Thanksto the discovery and detective work of PAH employee Nick Nastasi, Engineering, an important piece of PhiladelphiaQuaker history was finally returned to its rightful home. It wasn’t, however, aquick or easy trip!
Thestone, dated 1832, was found in the basement of the Farm Journal Building byPAH Engineering staff members. History lover Nick was intrigued and decided toinvestigate. His efforts helped reveal the stone’s story: it was from the Orange Street Friends MeetingHouse. A Friends meeting house is where the Religious Society of Friends – orQuakers – gather to hold meetings of worship.
First built in 1832, the Orange Street Houseclosed after 40 years in 1872.
At that time, the members of the orthodoxcongregation were folded into the Arch Street Friends Meeting House at 320 ArchStreet, the neighborhood now known as Old City. Nick’s sleuthing revealed thatPAH’s Farm Journal building at 230 West Washington Square (or Manning Street,between 7th
Street, depending upon which entranceyou use) is located on the site of the former Orange Street Meeting House!
Nick sent PAH Curator and Lead Archivist Stacey Peeples the online “evidence” heuncovered, explaining the connection between the two institutions. Staceycontacted Lynne Calamia at The Arch Street Friends Meeting House to inform themof the stone’s discovery and to offer to return the stone. The Arch Street Friendswere elated to have a piece of their history thought to be long gone, with themagain.
At the end of the summer, PAH LeadHorticulturalist Sam Royer, hisassistant Nate Moser, and Stacey metwith Lynne at Arch Street Meeting to officially turn over the stone which will beincorporated into a garden on the Meeting House grounds.