The Hidden History of the Main Line: From Philadelphia to Malvern
Beyond the grand facades and trappings of the Main Line cream-and-crystal crowd are hidden tales and scintillating stories. Author Mark Dixon's collection of articles from Main Line Today explores the region's offbeat and oft-forgotten history. With a keen eye and a touch of humor, Dixon delves into the Welsh origins of nearly unpronounceable towns and the journey of the Sound of Music's Trapp family to Merion. From anecdotes of the socialite who divorced her husband when he had the gall to survive the sinking of the Titanic to the Wayne native who turned from the convent to a career as an internationally renowned opera star, Dixon brings to light the lost pages of Main Line history.
The History Press
: 9781609490645
: The History Press
: 09/08/2010
: Pennsylvania
: Hidden History
: 27 Black And White
: 144
: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
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About the author
Mark E. Dixon has lived in the Delaware Valley since 1987, when he moved from Texas to a Drexel Hill apartment complex where American Bandstand's Dick Clark once lived. Though not himself a native, he grew up hearing about "the beautiful city of Philadelphia" from his mother, who moved here in 1945 to do social work and ended up marrying a Hahnemann University medical student from Michigan. And the roots go deeper: Dixon's mother chose Philadelphia based on stories told by her grandmother. In 1886, Dixon's great-grandmother, a descendant of some of the region's earliest settlers, was a shopgirl at Wanamaker's Grand Court, opposite city hall in Philadelphia. And there, though it was surely against John Wanamaker's rules, great-grandmother let herself be romanced by, and later married, a midwestern Quaker who was in town on business but needing a pair of gloves. Those tales provided a window into the area's history, later supplemented by Dixon's joining the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), which, he observes, is practically a historical society itself. The public relations job that drew Dixon to the area vanished in a spectacular corporate bankruptcy three years later. Eventually, he returned to work as a writer, this time, freelance, building on earlier experience as a reporter for newspapers and trade publications. The stories in this book are columns that he began writing for Main Line Today magazine in 2003. Dixon and his family live in Wayne.
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