Oral History Index

STHS has collected over 130 oral histories, videos, and local music albums. They are listed here in alphabetical order. The origin of each is shown with the name.

HC: Heritage Conservancy
HCS: Historic Carversville Society
MAM: Michener Art Museum
MAM-BCCC: Michener Art Museum and Bucks County Community College
NHHS:  New Hope Historical Society
NCM: National Canal Museum
SAI: Senior Artists Initiative
STHS: Solebury Township Historical Society

There are many ways to interact with this information.

  • Click on a name or the link at the end of each person’s information to see a summary of the interview, the time period discussed, and the tags/key words for that interview.
  • On the summary page, click on the player to listen to the interview.
  • Click on a tag in the right-hand column to see the interviews that contain that key word.
  • Use the search box in the right-hand column to search for a key word.

To find names starting with a particular letter of the alphabet, please click below.

A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     K     L     M     N     P     R     S     T     W


Abbott, Rita Ann Vorhees (NHHS)

Rita was born and raised in New Hope. Her memories growing up in New Hope and Lambertville in the period from 1920 to 1940 are extensive. Recording and details.

Applestein, Dana Garber (MAM)

Dana is the granddaughter of artist Daniel Garber, who was an STHS Honored Citizen in 2009. She is sometimes joined in the presentation by her sister, Tanis Garber Shaw. The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown sponsored, organized, and videotaped this presentation in their grandfather’s studio at Cuttalossa Farm. Video and details.


Bailey, Rebecca (NHHS)

Becky was an elementary-school teacher at the New Hope-Solebury schools for over forty years. She speaks of 1920s and 1930s school days in New Hope with many teachers named and descriptions of the school day. She passed away in 2011.   Recording and details.

Barany, Carol painter, woodcutter (MAM-BCCC)

Carol painted on location and her paintings were influenced by the Bucks County landscape. She exhibited extensively in Bucks County, including at the Doylestown Art League and the Phillips’ Mill art show. Recording and details.

Barford, Marian Jensen  (MAM)

At the time of the interview Marian was the Executive Director of the Bucks County Council for the Arts, which was the organizing body that created, after many years of work, the James A. Michener Art Museum. Recording and details.

Bitzer, Joan painter (MAM-BCCC)

Joan was an art teacher in many Bucks County public schools and was the director of the Fine Arts Program at the Central Bucks YMCA. Recording and details.

Bortner, Selma printmaker (MAM-BCCC)

Selma retired in 1991 as Professor Emeritus after 23 years as an instructor in the Department of Fine Arts at Bucks County Community College. Although trained in both painting and printmaking, she became known for her printed, graphic works. Recording and details.

Brown, James Brown (NCM)

Jimmy was one of very few black boatmen on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey canals. He spent almost his entire working life on the boats. Recording 1 and details. Recording 2 and details.

Bye Family  (STHS)

The Quaker ancestors of Ranulph, Gerard, and Margaret Bye settled in Bucks County in 1699 on a land grant from William Penn. Their father Dr. Arthur E. Bye was a curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, an art professor, and an art dealer. He painted Bucks County scenery featuring barns and fields. The ancestral family home was located in Holicong and named Byecroft. Recording and details.

Bye, Ranulph painter (NHHS, MAM)

Ranulph Bye’s ancestor was given a Buck’s county land grant by William Penn in 1699. He was a highly and widely recognized American watercolorist. He primarily painted landscapes, seascapes, and buildings, producing over three thousand during his very active career. Recording 1 and details.  Recording 2 and details.  Recording 3 and details.


Canal, National Canal Museum Video History, Delaware Canal  (NCM)

These two videos on the canal and its boats and locks from the National Canal Museum in Easton, PA, were shot by William W. Chambers, about whom we know almost nothing. The first shows the working canal. The second, shot mainly in Bucks County and especially Solebury Township, also shows canal boats in action, but in addition includes quick, live scenes of three iconic artists:  William Lathrop (minute 18:30), Edward Redfield (minute 19:24), and Daniel Garber (minute 20:23). For those interested in seeing just the artists and not the entire film, look at the noted minutes. Interestingly we see Garber and Lathrop painting outdoors near their studios. This was probably done to light the film. Redfield is in his garden, which was one of his annual, continuing creations!  Video 1 and details.  Video 2 and details.

