What's New?

Our photograph collection is now available online
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New! Finding aids for our collections
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CHHS is now Land Trust Accreditation Commision Accredited more>

Learn about our Native Plants Demonstration Garden more>

Naylor Photo Collection now online. more>

Historical Society events scheduled view our calendar>



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The Valley Green Inn is decked out for the Christmas season. 1990s. Collection of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, gift of Edward Stainton

The Rex Avenue Bridge over the Wissahickon Creek in Fairmount Park was built in 1882. This photograph was used on the front of a Christmas card. c. 1990. Collection of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society

Pictured here is most likely the Heebner family with Mother at her darning, Father reading the newspaper, and the children playing checkers. c. 1890s. Collection of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, gift of Irv Sheldin

A trolley can be seen in the distance in this snowy scene of Germantown Avenue, taken from near the top of the hill. A small newsstand is visible to the right of the shelter, a precursor of the larger newsstand that is there today. The Pennsylvania Railroad (now SEPTA) Station, out of view, behind the shelter, was built in 1884, when passenger service was extended to Chestnut Hill on the west side. The Yeakel/Schultz house to the left of the shelter, was demolished around 1927. c. 1907-1915. Collection of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society

An inscription on the reverse of this photograph reads, "This is Hasseltine getting a ride, and a splendid picture of my winter ice box outside the kitchen window." This image of a girl with her doll on a tricycle is from the Heebner/Clark family collection. c. 1910. Collection of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, gift of Irv Seldin

According to historian Edwin C. Jellett, the “…mill just above the Monoshone Creek was that of Henry Rittenhouse, or Red Bridge Mill- situated immediately south of the present Blue-Stone Bridge.” Forbidden Drive crosses over the Blue Stone Bridge to the Germantown banks of the Wissahickon Creek. The Blue Stone Bridge replaced the Red Bridge in 1896. 1860s Collection of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, gift of William Shaffer

During the Great Depression, many area men found themselves out of work. To provide them with income, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) offered them work in the Wissahickon Valley. Projects included removing dead wood, planting saplings, trail work, and the construction of shelters and restrooms, like the restroom building seen here near the Rex Avenue Bridge. c. 1940. Collection of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, gift of Mrs. Henry Disston

The house that is now the Woodmere Art Museum is pictured in the snow. This property was originally owned by Cephas Childs, who was on the board of the Chestnut Hill Railroad. Later owner, Charles Knox Smith, bequeathed his residence, Woodmere, and his art collection as a public art gallery, after his death in 1916. c. 1910. Collection of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, gift of Woodmere Art Museum


Chestnut Hill, located in the northwestern corner of Philadelphia, is one of the region's most beautiful and architecturally distinguished communities. Flanked by the spectacular Wissahickon Gorge and Cresheim Valley, Chestnut Hill is home to one of the best collections of 19th and early 20th-century residential buildings in the country.

Nearly every notable architect practicing in Philadelphia over the past 150+ years is represented in Chestnut Hill -- from the early Italianate Victorian designs of Samuel Sloan, to the exuberant Queen Anne buildings of the G.W. & W.D. Hewitt firm; from the ground-breaking, European influenced work of Wilson Eyre to the exquisitely designed country houses of Mellor Meigs and Howe; and from the ornate classical design of Horace Trumbauer to the early modern works of Louis I. Kahn and Robert Venturi.

The Chestnut Hill Historical Society leads the effort to protect this profound architectural heritage. Through lively programs, exhibits and tours, through the establishment of an innovative easement program and through direct intervention in the preservation of buildings, CHHS helps to keep the past alive for future generations.

The Chestnut Hill Historical Society is located in an 1870s Victorian house at the "top of the Hill" along Germantown Avenue in historic Chestnut Hill.

Derby Day 2014 Tickets

Photos from A Preservation Celebration 2013

From a partner:Yeakel Cemetery





Please note: The parking lot behind our building is owned by the Chestnut Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church. Visitors will be ticketed or towed. Questions? Call the Church office at 215 247-7022. We apologize for the inconvenience.




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Chestnut Hill Historical Society - 8708 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia PA 19118 - 215 247-0417 - info@chhist.org
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