The "Elucidation" of History
HPHA is known for a number of community benefit oriented activities, perhaps most notably the restoration of the c1721 Penrose Strawbridge House. But a main part of our mission is the Preservation of Horsham's Past, gathering and documenting the stories that have made our community. We recently came across an essay from the Pennsylvania Historical Society addressing this same issue:
"When the Historical Society of Pennsylvania was organized one hundred and thirty-four years ago its founders proclaimed their objective to be "the elucidation of the .. history" of the Commonwealth. The founders immediately decided that a major instrument of "elucidation" should be the printed word placed in circulation. For more than a century they experimented with various types of printing...."
Following in the steps of
Digitized Archives and Online Database
HPHA has recently completed a major phase of our document preservation project. We have archived a large amount of documents, maps, objects,etc. Many of these have been digitized and entered into a searchable database. This is one way we have continued the HSP's experimentation of various forms of printing to elucidate our history.
The Horsham Preservation & Historical Association
The Horsham Preservation & Historical Association (HPHA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation based in Horsham Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA dedicated to identifying, studying, preserving and protecting the historical heritage, buildings and artifacts of our area.
We are a community benefit organization!
Located in southeastern PA, just north of Philadelphia, Horsham is in an area rich in history going back to our colonial period. The c1722 Sir William Keith House/Graeme Park, the c1801 Horsham Friends Meeting House, the Kenderdine Mill, Cold Spring Farm, the rescued and restored Novotny House, the restored United Capital Farmhouse, plus the c1721 Penrose-Strawbridge House (currently under restoration by HPHA) are only some of our many historical treasures.
Read about famous folk from Horsham such as Isaiah Lukens, Henry Pratt McKean, Howard Hallowell, Harold Pitcairn, Governor Sir William Keith and his famous granddaughter Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson - engaged to the son of Ben Franklin and later suspected of treason after the Revolutionary War, and Quaker farmers such as Samual and Sarah Penrose.
PJ Auto Repair Supports HPHA
Sam and Ray Jadczak at PJ Auto Repair in Horsham are passionate about both cars and local history, and are long time supporters of HPHA. Bring your car to PJ's and they will match your donation to HPHA up to $5 for each work order to help us continue our restoration of the Penrose Strawbridge buildings.
PJ Auto Repair is located in the Babylon Business Center right in the center of Horsham.
A tremendous Thank You to our Long Time supporter and BFF Diana for her recent donation of
to support our mission here at HPHA!
A big Thank You to long-time supporters and BFFs Alexandra and John for their generous donation of
directed toward our Document Preservation Project
Join us to enjoy and help preserve the history of Horsham! The benefits of membership are many and varied. HPHA has activities and events such as picnics,art shows and classes, nature lectures, plus a library, a searchable collection of documents and historic artifacts, an organic garden, our own honeybees and 103 acres of open park land (+42 more next door at Graeme Park). We have volunteers knowledgeable in archeology, genealogy, restoration techniques, gardening and local history. Member dues and enthusiasm keep the organization going.. so become a member!.
Student, Family and Senior Memberships available.
HPHA is an approved organization for supervising court-ordered community service through the Bucks and Montgomery County ARD Programs, Youth Aid Panel and local courts in Hatboro, Horsham, Upper Dublin and other courts in Bucks and Montco. Work must be pre-approved through the District Attorney's Office, Youth Aid Panel or local court. If you have any questions
please contact Pete Choate at 215-343-0659 or or private message through .
HPHA can also help with other community service requirements for scouting, school, etc. Participants can help around the farm, work on one of our projects, or suggest a project that you would like to do. We have had student and scout volunteers build fences, transcribe historic documents, work with our librarian, and do historical research.
Thank you to the volunteers from Comcast and Wyncote Academy who recently paid us a visit.
You can help our mission with:
- Good ole fashioned cash
- Your time and enthusiasm
- Things/Equipment/Furniture we can use
- Cool stuff we can sell
- Documents or Artifacts for our collection
- Become a Member!
We can provide services such as:
- Genealogy (we have several histories of local families in our collection)
- Property Record Searches
- Advice on Historic Restoration
- Contractor Recommendations for older/historic homes
- Searching our archives
- Questions about the area.
History of Horsham
HPHA Member Leon Clemmer created the History of Horsham for Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. The cover features Amelia Earhart with her Pitcairn Autogyro developed by Howard Pitcairn here in Horsham.
The book is available from HPHA, some local merchants, Graeme Park, (and Amazon )make sure you use Smile !. Book is free for new members! Get yours today!
Penrose Strawbridge House Restoration
The Penrose Strawbridge House is a farmhouse located on what was Sir William Keith's colonial estate Fountain Low. The central section dates to c1721 and additions were made from 1810 through the 1920s, but deteriorated in the 1980s-90s. The farm is now owned by Horsham Township and is leased to HPHA to restore the house and other buildings. The restoration of the main house is now nearing completion.
Document Preservation and Archiving
HPHA has a fairly large collection of historic documents, artifacts and heirlooms that have been donated to us over the years. We have been working with a team of restoration professionals and archivists to preserve and organize the collection and have created a searchable database that is now available for research.
Hallowell Elementary School Historical Mural
Pete Choate commissioned local artist (and one of our archivists) Justine Musick to create a mural showing the history of Horsham at the new Hallowell Elementary School in memory of Margaret Choate, Pete's wife and the founder of HPHA. HPHA, the Millbrooke Society and The Wings of Freedom Museum also contributed to a historical exhibit at the school.
Justine has also recently open the Hatboro Art Lounge
The Penrose Strawbridge Farm has been a working farm since the time of Governor Keith and there likely have been honey bees here for most of that time. Dennis Smith, Mrs. Strawbridge's caretaker, kept bees here until the 1990s. We decided several years ago to bring the bees back under the care of Tadeus (Ted) Florek, The bees usually provide us with at least one good batch of honey each season.
We are always looking for bee friendly plants for the garden so let us know if you have any you'd like to share
~~~Film Making at the Penrose Strawbridge Farm ~~~
Apparition ~ The Movie
Directed by Quinn Saunders, APPARITION is a psychological thriller about an architect from Philadelphia, Doug (played by Bucks County native Jody Quiqley, his fiancee Lori (south Jersey's Katrina Law), and new friend Jaime (Lili Bordan)
The Penrose Strawbridge House stars as the old farmhouse that Doug and Lori intend to restore.
UNDAUNTED filmed on location at the Penrose Strawbridge House
The independent film UNDAUNTED was filmed on location at the Penrose Strawbridge House in December, 2017.
It was recently selected to compete in the Los Angeles' Indie Short Fest!
more about UNDAUNTED