Canal Workers (NHHS)

One former canal barge worker interviews four others at a meeting. It is believed this was an effort to spur interest in maintaining the canal for recreational use after its use for transportation was over. Recording and details

Canal Workers Radio Interview (NCM)

Three canal workers, Howard Swope, Leon Dreyer and Ed Dreyer, and Lance Metz, Program Director of the National Canal Museum, were interviewed on a Lehigh Valley radio show in 1981. These same men are on other interviews in the collection. Recording and details.

Canal Workers Video (NCM)

Several historians of the National Canal Museum, including Lance Metz, produced this film of former canal boatmen talking about life on the Delaware and Lehigh Canals. The film was funded by an arts grant from the city of Easton, PA, home of the museum. Video and details.

Carlson, George (MAM)

When George was 5 years old, he and his family moved to his grandparent’s farm in Solebury Township on Laurel Road near Centre Bridge and the Delaware Canal. In the 1930s his family moved to the Cuttaloosa area, and the canal was the summer playground of his youth. Transcript and details.

Cathers, Maude (STHS)

Maude was a student at the Greenhill and then the Solebury one-room schoolhouses. She taught at the Carversville School and later taught and was principal at the Solebury Elementary School. Recording 1 is an interview conducted by New-Hope-Solebury students, recorded about the time of her retirement. It covered the period from 1909 to 1969 and has information about the Solebury one-room schoolhouse. The interview was transcribed and published in book form by the Society. Recording 2 is a presentation of a pretend school day of first, second, and third grades with some of her former students. Recording 1 and detailsRecording 2 and details.

Chardon, Betty (STHS)

Betty moved to Solebury as a new wife in 1948 and lives on Chapel Road near St. Phillip’s Chapel. Her memories cover 1950 to 2000. Recording and details.

Cooper, Calvin  (NHHS, MAM)

Calvin, an architect and involved citizen, gives us detailed accounts of growing up in New Hope in the 20s and 30s.  He also talks about famous people in the area. Recording and details. MAM transcript and details.

Cochran, George F. “Sparky” (NCM)

Sparky was born in a locktender’s house at Lodi and stated tending the lock at age 10. Recording and details.

Crilley, Joseph (STHS)

Joseph Crilley was a painter, illustrator, photographer, writer, and teacher. He served as a paratrooper in World War II, and after the war he settled in Bucks County and taught art at New Hope-Solebury High School. After leaving teaching he continued his interest and work in all things artistic. Joe passed away in 2008.  Video and details.

Crooks, Elaine Marie (STHS)

Elaine has been active in the Solebury Township Historical Society and other community organizations for many years. She was on the board of directors of the Society and at different times served as president, secretary, treasurer, and membership chair. Recording and details.

Crooks, Malcolm (STHS)

Malcolm and his family are long-time residents and civic leaders of Solebury Township. He talked to Chase Asplundh, a New Hope/Solebury High School student and Society junior historian, and Linda Metcalf, a former STHS board member, about his life. His leadership, interests, and advocacy have been instrumental in shaping the preserved, open landscape we all enjoy today.Recording and details.


Davis, Leodora F. (NHHS)

Leodora was born and raised in Solebury. She was a teacher at the one-room schoolhouse on Aquetong Road. Recording and details.

DeGeorgio, Lucy Nace White (NHHS, NCM)

Lucy Nace completed first grade, and then when her mother died she went to work on a canal boat with her father. After she married Jonas White, they worked together on a canal boat and then as locktenders at Point Pleasant. She tells many tales of life on the canal. Recording 1 and details. Recording 2 and details.

Dreyer, Leon; Swope, Howard; and Leddon,Carlton   (NCM)   

These three men were boatmen who shared their knowledge of the Delaware Canal with Lance Metz from the National Canal Museum. We owe a debt of gratitude to Lance, who in 1980 searched out people who worked on the Canal and preserved their memories. Recording and details.


