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Full list of resources, including virtual tours here

Things to Watch, Read, and Listen to 

Activities

National Trust for Historic Preservation has several lists of activities to do:

15 Awesome Preservation-Themed Movies here

10 Fun Historical Fiction Books to Add to Your Reading List here

11 Great Podcasts for Historic Preservation Fans here

Preservation-themed music list on Spotify here

Virtual Preservation Month- 31 days of things to do here

National Trust Website

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Delco from Home page here

Delco From Home

Activities

Visit Delco PA, the County Tourist Bureau, has compiled some activities and virtual sites to visit. 

Watch Summer Stage performances

Learn about the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge, Newlin Grist Mill

Take tours of Stoneleigh and Scott Arboretum

Visit 2 artist studios

There is also a list of places to get food and drink delivered or curbside pickup

The Visit Delco PA Facebook page also has constant updates about articles and things to do during the pandemic.

Visit Delco PA Facebook

PAGP Building Philly square

Speaker Series link here

Preservation Alliance- Building Philadelphia Virtual Speaker Series

Presentation/ Webinar

Join us as renowned local architects, urban planners, curators, and historians explore the political, economic, and design trends that drove Philadelphia’s development. Topics include major urban planning projects such as the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Society Hill, our world-class collection of architectural styles, and Philadelphia’s industrial history.

If you paid for the speaker series already, you do not need to re-register. A link will be sent to you. Tickets are available for upcoming talks. They are recorded, so they will eventually be sent if you can't make the talks Tuesdays 6-8 pm on Zoom (but you have to register to get them).

Upcoming talks:

6/9- William Whitaker– Philadelphia’s Everyday Modernism

6/16- Michael Lewis- Truth, Fire, and Frank Furness

6/23- Jeffrey Cohen- The part and the whole: Wilson Eyre and a quiet architectural revolution in 1880s Philadelphia

Preservation Alliance Website

Haverford Heritage Trail website

Haverford Heritage Trail

Self-guided walking tour

Step into history along a fourteen-mile loop trail on paths and existing roads, past many historic and recreational sites.

 

The Haverford Heritage Trail highlights many (though certainly not all!) historic sites in Haverford Township. Follow the trail loop on foot or on bicycle as it winds through the township and its history. Over thirty sites are numbered starting at the Grange Estate in the southeast part of Haverford, but you can start anywhere and cover as much or as little as you want. Fifteen parks are also included.

 

A detailed interactive trail map, including an individual webpage for each site with images and descriptions, has been created to help people navigate the Heritage Trail. It is designed to be accessible "in the field" using web-enabled smart phones, tablets or laptops. In this way, users can conduct their own personal, customized guided tours while out on the trail.

Friends of Haverford Trails Website

Swarthmore Borough Walking Tour website

Swarthmore Borough Walking Tour

Self-guided walking tour

Swarthmore is a "green college town," with a beautiful campus in an arboretum setting and adjacent residential development that reflects a range of architectural styles from 18th century farmhouses, Victorian and early 20th century revival styles, to recent compatible development.

 

The walking tour can be picked up at any point along the way, but two of the best points of origin are the Swarthmore Business District, which has parking and restaurants, and the College Campus, with parking in the Benjamin West lot on Chester Road and snack bars on campus. Also of particular interest is the Scott Arboretum which encompasses the whole of the College campus and the Crum Woods. Walking tours of the Arboretum are available at their Office and in the College Visitor Center in the Benjamin West House.

Friends Historical Library Website

Walking Tour 1 link

Yeadon- 2 Walking Tours

Self-guided walking tour

Two walking tours are available for Yeadon, both in the northeast section of the borough:

 

1- Includes Interboro Park, Nile Swim Club, and Holy Cross Cemetery

2- Includes Sister Marie Lenahan Mercy Wellness Center and homes on Lincoln Avenue

The tours are available to download below.

Walking Tour 2 link

Individual Entries link

Clio- App and Website

Self-guided walking tour

Clio is an educational website and mobile application that guides the public to thousands of historical and cultural sites throughout the United States. Built by scholars for public benefit, each entry includes a concise summary and useful information about a historical site, museum, monument, landmark, or other site of cultural or historical significance.. Each entry offers turn-by-turn directions as well as links to relevant books, articles, videos, primary sources, and credible websites.

Individual sites in Delco include:

Thomas Garrett and the Underground Railroad, Eden Cemetery, Darby Free Library, Hilldale Park, Cheyney University, Rose Valley Museum, Benjamin West Birthplace, Merion Golf Club, Printzhof, DCHS, and more!

Tours include: Philadelphia Women's History Tour, Historic Quaker Meeting Houses of Philadelphia, Wilmington Delaware Walking Tour, African American History of Philadelphia Heritage Trail, and many more!

