In Remembrance of Memorial Day - The Meuse-Argonne Offensive

In remembrance of World War One, Destination Delco and the World War One Delco Centennial Committee are sharing this powerful film designed for the visitor center at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery. This film presents visitors with an immersive, World War I experience. Scenes include the realities of trench warfare, the brutality of hand-to-hand combat, the effects of poison gas, the limited availability of medical care, and the celebration of the Armistice. The film blends historic footage against this portrayal of the battlefield experience.

Delaware County Memorial Day Events for 2017

Delaware County resident Mike Wynne from Owner's Rep  planting poppy seeds and a few mature plants at the new location of the planned POW-MIA memorial at Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Philadelphia, The planting is in partnership with Destination Delco & Delaware County Council's program to plant the area "red" with poppies this summer. Ceremonies will be held at the Memorial on Memorial Day. Click here for more info on the ceremonies.

“Lansdowne Remembers” 
the “Great War – WWI”
Monday, May 29th

9:00 A.M. - Parade
9:45 A.M. – Memorial Day Ceremony – WWII Monument - PWHS Field
Adjutant   Tom Speers                      – Post
Invocation:                                        – Post Chaplain Mike Shiels
(Larry Mathers)
Flag Ceremony:                                – Boy Scouts
Pledge of Allegiance:                       – DAR

National Anthem:                         – Sung by Francesca Merrit
Community Greeting:                   – Lansdowne Mayor Tony Campuzano
President LBPA:                           – Andrea DiFabio
Commander’s Comments:            – Post Commander Larry Smalley
Reading of “Flanders Field”:        – Post member Richard Smalley

(Folding of the American Flag and presentation to the Post Cmdr.)

Wreath Laying Ceremony            WWII Monument – Commander Larry Smalley
Rifle Salute:                                 – 3rd United States Colored Infantry Regiment
Taps:                                            – PWHS Band

Proceed to WWI Monument      – PWHS Band
History of Lansdowne Post 65:  – Glenn Steele  (back page of program)
Wreath Laying Ceremony:         – WWI Monument - Commander Larry Smalley
Rifle Salute:                                – 3rd United States Colored Infantry Regiment
Taps:                                           – PWHS Band


Brookhaven Remembers the 100th Anniversary of America’s Entry into World War One

Saturday, May 27, 2017
10:00 a.m.
Brookhaven Island
All are welcome. Light refreshments served after if it rain, will be held indoors


Memorial Day Parades throughout Delaware County 

Memorial Day celebration. ALL military veterans are welcome to march! Monday, May 29th at 9:45 AM (Rain or Shine)

Thornbury Township
Monday, May 29th  at noon the Township will host a ceremony at Thornbury Park to remember all those who have served and sacrificed for all of us.

Budweiser Clydesdale Memorial Day Parade

Sunday, May 28th in Media at 12pm

Upland Borough

The parade will start at Upland Baptist Church on Monday, May 29th beginning at 9:00 a.m. and will conclude at the War Memorial located at Bristol Lord Field (6th & Main Streets).

Marple Memorial Day Parade

Starts at West Chester Pike and Malin Road
Monday, May 29th 10 a.m.

Cadets Plant Poppies at Valley Forge Military Academy & College

Valley Forge Military Academy cadets planted poppies in early May in a flowerbed near the walkway to the Chapel of St. Cornelius the Centurion in remembrance of all those who served in World War I from Delco. The school is located in the northern most tip of Radnor, Delaware County.

Established in 1928, Valley Forge Military Academy & College is an international leadership institute, comprised of a middle school and college preparatory high school for boys and a co-ed two-year college, each accredited by the Middle States Commission. Located in Wayne, Pa, VFMAC offers commuting, day, and boarding options. The campus environment is defined by the application of a military model that prepares students to lead and inspire others beyond graduation in a complex and competitive global environment. At VFMAC, students are immersed in a unique educational experience anchored on five cornerstones: academic excellence, character development, personal motivation, physical development and leadership. These cornerstones are the foundation for cadets reaching their academic potential to achieve success in the classroom and beyond.
For information on Academy & College, Click Here, or call 610-989-1300.