Emery, Grant (NCM)

Grant Emery was a boatman who worked both the Lehigh and Delaware canals. He learned to swim at age 6 so he could go on the boats with his grandfather, father, and uncles. The National Canal Museum supplied three interviews with Grant that are arbitrarily numbered 1, 2, and 3. Recording 1 and details. Recording 2 and details. Recording 3 and details.

Ermentrout, Harriet Curtin painter (MAM-BCCC)

Harriet attended the Moore Institute of Art to study interior design and later continued her education in painting. Her specialties were historic homes, rustic buildings, and Bucks County landscapes, although her she sketched around the world and used those sketched as the basis for many of her large paintings. Recording and details.


Fell, Edward (STHS)

Ed was a Penobscot Indian who lived in Solebury Township for over 80 years. His memories cover the period 1920 to 2000. Recording and details.

Fiori, Roland (NHHS)

Roland was a popular local musician who knew everyone in the local non-painter artistic community. He served as director of music for St. Martin’s Church in New Hope and mentions the names of many famous person who lived in or came to the New Hope area. Recording and details.

Fitting, Donald (STHS)

Don talked to Chase Asplundh, a New Hope/Solebury High School student and Society junior historian, and Linda Metcalf, a former STHS board member, about his life. Don attended the Solebury one-room schoolhouse where his mother taught. Recording and details.

Folinsbee, Ruth (NHHS)

Ruth was the widow of John F. (Jack) Folinsbee, a noted artist. Her daughter Beth attended the interview and spoke occasionally. Recording and details.

Fox, Filbert,  (STHS)

Phil was interviewed by two New Hope-Solebury Elementary School students about his experiences as a student in the Solebury one-room schoolhouse and other events in his life. The interview was transcribed and published in book form by the Society. Recording and details.

Franck, Rachel Latta (NHHS)

Rachel Latta Franck was the wife of travel writer Harry A. Franck  and an author of her own book, I Married a Vagabond, which was published in 1939. They traveled the world together as he continued to write his many books. In 1932 they settled in Solebury where she had family ties going back to the first Paxson settlers. Recording and details.


Green, Robert L., Bucks County Documentary, 1977 (HCS)

Robert L (as he was called by his friends) was fashion director at Playboy magazine for over 20 years. He was known for his wit and skills as a raconteur, his famous parties, and especially for the local picnic he hosted annually at his Carversville summer home. His chauffeured yellow Rolls Royce was well known in the county. His life story can be found on the New York Times obituary page July 24, 1997. Video and details.

Greenzweig, Russell (NCM)

Russell began working at age 7 on the canal with his father. He had very little education because of the work. Recording and details.

Grider, Dorothy illustrator, photographer, painter (MAM-BCCC)

Dorothy Grider grew up in Bowling Green, KY, and settled in New Hope after 28 years in New York City. She attended Western Kentucky State Teachers College and was a well-known illustrator, mainly of children’s books. Recording and details.

Grimison, Nora Lathrop; and Karhumaa, Jill Lathrop (STHS)

Nora and Jill are the granddaughters of William L. and Annie Burt Lathrop, daughters of his son Julian and Anne Goodell Lathrop. They describe their bucolic youth in Phillips Mill and give insights into the personalities of their family members, the grandfather William, and their neighbors. They deliver funny stories with broad views of life and their Lathrop homestead, which was used for multiple purposes over many years and occupants. Recording 1 and details.  Recording 2 and details.

Gussman, Charles J. writer (MAM-BCCC)

Charles was a writer of radio and television shows including early 1950 soaps like “Search for Tomorrow” and “Young Dr. Malone.” His New York Times obituary states that he “brought delightfully tangled plots, addictively picturesque characters and heaping doses of steamy romance to soap operas.” In addition the Times said that “for years, Mr. Gussman had said he wanted his last words to be memorable. As his death approached, his daughter reminded him of his wish. He slowly removed the oxygen mask, she said, and whispered in the faintest voice: `And now for a final word from our sponsor. . . .’” Recording and details.