Anyone can add sites or tours, so get your site added!

Tours link

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Video link here

Delaware County Historical Society

Chester City

Video about the Delaware County Historical Society, which is celebrating its 125th Anniversary in 2020. 

Delaware County Historical Society Website

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Video link here

Haverford Township Historical Society

Haverford Township

Video production and direction by Haverford Township resident, Jenna Miele.  An overview of our programs, historic buildings and collections.

Haverford Township Historical Society Website

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Video link here

Marcus Hook Plank House

Marcus Hook Borough

Although there is currently no evidence to support it, there is a local oral tradition that the Marcus Hook Plank House was once the home of a mistress of the notorious pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. Blackbeard is known to have operated in the Delaware River during his piratical career and to have probably visited Marcus Hook. 

The PHILO Project is a nonprofit that provides qualifying small Philadelphia area nonprofit organizations with high-quality professional video at no cost to them. It is no longer accepting applications. 

Marcus Hook Preservation Society Website

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Videos link here

Rose Valley Museum

Rose Valley Borough

The Thunderbird Lodge, built by architect William Price, is of historical and architectural significance in the utopian community of Rose Valley. Price, a founder of Rose Valley, attempted to create a community of artists and artisans working side by side under the principles of the Arts and Crafts Movement. These included truth in the use of materials, traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration.

Videos:

“World War I Trench Arts & Crafts,” a lecture by Ryan Berley, Curator, Rose Valley Museum

The More on That blog has a 360° view of the Upper Studio in Thunderbird Lodge, along with a video from curator Ryan Berley.

Rose Valley Museum Website

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Video link here

Historic Thornbury Township Documentary

Thornbury Township

The  award winning documentary, HISTORIC THORNBURY TOWNSHIP, was produced by the Thornbury Historical Society for the purpose of promoting the depth and importance of our local and national history. 

The production not only stands as a fine overview of a wide variety of three centuries of locales, events, and people, but as a testimony to what can be accomplished when a dedicated  group of volunteers come together to support a valuable cause.  The generosity of time and effort was particularly demonstrated by the Director and resident, Richard Pyle.  The talent of amateur actors, musicians and behind the scenes "stage crew" was vital to the overall quality of this enjoyable learning experience. The credits, revealed at the end, highlight individuals and businesses that generously supported the project as well.  The roll call of numerous contributors at the end are those of our residents and THS members who backed us financially and documented their own family name for the future!

Thornbury Historical Society Website

Video link here

Lower Swedish Cabin

Upper Darby Township

Lower Swedish Cabin is an historic Swedish-style log cabin on Creek Road in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania along Darby Creek. The cabin may be one of the oldest log cabins in the United States.

 

It was likely built sometime between 1640 and 1650 by Swedish immigrants who were part of the New Sweden colony. In the early 1900s film pioneer Siegmund Lubin filmed several movies at the site. The house served as a private residence until 1937, when it was recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey and the Cabin became the property of the township of Upper Darby. After neglect and vandalism throughout the mid-1900s the house was restored in 1987.

 

Video Filmed & Edited: Joe Paciotti,  www.JPacProductions.com

Lower Swedish Cabin Website

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Virtual Tour here

Winterthur Museum

Regional- Delaware

Founded by Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur (pronounced “winter-tour”) is an American Treasure. Regarded as one of America’s most beautiful historic homes and mansions, on par with Biltmore Estate, Monticello, and Hearst Castle, visitors marvel at du Pont’s elegantly-furnished 175-room former home. Winterthur’s 60-acre garden is considered one of this nation’s great gardens, and its research library serves scholars from around the world. We invite you to explore Winterthur’s beauty and history.​

The Virtual Tour includes an interactive map where you can view photos of select rooms. 

Winterthur Museum Website

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Tours link here

Google Poly

World- Virtual Tours

360 degree views of sites and cities from around the world made by Google users. 

Includes places such as:

St. Louis, Charleston, New York City, Los Angeles

Jerusalem, Maldives, Florence, Rio di Janeiro

Themes such as Dome Architecture, Holy Places, Geological Formations

and many more! 

Create your own- Website

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Shows available here

National Theatre- watch at home

World- Virtual Tours

Enjoy world-class theatre online

Every week features a different National Theatre performance available to watch on YouTube- premieres Thursdays at 2 pm ET

Video is available for a week

 

Upcoming shows include:

A Streetcar Named Desire- May 21-28, ft. Gillian Anderson

This House- May 28- June 4

Coriolanus- June 4-11, ft. Tom Hiddleston

National Theatre- Website

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Tours link here

Louvre Museum

World- Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours of Louvre Exhibitions and Collections

Choices include:

Exhibition- The Advent of the Artist*

Egyptian Antiquities

Remains of the Louvre's Moat

Galerie d'Apollon

*Note- tour pages are in French, but the navigation uses arrows which are easy to use and the displays are in French and English if you zoom in to read them. Some pop-ups are in French.

