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Philadelphia 1882


philly1882aMy 2nd full-length story, Dark Desire of the Druids II: Sex & Subterfuge takes place in Philadelphia 1882. Philly was a much different city then than now, not the least of which is Society Hill. Now a posh expensive locale, it was originally named not after ‘the’ place to live, but the Free Society of Traders. In 1882 it was deteriorating and so not the place to live.

There were a lot of fires, but that was all over. However the fires to play a minor roll in Sex & Subterfuge. Are they as innocent as they seem?

April 8: Philadelphia Recreation Park, Ridge Avenue and 24th Street, opened for sports with a game of baseball. The ballpark was the first home of the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League during the years 1883-1886. (Why oh why is Wikipedia the only site with Phillies history? Sheesh.) Alas, all that’s left is an historical marker; the site is now occupied by run-down urban housing.

Lights! On May 16, the composing-rooms and foundry of the Public Ledger were lighted for the first time by the Edison incandescent electric philly1882b1light. “Virtue Liberty and Independence” was its motto.  I like it.

More lights! The f irst railroad car lighted by electricity arrived at the station of Pennsylvania Railroad Company on September 19.

In October 1882 Philly celebrated its bicentennial. My story takes place in September of 1882 so there’s no mention of this there. Probably just as well, no where online does anything go into detail. Does anyone know a good site?

• October 24. Landing Day. Bi-centennial celebration. A vessel representing the ship Welcome, bearingwilliam_penn_01_orig as passengers persons representing William Penn and other Friends, came up the river, followed by a grand procession of steamboats and tugs.
• October 25. Trades’ Day. Procession including persons engaged in different industries.
• October 26. Festival Day.
• October 27. Military Day.

This is 1882, but US History has events, happenings, tidbits, and thoughts for each year. It’s easy to get lost in!



  1. That’s so cool that you’re setting your next story in Philadelphia. And hey, I live right off Ridge Avenue, but nowhere near 24th Street. Ridge Avenue is a very long road. But this makes me realize how much I don’t know about the history of my own city. And I hear you on the research thing. It’s really hard to find out all these little historic facts you need to know to write your story.

    Good luck with your research. Whenever I do research, I get the feeling I’m going in circles with little result. LOL.

  2. Paisley Kirkpatrick says:

    Very interesting info. I’d forgotten about William Penn. I guess I’ve renewed my interest in the Philadelphia since a certain hunk is filming a movie there right now. I would so dearly love to see the Liberty Bell and all the great historical places.

  3. Isabel Roman says:

    Paisley, if you ever get out here, let Susan and me know! I love the Liberty Bell and the Constitution Center is wonderful. It’s easy to spend a couple days in Old City seeing everything.

    Susan, I love the history of the city, but there’s no convenient book on every day life. Believe it or not Cordelia Drexel-Biddle’s books helped some (OK so the movie is the Happiest Millionaire but her other books were cool).

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