Hargens, Charles Jr. (NHHS)

Illustrator, painter, photographer, Charles achieved marked success in the magazine and book publishing world. He and his family moved to Carversville in 1940. After listening to this interview, be sure to watch the video Bucks County Documentary with Robert L. Green, (1977) to see and hear Charles in his Carversville studio. The second recording is from the MAM collection.  Recording 1 and details.  Recording 2 and details.

Harrington, Ned poet, historian (STHS, HCS, MAM, MAM-BCCC)

Ned and his wife Betty moved to Carversville in 1947. He was the author of many books about the history of Carversville and Solebury Township. He was responsible for the detailed research of over 400 historic homes in the township. The first interview is on two tapes that cover topics ranging from 1859 to 2000. The video interview was conducted for the Historic Carversville Society, and the Michener Art Museum was conducted for the artists and writers oral history project of Nancy Hellebrand’s Bucks County Community College class, because in addition to writing histories, Ned also wrote poetry. It was as a poet that he was interviewed for the class.  Recording 1 and detailsRecording 2 and details. Video and details. MAM interview.

 Harven, George (NCM)

George was a self-taught photographer who took photos for the Air Force during World War II. He later specialized in pictures of coal mines and miners, many of which are in the Library of Congress. Recording and details.

Hedges, Don architect, painter(NHHS, MAM)

Don Hedges was an architect who moved to New Hope in 1930. He and his wife Peggy opened a craft shop in New Hope that she ran for many years. Don was involved in civic activities in New Hope, and in his later years he took up painting. The New Hope Historical Society recording 1 covers his life story and the Michener Art Museum recording 2 deals with his art activities.  Recording 1 and details.  Recording 2 and details.

Heep, Judith printmaker, painter, photographer (MAM-BCCC)

Judith was born in Brooklyn, NY, and relocated to Doylestown. Her work has been exhibited in public and private shows across the country. Her art currently consists of cast handmade paper pieces that are frequently colored with oil sticks, oil pastels, and gouache. She also at times incorporates her photographs into the work. She is a founding member of the Muse Gallery in Philadelphia. Recording and details.

Hopkins, Mildred Woods (STHS)

Mildred lived on Mechanic Street in New Hope and was one of the few Black women to have spent most of her life in the area. She speaks of incidents from before the Civil War until 2005. Recording and details.


Klicka, Mildred Randa (NHHS)

Millie was born in Solebury Township and raised on a dairy farm. She attended local schools and shares many memories of earlier times. Recording and details.

Kopchik, Joan painter, graphic artist, pencil drawer (MAM-BCCC)

Joan is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University who lives in Southampton and started as a painter and drawer, but we now know she makes designs from her own handmade paper. She also includes natural objects like river stones or bamboo skewers. Recording and details.


Lathrop, Anne Goodell (NHHS)

Ann was the wife of Julian Lathrop, who was the son of William Lathrop and Annie Burt Lathrop. She was interviewed with her long-time friend Sally Nimick. Recording and details.

Lathrop, William L.  (NCM)

Artist William Lathrop was born in Ohio and moved to Phillips Mill in 1898 or 99. He was the “dean” of the New Hope art colony that he helped establish, and he was a dedicated teacher. He was the first president of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association that was established in the old mill across the road from his house. William was an avid sailor who built his own sloop, the Widge, with the help of Henry Snell and William’s son-in-law Rolf Bauhan (an architect who designed many buildings in Princeton, NJ). He often took the boat in the canal from Phillips Mill to Bristol where he set out into the Delaware River. He enjoyed eight summers of sailing along the northeast coast until his tragic death on the boat during a 1938 hurricane off Montauk, Long Island, New York. Video and details.

Lawrie, Elizabeth (NHHS)

Elizabeth was a locally well-known painter. She resided in New Hope. Recording and details.

Lear, Chester (NCM)

Chester’s roots in Bucks County are deep; his family was involved with the digging of the canal and he lived with his father in the locktender’s house at lock #6. From the age of two on he spent his life in the Yardley area. Recording and details.

Leddon, Carlton; Swope, Howard; and Dreyer,Leon  (NCM)   

These three men were boatmen who shared their knowledge of the Delaware Canal with Lance Metz from the National Canal Museum. We owe a debt of gratitude to Lance, who in 1980 searched out people who worked on the Canal and preserved their memories. Recording and details.