Poppies Blooming at Chanticleer

Poppies are blooming early at Chanticleer, most likely from seeds that reseed themselves each year. The Chanticleer Pleasure Garden is one of the great gardens of the region and located in Wayne in Delaware Garden. Once the Rosengarten estate, today's Chanticleer is a colorful, contemporary garden within an historic setting. Come discover why London's Financial Times calls us "planted to perfection" and Garden Design magazine says we are "America's most inspiring garden."  For directions and more information,  click here to visit

Barbara Selletti Speaks about Lazaretto at the Furness Library

U.S. Aviation School organized an Air Squadron in Essington at the Lazaretto in March 1917 in preparation for a possible war in Europe.
On Monday, June 12, 2017, local historian Barbara Selletti will be speaking about the Lazaretto, the oldest quarantine hospital, and last surviving example of its type in the United States.

The Lazaretto was built by the newly created Board of Health following the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 that killed off one tenth of Philadelphia's population. Later it became home to the Philadelphia Athletic Club, then a flight school during World War I, and then a seaplane base.

Barbara Selletti will paint a vivid picture of Lazaretto’s long and fascinating history.

The program is free and open to the public: Monday, June 12 at the Helen Kate Furness Library on Providence Road in Wallingford, and starts at 7:30.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Known as the “Lazaretto Lady,” Barbara Selletti is a local historian, genealogist and Neumann University librarian. She and her husband, Tony, were instrumental in the effort to save and restore the Lazaretto.

To register for the event, please Click Here!

ManorCare Health Services Plants Poppies

Employees and management at ManorCare Health Services in Wallingford, Delaware County have planted the area around their sign with poppies.

Located on South Providence Road in Wallingford, PA, Wallingford Nursing & Rehab Center provides individualized post-hospital skilled nursing care in a comfortable environment. Their clinical and therapy teams are experienced in providing specialized care focused on your needs, interests and ability. This commitment results in a smoother and safer transition throughout your recuperation.

Paddy's Poppies Get Planted

On Sunday, May 7th, Paddy helped the Beuclers plant their poppy seeds in a plot prepared with sand and potting soil.

Yesterday, on Sunday, May 14 (Mother's Day), she transplanted her poppy seedlings started indoors, into another prepared plot near the Beucler’s. The planting was after a soaking rain on Saturday. She had left the peat pots outside, and the seedlings were transferred into the “wet” soil that was about the same temperature as the soil in the peat pots, but as she says, “I know transplanting is traumatic for the young roots, and I have no idea whether they will thrive.”

In the later afternoon, the poppies were watered again.

Announcement! 5000 Seed Packets Available between May 12-15

Please check with Destination Delco for pickups. 610-565-3679

Williamson College of the Trades and Elwyn Plant Rt. 352 with Poppies

Students of the Williamson College of the Trades Horticulture Program prepare the campus fields along Route 352 for a summer poppy garden in recognition of the centennial of America's involvement in World War One.
Elwyn and Williamson have joined forces to create a dazzling summer poppy garden this summer on their opposing properties on Route 352 (Middletown Road). Instructor Chuck Feld and a crew of students of Williamson’s Horticulture, Landscaping & Turf Management program hauled out the heavy equipment to strip down a large bed extending along the length of the campus.

Williamson was founded in 1888 by a successful Philadelphia merchant and philanthropist, Isaiah V. Williamson, and its mission has always been to prepare qualified young men to be respected leaders and productive members of society.

Master Gardener Linda Barry works with students of Williamson College of Trades Horticultural Program to plant seeds outside the Rose Tree Tavern, the location of the Destination Delco Tourism Bureau.

The horticulture program has its own complex on campus named after Mrs. Dorrance Hill Hamilton, who contributed greatly to the school. Graduates of the program are well prepared to enter the Horticulture Industry at entry-level supervisory/foreman management positions and to work for a variety of employers, including tree care companies, landscape design/build firms, grounds departments, private estates, golf courses, public gardens, and arboreta. and are prepared to advance
quickly into management and supervisory positions.

For more information, click here.

Master Gardeners of the Penn State Extension Program, Chuck Feld and students of Williamson College of the Trades work closelyvwith members of Delaware County Council to make Delco the Poppy Capital of Pennsylvania for 2017.

May is Poppy Planting Time in Delco

Paddy show Barbara Beucler how to spread the poppy seeds while Dwight racks out an even finish for the small poppy garden in the rear of their home in Radnor, Delaware County.
The garden was defined on Saturday May 6th for a planting on May 7th. The morning was sunny and the ground moist which made the prepping easier. A spade was used to define the edges and make the first cuts into the grassy soil. Then the spade was used to skim off the grass keeping as much top soil as possible.

Some refined garden soil was added and sand mixed in and roots removed.