Louvre museum- Website

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Activities link here

National Museum of American History

Activities

Things for Kids (and Adults) to do at Home

Activities include: (recommended grade)

Our Story (K-5)

Spark!Lab "Try" Activities (K-6)

Tracking the Buffalo (K-8)

Star Spangled Banner (K-12)

Build a Sod House (K-12)

American Enterprise Simulations and Exporations (3-12)

Preparing for the Oath (4-12)

Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery (5-12)

Museum YouTube Channel

Smithsonian 3D

Online Exhibitions are also available from the main webpage.

Museum of American History Website

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Coloring Book here

Delco Coloring Book

Activities

An original coloring book of our beloved Delaware County, created by Affinity Real Estate. Enjoy original sketches of sentimental landmarks and entities that we all hold dear to our hearts.

Please feel free to preview & download this PDF file, print it, copy it as needed, and share it with anyone, kids and adults, who likes to color. 

Also, please check their Facebook page for a fun coloring contest that they are running, including prizes from local businesses that have been affected by the stay-at-home order. 

 

Like their page and share the post to enter into a drawing to win an original “I ❤️ Delco” yard sign!!

Affinity Real Estate Facebook Page

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Full list of resources here

Kids Preservation Activities

Activities

National Trust lists of fun things to do with your kids while teaching them about preservation:

15 Free Historical Coloring Books and Pages to Download here

13 Virtual Ways to "Edutain" Kids About History and Preservation

here

We Are Main Street: Celebrating Youth here 

Women's History activities from NPS here

National Trust Website

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Videos here

History for Shut-ins

Presentation/ Webinar

Historian Jim Seagreave-Daly posts videos every day about different historic events. 

Topics include:

Revolutionary Mothers and Fathers

American Revolution

Articles of Confederation

Presidencies

Civil War

History for Shut-ins Facebook page

Resource Center website

AASLH Webinars

Presentation/ Webinar

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) has tons of resources for small museums throughout the year, but especially during this crisis. Many resources are free, some require membership.

The AASLH Resource Center is a collection of resources designed to help you do good history. Here you can register for upcoming continuing education events and build your personal library from recent History News issues and Technical Leaflets, recorded webinars, and audio recordings. Keep track of your learning all in one place as you explore by category and resource type.

You can view recorded webinars or join in future ones.

AASLH Website

LEDC- Visiting website

Lansdowne- 3 Walking Tours

Self-guided walking tour

Choose between three walking tours of historic Lansdowne:

-Henry Albertson Historic District- Various styles of architecture  are represented in the 71 houses in the district including American Four-Square, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Dutch Colonial, Prairie School, Queen Anne, Shingle and Tudor Revival.

-Lansdowne Park Historic District- The Lansdowne Park Historic District illustrates the transformation of a rural eighteenth-century farm into a late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century middle-class Philadelphia suburb.

-Churches and Parks Tour- Features two churches and two parks and goes through the Lansdowne Park Historic District.

The tours are available on the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) website as PDFs you can download or print (scroll down to the bottom of the LEDC page to see the links)

LEDC Website

HRP Studies Project website

Thornbury Historic Resource Property Studies Project

Self-guided walking tour

Initiated in 2014 with the Board of Supervisors permission, our Historical Commission was tasked with performing extensive factual, genealogical and anecdotal histories on three of our over 204 Thornbury Historic Resource Properties (HRP’s), per year. 

 

By the end of 2017 the oldest and most significant properties had been completed.  In 2018 the HRP’s that were standing during the day of the Battle of Brandywine, became our focus. All played a part in securing America’s independence from England and were either subject to September 11, 1777’s battle routes, raids by the Redcoats or part of George Washington’s Strategic Retreat.

 

The history narratives and title chains of these properties are online. Much more information is contained in the full reports which are available to physically read at the Research Library of our Thornbury Historical Society.  Subsequent reports will be uploaded as they are completed.  

Thornbury Historical Commission Website

Self-guided walking tours link

Preservation Alliance- mini tours

Self-guided walking tour

The Preservation Alliance’s self-guided walking tours make it easy to explore, whenever it’s convenient for you and at your own pace.
 

The Rittenhouse East and Rittenhouse West tours explore the rich architecture, including many buildings by prominent 19th- and 20th-century architects, in the city’s Rittenhouse-Fitler Historic District. The Girard Estate Historic District tour visits a rare, planned community of great architectural distinction in South Philadelphia.

Each tour includes a neighborhood history, map, and photographs and descriptions of each building along the way.

Preservation Alliance Website

 
 
 
 
 
 

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