Leiby, Dr. Kenneth  (NHHS)

Kenneth was an iconic, local town and country doctor for 52 years.  His practice years spanned New Hope’s development from a small town to a populous and popular tourist and bedroom community. Recording and details.

Leichliter, Harry  (NCM)

Harry was born into a family that had boating in its blood, starting with his grandfather. He began working as a boatman in 1924, but his first memories of boating were from the 1890s. At the time of his interview he lived in Upper Black Eddy. Recording and details

Leith-Ross, Emily  (NHHS)

Emily (Slaymaker) Leith-Ross was the wife of the artist Harry Leith-Ross, who was called Tony by family and friends. They met in Chicago, her home town, in 1925, and although he was 15 years older than she, they quickly fell in love and married later that year. The family moved to the New Hope area in 1935 and became active members in the artists’ colony, counting many friends among the Phillips Mill artist’s set and the Jericho Mountain writer’s set. Harry Leith-Ross lived from 1886 to 1973. Recording and details.

Levy, Eleanor illustrator (MAM-BCCC)

Eleanor studied art at the New York High School of Art and Design. She had a successful career as an illustrator for many publishing houses. Recording and details.

Lindley, Denver, Jr. painter (MAM-BCCC)

Denver grew up in the New York area. His was a graduate of Yale University and attended the Art Students League in New York. He served as a Bucks County Commissioner and was a member of the board of trustees of Bucks County Community College. Recording and details.

Little, Jane Paxson Parry Maule (NHHS)

Jane was born Jane Paxson Parry Maule. She was the fifth generationof the family to carry the name Jane Paxson Parry, and she tells us about her family and her many memories of the Parry Mansion. She was called Jean by her friends. Recording and details.

Luitweiler, Erika Oeschler artist, poet, art collector (MAM-BCCC)

Erica was a New Hope-Solebury Elementary School art teacher who also wrote poetry in her later years. The Michener Art Museum holds three separate interviews of Erika. The first and third are from the MAM general collection. The second is from the class collection of Professor Nancy Hellebrand of Bucks County Community College. Recording 1 and detailsRecording 2 and detailsRecording 3 and details.


Magill, James (NHHS, MAM)

Jim’s ancestors were among the original English settlers of the area and Jim was a life-long resident and mayor of New Hope. He shares his extensive knowledge of the area and important issues of the time.   Recording 1 and details.  Recording 2 and details. MAM transcript and details.

Magill, Joseph (STHS)

Joe was from a long-time Solebury family. He was raised on his family dairy farm. His reminiscences cover the period from 1920 to 2000. Recording and details.

Magill, Richard (HCS)

Dick Magill was born in Carversville and married a local girl, Ruth Price. Many years after the death of his wife, Dick moved back to Carversville to be with his wife’s sister-in-law, Eleanor Price. (There are two videos in this grouping. The first contains interviews with both Dick and Eleanor. The second is only Dick speaking of his World War II experiences.)   Video 1 and details. Video 2 and details.

Mangan, Richard J. (STHS)

Duffy Mangan was chief of police in Solebury Township for 36 years and was on the force for five years before that. He was chief during some calm and some turbulent times in the township, including during the Dump the Pump campaign. Recording and details.

Mangiaracina, Bernard  artist, sculptor (MAM-BCCC)

Bernard studied sculpture at the University of Pennsylvania and was Artist-in-Residence at the Guttman Center for the Fine Arts on Windy Bush Road. He has worked in various media creating sculptures, paintings, and prints, but sculpture has been his primary focus. He was an art professor at Bucks County Community College and ran the sculpture area. Recording and details.

Matthews, Paul (MAM)

Paul was born in Princeton, NJ, and is a Lambertville resident. He attended Cooper Union Art School and taught at Gill/St. Bernard’s School and at the Parsons School of Design. He describes his paintings as “peoplescapes,” not portraits. He works primarily in oil on canvas. Recording and details.

