Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop’s (from left) Rosemary Duffy, Dan Weiss, John Ingersoll and Dan Moore in 1986.

by Alex Bartlett

In 2007, the Chestnut Hill Conservancy (then the Chestnut Hill Historical Society) received an invaluable donation by the Chestnut Hill Local of a collection of thousands of photographs taken by Local staff members for publication in the community newspaper.

Since then, volunteers and staff of the conservancy have been cataloging the collection, the vast majority of which dates from circa 1970-2002. This work involves entering information about each photograph into an electronic database, the information being obtained from the captions associated with each photograph as published in the Local, and then digitizing the photographs by scanning them. Most of these photographs have been organized by subject (shops, restaurants, Norwood-Fontbonne Academy, Pastorius Park, as examples), and capture the essence of what life was like in Chestnut Hill in years past.

These collections have been made available to the public online via the Conservancy’s website, with over 350 new photographs from the Local recently added. Other important collections of photographs have also recently been donated to the Conservancy, including those of the Dwyer Coal Company (now Walter A. Dwyer, Inc.), Kilian’s Hardware and the McNally family of McNally’s Tavern.

An example of one of the Local photographs recently digitized and made available online is shown here, with staff of the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop preparing to open a new location at the Flourtown Farmers Market in August 1986. The Cheese Shop has also donated a separate collection of photos to the conservancy – these will be available online shortly.

For further information, including how you can purchase an image, contact Archivist Alex Bartlett at the Conservancy at 215-247-9329, ext. 206, or at