The People of Frankford

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A replay link will be emailed to all registrants the Friday after the presentation.

The People of Frankford

presented by Historical Society of Frankford

The roadway we now know as Frankford Avenue had its origins as a Lenape Indian trail. However, the English were not the first Europeans to settle in what is now Frankford, with the Swedes having earlier set up mills along the creek.  English colonization, led by the Quakers, eventually resulted in the Lenape Indian trail being improved and upgraded to a toll road known as the King’s Highway, now known as Frankford Avenue. At a critical crossing on the King’s Highway, a stone bridge built across the Pennypack Creek now lays claim to being the oldest surviving bridge in the United States. Trace the origins of Frankford from its early days, through the industrial period, and learn how the people of Frankford have provided a haven for other groups fleeing religious, racial, or ethnic persecution over time.

John Buffington, originally from Fairfax County, Virginia, is the HSF’s longest serving board member. John is a retired attorney-at-law, having earned his degree at the University of Virginia. He later relocated to Philadelphia to establish his practice. Since residing in the Northeast Philly area, John has acquired an extensive knowledge of its history and its rich traditions. John is a staunch advocate for supporting the culture and traditions of the region’s original inhabitants, the Lenape.

Harry Garforth is one of HSF's more recent additions to its board of directors.  He grew up in the Wissahickon section of Philadelphia, during which time he gained an extensive familiarity with the Philadelphia area’s extensive network of rail transit.  His recent book, Frankford’s Elevated Railway, was in large part researched in the HSF archives with assistance from various staff members.  

Vanessa Couvreur, a resident of Frankford since birth, aside from a few years abroad, has served as Secretary to The Historical Society of Frankford since 2017. She is passionate about preserving but also sharing the knowledge of  its past and current history. She hopes that by sharing the area’s stories that it will instill a sense of pride for residents old and new alike. 

$15 | General Admission

$10 | Alliance Member 

Students with ID, residents of the neighborhoods being presented, or individuals with financial difficulties free with email to