May, Walter David (NCM)

Walter May worked as a boat builder and repairer for the canal boats. Recording and details

McDonald, Harold (STHS)

Harold was a Solebury farmer much involved with the social life in Solebury Township. He managed the Holmquist dairy farm with its small herd of Jersey cows and delivered milk in the area. The interview covers 1933 to 2000. Recording and details.

Meredith, Brenda (HCS)

Brenda has been a resident of Carversville since 1966. She originally lived in Willow Grove, but fell in love with Carversville after traveling through the town a number of times to go boating on the Delaware River. Recording and details.

Michener, James (NHHS)

Jim was adopted into the Quaker Michener family in Doylestown at a very young age and was a graduate of Doylestown High School. He was the author of more than 40 books, most of them fiction and many best sellers. He was known for his meticulous research to make the books authentic. For a time he was one of the owners of WBUX radio station in Bucks County. Recording and details.

Mikita, Irene (NHHS)

Irene was a New York resident with a radio background who spent weekends in Solebury at her home on Stoney Brook Road and grew to love the area. Her husband Joe was president of the New Hope Historical Society.  Recording and details.


Nakashima, George (NHHS)

George was a woodworker and furniture maker considered a national treasure by both Japan and the USA. His love of wood with its perfections and imperfections made his designs unique and beautiful. George was born in Spokane, WA, and moved with his wife and daughter to Solebury in 1943. From that time he built his business, home, and many friendships step by creative step with his own hands. After listening to this interview, be sure to watch the video Bucks County Documentary with Robert L. Green, (1977) to see and hear George at his Aquetong Road home and workshop. Recording and details.

Nakashima, Mira  (SAI)

Mira is the daughter of George Nakashima. She worked with her father in his woodshop and after his death continued his tradition. In addition, she has her own designs outlined in a catalogue named Keisho, which means “continuation” or “succession.” The Nakashima studio is on Aquetong Road in Solebury. Video and details.

Newhart, Erma (NHHS)

Erma was a long-time area resident who had great memories of her time in the area and in school. She was very aware of the social differences among the various groups of students. Erma became a teacher. Recording and details.

Nilson, Gustav A. painter (MAM-BCCC)

Gustav was born in Vienna, Austria. He studied at the National Arts Academy and with two of the most famous poster artists, Lucian Bernhard and Julius Klinger. He immigrated to the United States in the 1920s and worked in New York as a freelance designer for advertising firms and as an art director for several large lithography houses before opening his own business. He moved to Bucks County in 1941, and his well-known watercolors of Bucks County barns, covered bridges, antique shops, and old mills reflect his love for the area. Recording and details.


Parton, W. Julian (NCM)

Julian was a native of Pottsville, PA, who studied mining engineering at Penn State. He began his career shortly after graduation when he accepted a position with the Lehigh Navigation Coal Company (LNCC). (LNCC was mainly involved in anthracite coal mining in the Panther Valley area of Pennsylvania, approximately between Jim Thorp and Pottsville. It was probably a subsidiary of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, the “Company” mentioned in many of the canal tapes on this site. ) Within 13 years he was president of the company and remained until LNCC ceased operations. (This tape is included in the STHS collection under Canal because coal was the reason for the building of the canal that travels through Solebury Township, and the coal business affected all of eastern Pennsylvania.) Recording and details.

Peddler’s Pack (STHS)

In 1958 James (Jim) Gold started an all-male a cappella group called the Peddler’s Pack. The Pack was an outgrowth of a local World War II quartet known as the Robert Shaw Chorale after tenor ‘Pop’ Shaw, a founder of the Solebury School. Many of the members also sang in the choir of Trinity Episcopal Church in Solebury and the group was briefly known as ‘The Voices of Gold,’ named after their founder, leader, Sunday-night rehearsal host, and pitch pipe, Jim Gold, who lived in Lumberville. The permanent name Peddler’s Pack came after their first paying gig at The Pub in Peddlers Village.
The Pack competed annually in an event called the Spring Sing, a U.S. competition of male a cappella groups from around the country.  In the late 1970s, at Jim’s invitation, the all-male group added a female tenor voice, Ann Schenkle, a revolutionary act at the time. Their recordings and most of their sheet music are in the Library of Congress. Recordings and details.