“Delco Gothic”
At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 7th Paddy showed up. The skies were grey and there was a bit of a drizzle. The air was cool, so Paddy decided to wait before transplanting her young poppies started in peat pots into the ground. With Mother's Day a week away, and the air cool she and the Beucler's figured we could start the seeds and hope they would survive the early planting.

Paddy displaying the Poppy Seed sign in another Radnor garden.
Paddy brought a package of sand in which she mixed in several packets of seeds since she would be sowing seeds in the garden on the property next door to the Beucler's later. There was about 2 lbs of sand in which she had Barbara mix thoroughly with seeds. Barbara then covered the entire garden evenly.

According to the Master Gardeners of the Penn State Extension Program, the seeds need no more than tamping into the soil, so Paddy walked the distance across the plot a couple of times assuring the seeds were settled. It continued to rain on and off, so there seemed no reason to water the plot.

Barbara and Dwight were pleased with the results and willingly posed for a photo of them in front of their barn mimicking Grant Woods painting “American Gothic.”

Paddy went on to use the rest of the seeds next door, where she will also place the potted poppies as the days get warmer.

Our First Poppy. Hello Gorgeous!

“Poppies just starting blooming on the south side of the Christian Sanderson Museum in Chadds Ford. They have existed there for a LONG TIME. Visit us on Saturday or Sunday from noon until 4 PM.”
This photo was provided by Charles Ulmann, curator of the Chris Sanderson Museum in Chadds Ford, in response to our request for photos of poppy plantings and poppy blooms. Though poppies are annuals, this group of poppies probably sprung from seeds dropped from some previous year planting, which continued to drop seeds and started early this year. Please submit your photos by Clicking Here.

Send Us Your Photos

We have a new form online to keep track of the poppy gardens planned in Delco. Just CLICK HERE for our form which allows you to UPLOAD photos of your planting location and keep track of the progress of your poppies as they bloom.

Photo provided by Helen Litway of the poppy planting at site of the canon at 14th and Providence Road in Chester.

Sharing Memories of our WW1 Heroes – from New Zealand to Delaware County

Kathy Pelczarski, Delaware County Master Gardener, has been sharing some of the stories of Delco’s World War I Remembrance and the Flanders Poppy Program with an old college friend, Anne Boren, who now lives in New Zealand.  Anne respionded that there are Flanders poppies everywhere in New Zealand right now for ANZAC Day in commemoration of those that served and died during WWI.  Specifically, ANZAC Day (April 25) which commemorates when ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landed at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.

Inspired by the shared stories and the symbolism of the Flanders Poppies, Anne is in the process of creating matching quilted wall hangings for Kathy and herself. One will remain in New Zealand; the other will become Kathy's and reside in Delaware County.

The Thunderbird Lodge Commemorates World War One in Delco

In 1904, famed local architect Will Price converted an existing circa-1790 stone barn into studios for the artists Charles H. and Alice Barber Stephens. Appended to this, he designed a rambling fieldstone-and-stucco house, including a 3-story octagonal stair tower that joined the wings and served all five levels.

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.

Ryan Berley, Curator of the Thunderbird Lodge.
Visitors to the April 30th event on World War One illustrative art
Though the Utopian community in Rose Valley ultimately failed, a great many noted artists, craftsman and activist were drawn to the area and spent time at Thunderbird lodge including George Washington Carver, Jane Addams and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Thunderbird Lodge, along with most of the structures in the Rose Valley Community, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, but for sometime had been left idle. In 2015 The Rose Valley Centennial Foundation partnered with the Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society and other Rose Valley organizations to preserve the building and create a center for the study of the local Arts and Crafts heritage.

This past Sunday, April 30, curator Ryan Berley and Historical Society President Morris Potter opened the museum to the public for a lecture by famed art historian and author James C. Thompson on “World War I in the Golden Age of Illustration.” The lecture included a power point of the different types of illustrative art created during the Great War, as well as a viewing posters and illustrations owned by Mr. Thompson, Berley and George Rothacker.

Original artwork from World War I portfolio
of sketches for the military newspaper
“Stars and Stripes” Courtesy of Ryan Berley
The lecture concluded with a Q & A, and refreshments provided by Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia which included World War One Doughnut and Cream ice cream.

The Thunderbird Lodge will be one of the stops on the September tours organized by the World War One Delco Centennial Committee in late September.

James C. Thompson, discusses art of the World War One Era  

April 29th Meeting of the World War I Delco Centennial Committee

The World War One Delco Centennial Committee poses with original World War One posters to be exhibited the following day at the Thunderbird Lodge in Rose Valley. (See previous story for event,)
On April 29th, the Committee met at Alumni Hall on the campus of the Williamson College of the Trades. Discussions centered around the joint Poppy Gardens planned by Williamson and Elwyn that will line both sides of Route 352 on their properties.

