Elaine Marie Crooks

Interviewee:  Elaine Marie Crooks
Interviewer:  Donneta Crane
Interview date:  June 3, 2016
Interview location:  Solebury’s one room schoolhouse
Interview length:  20 minutes
Time span discussed:  1980 to 1987

Summary:  As an original STHS Board member, Elaine recounts the beginning of the Society in 1981. She recalls the initial Board members, the primary goal of establishing the Township’s villages on the National Register of Historic Places, and a number of the fun events that drew great community support.


Time markers:
00:00 – introduction
00:40 – Elaine moved to Solebury from Philadelphia in 1969, loved the historic and rural nature of the township
01:12 – about 1980 Georges Duval main organizer of the Society; Georges on commission to assure planned development
02:10 – Georges recognized need to protect the historic villages via the National Register of Historic Places
03:20 – Society incorporated in 1981; first board lead by Georges as president, Alan Blauth as vice president, Elaine as treasurer and secretary,  and Helen Charles as secretary a bit later; other members included Alex Frank, Fulton Grosse, Kate McCoy, Delight Ansley, Doris Mills, and Kay Haverfield
04:06 – Gwen Davis, Georges, and Alex worked up list of potential board members
05:02 – initial goals to identify and attain historic registration for Township villages; Carversville already had historic status; needed professional help
06:00 – membership campaign, initial Community Block Grant of $30,000 provided the backing
07:39 – Gwen Davis, Executive Director; Kathy Auerbach, Research Assistant
07:54 – office space in the Township Hall attic; Ted Nichols led Boy Scouts in office set up
08:56 – worked at registering villages, benefit to the Township; each house in six villages researched:  Aquetong, Centre Bridge, Cuttalossa, Lumberville, Phillips Mill, Solebury
10:03 – application first to state, then national; 1983 Phillips Mill and Lumberville, soon Centre Bridge and Cuttalossa
11:00 – Solebury and Aquetong did not qualify
11:18 – events brought community support, members, and fun times
11:48 – parades (in New Hope), mule in parade broke loose
12:45 – first jubilee at Deer Park in 1982, attended by 400 people
14:00 – May wine parties at Rambouillet (later Holly Hedge); membership to about 250
16:10 – 1987 Georges’s health declined; goal of registering villages accomplished, organization stopped it activities
17:25 – Margaret Bye Richie, historian, strong supporter in research; Boy Scouts volunteers at events
18:51 – fondest memories community events and having fun

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