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HSH Book Club News: September 2014

September 1, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off on HSH Book Club News: September 2014
Book Club News September 2014

Book Club NewsSeptember 2014

Closed August

July 30, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off on Closed August

The office is closed the month of August. Have a great rest of the summer and we’ll see you in September!

It Happened Here: New Jersey

July 30, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off on It Happened Here: New Jersey

Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 10.45.04 AMOne of paleontology’s most important events happened in Haddonfield, New Jersey. In 1858, the first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton found in America was discovered by William Parker Foulke in a marl pit in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Hadrosaurus Foulkii went on to become the country’s first publicly displayed dinosaur skeleton. CLICK here to see the It Happened Here: New Jersey episode featuring Haddy the Dinosaur.





Eagle Scout Fundraising Project

July 18, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off on Eagle Scout Fundraising Project

image003The Historical society is collecting funds for an Eagle Scout project to be done on site. Boy Scout Ross Graham will be doing a much needed renovation and refurbishment of our front yard plants and herb garden. As you can see from this photo, our herb garden is quite overgrown and needs tender loving care!

An integral part of any Eagle Scout project is fundraising and in this case, the funds will be used to directly benefit the Society.

Any donation, cash or check, would be greatly appreciated to make this project possible.

Checks should be made out to the Historical Society of Haddonfield, with a note designating it for the Eagle Scout Landscaping Project. Drop off donations or mail them to: Historical Society of Haddonfield, 343 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033. Any donation is greatly appreciated!








Haddonfield Makes the Philly.com News

May 2, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off on Haddonfield Makes the Philly.com News


Samuel Rhoads, a relative of Elizabeth Haddon, stands next to a yew tree in front of her house in a 1903 photo. (Rhoads Collection / Historical Society of Haddonfield)

Samuel Rhoads, a relative of Elizabeth Haddon, stands next to a yew tree in front of her house in a 1903 photo. (Rhoads Collection / Historical Society of Haddonfield)

Haddonfield makes the news in an article written by Inquirer Columnist, Kevin Riordan, reprinted April 25, 2014.

“HADDONFIELD Samuel Nicholson Rhoads (1862-1952), the globe-trotting amateur naturalist from Haddonfield, shared his findings with his hometown and the world.

Several thousand birds, mammals, insects, and plant specimens he collected during the late 19th and early 20th centuries are housed in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Rhoads penned accounts of his travels for Haddonfield’s weekly Gazette, and had articles peer-reviewed and published in the scientific press. He donated his papers to the Haddonfield Historical Society, which he helped establish in 1914.

And this year, some of his words are being digitized with the help of borough students like Natalie Naticchia, 13, who’s in seventh grade.

Screen shot 2014-04-28 at 10.44.58 AM

A portrait of Samuel Nicholson Rhoads taken in 1908. (Rhoads Collection / Historical Society of Haddonfield)

“We’re diving into history and learning about nature at the same time,” says Naticchia, whom I met, along with seven of her classmates, in the Haddonfield Middle School library on Tuesday.

“It feels kind of cool, connecting with the past,” says eighth grader Helen Chung, 14.

Since January, the students have met weekly to transcribe Rhoads’ handwritten field journals from a seven-month solo collecting trip to Ecuador – where he discovered three new bird species – in 1911.

Their work will be incorporated into an interactive children’s textbook about Rhoads that the society plans to publish this year.”

The 32-page hardbound volume will include the students’ names and will be available for use in the borough schools. It will also be for sale, with proceeds benefiting the society’s publishing fund.

“The students are absolutely loving working on it,” says science teacher Robin Walters, who’s the adviser to the Nature Club at Haddonfield Middle. “They’re going to be part of history.”

The idea for a Rhoads book arose four years ago, as the society’s Kim Custer and other preservationists researched Boxwood Hall, a historic Haddon Avenue property where a youthful Rhoads often visited his grandfather and other members of his prominent family.

“There once rose a mighty specimen of the Red Maple which greatly endeared itself to the youthful heart,” he writes in a typical passage from Boyhood Memories of Boxwood Hall, published posthumously by the society in 1967.

“He basically said the reason he became a naturalist was Boxwood Hall’s natural setting,” says Custer, whose daughter, Claire, 13, is one of the student researchers. The kids chose the new book’s title: The Rhoads of Haddonfield: Birds, Books and the Big Adventure of Samuel.

“We didn’t just want to do a book and have it sit on a shelf,” Custer says, noting that the students are also devising classroom exercises that will end each chapter.

Rhoads “was a very, very important collector,” says Nate Rice, ornithology collection manager at the Academy of Natural Sciences. “His specimens are still used by scientists for all sorts of biological inquiries. His notes are still studied today.

“His Ecuador stuff was really some of the first well-prepared and data-rich specimens to come out of South America,” Rice continues, adding that Rhoads’ detailed observations of flora, fauna, and climate are invaluable to contemporary researchers.

“It’s a really powerful tool,” he says. “There were lots of gentlemen naturalists, but they were at museums. Rhoads did his own stuff.”

The book project is particularly welcome news for Rhoads’ grandson, Evan Lawrie Rhoads Jr., 91.

“My father used to tell my brother and I about [Samuel’s] background,” the Haddonfield native and retired businessman tells me by phone from Medfield, Mass. “I remember reading some of the letters that my grandfather wrote to his own father when he was on expedition in Central America and needed $100.”

Samuel Rhoads was ill for some time before his death in a Montgomery County hospital.

“I remember going to visit my grandfather as a little boy,” Rhoads says. “He was dressed, and in a rocking chair, and speaking in a very soft voice. You had to really listen to hear him.”

Thanks to the society’s book project – and the Nature Club kids – Samuel Nicholson Rhoads’ words soon will be freshly available to young people in Haddonfield. And the world.”

856-779-3845 @inqkriordan

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Historical Society of Haddonfield
343 Kings Hwy. E
Haddonfield, NJ 08033
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