Drew Nugent
Plans of the September Tours and Dance were outlined, with Destination Delco Executive Director volunteering funding for the deposit for Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society for the September 23rd World War One Dance at the Brookhaven Community Center.

Drew Nugent is a local musician who specializes in early jazz music, much of it from the days of the World War One era. He recently released his debut solo record,“I'll Never Be the Same.”

The Tapestry Historic Dance Ensemble will be assisting in teaching basic dance steps to some of the WWI era music provided at the event.

Wall in the Borough of Media Celebrates those who served in World War One

On June 3, 1950, the hundredth anniversary of the Borough, a wall was installed next to the old Borough Hall at State and Jackson Streets in Media, celebrating the men and women from the borough who served in the Armed Forces during World War I and World War II.

The Memorial Wall was constructed by the Media Rotary Club and the Williamson Trade School (now the Williamson College of the Trades). The left and right panels were reserved for those serving in the Great War, and the center to the men and women serving in World War II. In 1992 the wall received an additional plaque honoring those who served in Korea, Vietnam and the first Iraq War.

Close up of World War 1 plaques on Media's Memorial Wall

The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Embrace Delco's Poppy Program

Table setting at Essington’s Corinthian Yacht Club features
Poppy pins, seed packets and growing instructions.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Delaware County and nearby areas have embraced the Destination Delco Poppy Program and featured it at their recent meeting at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Essington.

As stated by Susan Mescanti, Commemorative Events Chairman, “We would love to be included among those groups and individuals participating in the World War I Commemorative Events.”

The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children.

Most of DAR’s volunteer work is accomplished by the grassroots efforts of chapters on the local level which focus on the mission areas of DAR by encouraging members to become involved in these initiatives in their local communities.

Pictured are the four Chapter Regents with the poster and the table set-up.  The Chapters represented were Delaware County, Flag House, Lansdowne, and Robert-Morris Quaker City.

Poppy Distribution at Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College

Masters Gardeners Deb Soutar and Director Linda Barry will be providing Poppy Seed Packets and growing information at three upcoming events at Scott Arboretum.

Saturday, April 29th: Arbor Day Open House, 9 AM-Noon, Wister Center, Scott Arboretum

Saturday, May 6th: Scott Members Plant Exchange, 10 AM-11:30 AM, Wister Center, Scott Arboretum

Friday, May 12th: 5:30 - 7:30 PM and Saturday, May 13th: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM: Scott Selections Spring Sale, Wister Center, Scott Arboretum

If you haven’t yet received your FREE seed packets, these events provide a wonderful opportunity to pick up packets and discuss growing with the Master Gardeners of the Penn State Extension.

Destination Delco and Delaware County Council are looking forward to having Poppy Gardens in fields, back yards, front yards, planters and visible spots within the entire County.  Be part of it, then share photos of your garden by uploading them to this website (upload capabilility will be available by May 13)

April 8th Events Benchmark for World War 1 Remembrance in Delaware County

Inaugural Ceremony
Tore Fiore welcoming all to the Inaugural Event of the World War One Delco Commeration Committee at the Honorable John v. Diggs Courtroom #1 at the Delaware County Courthouse
The day began at Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom #1, fittingly named after World War I veteran, the Honorable John V. Diggins, where the World War One in Delco Centennial  Committee was to be publicly recognized for their contribution to the County.

American Legion members Harry Seth and Don Rose
Colors were posted (flags put in place) by Harry Seth and Don Rose of the Brookhaven American Legion Post #94, accompanied by the Knights of Columbus from several communities, in full dress.   Kelly Briggs, a frequent leading performer at the Media Theater, sang the National Anthem..

The invocation was given by Pastor Ben Granier of the Full Gospel Assembly of Brookhaven, after which Destination Delco's Executive Director gave introductions including Judy Reese’s service dog
“Shakepeare,” a Bouvier des Flanders, who represented the World War One dogs who brought supplies to the troops and pulled carts with wounded soldier from the fields to safety during the Great War.

