The Hidden History of Chester County: Lost Tales from the Delaware and Brandywine Valleys

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On an Oxford bound train in 1866 Mary Miles refused to move to the 'blacks-only' section, eighty-nine years before Rosa Parks' famous ride. Eight years later in a West Chester courtroom photographic evidence was used for the first time. Soon after that the hills of Westtown became the testing grounds for the Flexible Flyer, America's original steerable sled. These are among the extraordinary stories too often lost to Chester County's history. From the humorous tale of the goat that ate a stick of dynamite to Ann Preston, M.D., leading her female medical students through a mob of enraged men, author Mark Dixon is sure to please with this beguiling collection of vignettes.
ISBN: 9781609490737
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Pennsylvania
Series: Hidden History
Images: 32
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
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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