Judy Reese’s service dog “Shakespeare” and Tore Fiore
Founders of the Committee, Barbara and Anthony Selletti were introduced and spoke of the Committee’s mission, “ to honor and remember all of those men and women who gave their time and their lives in the conflict that began in our country and our county 100 years ago on April 6, 1917. Barbara Selletti went on to tell the stories of the men and women who served on the home front, “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless  Wednesdays,”  “Victory Gardens.,” the significant role of the Knights of Columbus, and countless other  civilian sacrifices so that our troops would be well-fed. She went on to tell of the nurses who took care of the wounded and dying on the front lines,  the young women transported to France to assist as ambulance drivers, and the girls who gave their lives overseas during the conflict. (Click here for the complete text of her speech.)
Anthony and Barbara Selletti

Kelly Briggs, who has appeared on Broadway in “Les
Miserables” and “CATS” and also toured with both productions, provided an a cappella interlude of World War One era songs including “Over There” and “It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary”. His performance was followed by remarks about the commemoration and the committee by County Council Chairman Mario J. Civera, Jr.

Kelly Briggs
Council member John McBain then read the Resolution given by Council on March 29th to the Selletti’s and their Committee.

Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Rounds, P.E , president of the Williamson College of the Trades recited a moving rendition of Flanders Fields, a poem written by another Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrea of the Canadian army in 1915 after the death of a friend in Belgium. The poem became an anthem for all of the allied troops and recruiters for service during the War.

Flag Folding Ceremony with flag folded
Committee Member and Marketing Specialist George Rothacker then spoke of the Delco Poppy Program, and of Destination Delco’s  mission to “Paint Delco ‘RED’ with poppies this summer with poppies. “ We are hoping that homes, businesses and institutions plant poppy gardens to show Delco as ‘one community’ dedicated to a common goal of commemorating ALL of the men and women who sacrificed during the Great War.’

Veronica Garubbo
Veronica  Garrubbo, a local teen who has performed at the Media Theatre in the Broadway Series Productions of “13 the Musical,” Aladdin, Jr.,” and  “Snow White,” and is currently featured in “West Side Story” as Clarita, treated everyone to a beautiful rendition of “God Bless America.”

The event inside the Courthouse concluded with a Benediction by Pastor Granier, only to be followed
up by a “Flag Folding Ceremony” on the Courthouse steps orchestrated by the Knights of Columbus.
Flag being rotated by members of the community and the Knights of Columbus.

“Memories of the Great War”

Premiere of Barbara & Anthony Selletti’s film
of family member remembrances of relatives serving in World War One

“Memories of the Great War” premiered in the screening room of Vinyl Revival, adjacent to the Lansdowne Theatre.
Red Cross Nurse (left) is Ginger Daddona of Morton., and Food Conservationist (right) is Danielle Murray of SW Philadelphia
 The second event of the day featured two public previews of historians Barbara and Anthony Selletti’s film ”Memories of the Great War” shown in a viewing room at “Vinyl Revival”,  an original “vinyl” record store located in the historic Lansdowne theater complex, with space donated for the occasion by the proprietors.The 1300 seat Lansdowne Theater is undergoing a massive restoration that when done may have asignificant  economic and cultural impact on the County. Currently, the theater exists in it‘s unrestored state and was the perfect venue befitting reenactors in a battlefield scene.

Lizzie Reed and Ryan Berley
preparing pans for doughnouts
Ryan Berley, co-owner of Franklin Fountain and Shane’s Candies in Philadelphia and his partner Lizzie Reed provided “original recipe” World War One Doughnuts, that contained no sugar, in keeping with the mission of conservation to provide sugar to the men on the front lines.
Barbara Selletti portrayed a “volunteer” of the era, while Berley and Lizzie heated oil and made coffee using an original  cauldron and coffee pot made from a munitions casing.

Display of Lansdowne American Legion Post 65
Knights of Columbus, the American Legion and members of 

Eugene Hough with Shakespeare
outside the Lansdowne Theatre
Saving Hallowed Ground manned displays telling of their organizations and their service to the community while Destination Delco distributed FREE Poppy Seeds, growing instructions, pins and VFW poppies to visitors.

Saving Hallowed Ground promotes engagement with and appreciation of the past by connecting individuals and communities with historic preservation and commemoration initiatives. John Marks manned their booth at the theater.

Inside the Vinyl Revival screening room, the film series “Memories of the Great War” enjoyed “standing room only” at each of its presentations.

Eugene Hough, a member of the Saving Hallowed Ground organization and the Uncommon Individual Foundation, posed outside the theater with service dog Shakespeare for photo opts.
U.S. Army (retired) Major Kurt Sellers proudly display a rifle made in the Eddystone Rifle plant at the Balwin complex where 37% of all the rifles used during the Great War were manufactured. Click here for story.