Powell, Phillip  (SAI)

Phillip was a woodworker who created “furniture with sculptural qualities.” He moved to New Hope in 1947 and remained there for the rest of his life except for periods of travel from which he drew inspiration. Some of his works are on display in the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown. Video and details.

Purcell, Walter (NCM)

Walter worked on the canal for a few years as a young child. He followed his brothers as mule driver at age 10 but did not make a career of canal work.  Recording and details.


Radosin, John (STHS)

John spent most of his life in Solebury. He served in World War II. His interview stresses the period of World War II but also covers other topics from 1935 to 2000. Recording and details.

Ranieri, Robert  painter, sculptor, stage and screen artist (MAM-BCCC)

Robert attended the Tyler School of Art of Temple University and studied in Italy on a Fullbright Grant. He lives in Bucks County where he paints, sculpts, and creates landscape architecture designs. Recording and details.

Redfield.  Edward W. (NHHS)

Edward  lived and painted in Centre Bridge, PA. He was one of the central figures (possibly the central figure) in the Pennsylvania Impressionist (New Hope School) movement and became one of our country’s most decorated painters. Recording 1 and details. Recording 2 and detailsRecording 3 and details.

Redfield, Laurent and Dorothy (NHHS)

Dorothy, the daughter-in-law of Edward Redfield and wife of his first son Laurent, reflects on the Redfield family life in Centre Bridge where Laurent grew up. This provides background about life in the times and therefore rounds out our understanding of the artist, and as such should be listened to after the recordings done by Edward. Laurent was present at the interview but was unable to speak because of the aftereffects of a stroke. Recording and details.

Renschler, Rhoda (STHS)

Rhoda is a life-long Quaker, a descendant of early Solebury settlers. She spoke to the Solebury Farmer’s Club on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Solebury Friends Meeting. Recording and details.

Rilara, Madeline Free (NCM)

Madeline was introduced to boating at age 6 by her father, John A. Free. They lived in Erwinna. She was interviewed in two segments by Lance Metz and an unknown companion from the National Canal Museum. The two interviewers, looking for many details, often prompted Madeline with suggestions so it is not easy to know what she remembered and what she was helped to remember, especially of the names of people. What is of good value is her very sharp descriptions of technical boating knowledge, which were gathered while she was just 6 to 11 years old. Recording 1 and details. Recording 2 and details.

Rivinus, Willis M. (STHS)

Will has lived in Solebury Township for more than 60 years. He was chosen as the STHS Honored Citizen in 2007  for his dedication to the township as a writer, historian, and preservationist. This series of five interviews conducted by Jack Donahue cover the New Hope Auto Show, floods on the Delaware River (especially 1955), books Will has published, the Friends of the Delaware Canal (FODC), and restaurants, inns, and taverns in the area.  Recording 1 (auto show) and detailsRecording 2 (floods) and detailsRecording 3 (authored books) and detailsRecording 4 (FODC) and detailsRecording 5 (restaurants) and detailsRecording 6 (National Heritage Corridor) and details.

Root, Margaret Mullen (NHHS)

Maggie was a Broadway actress who married set designer John Root in Doylestown and later settled in Wycombe, PA. In 1964 they moved to Solebury and remained there the rest of their lives. Maggie appeared in productions in almost every season at the Bucks County Playhouse from 1947 to 1967.  Recording and details.


St. Claire, Kyle (STHS)

Kyle was the vicar of St. Phillip’s Church for 20 years, from 1980 to 2000. Recording and details.

Schatz, Charlotte sculptor, painter (MAM-BCCC)

Charlotte was professor at Bucks County Community College teaching sculpture and design. She began her art career as a two-dimensional painter but quickly moved to sculpture. She worked with diverse materials such as metal, plastic, glass, wood, and mirrors. Later in life she returned to painting. Recording and details.

Sfirri, Mark  (SAI)

Mark is a woodworker but with a “twist.” He creates works of art from wood using a lathe, and he then manipulates them using multi-centered spindles and a series of crosscuts. His work is meticulous in its detail. Mark is an Associate Professor of Fine Woodworking at Bucks County Community College. Video and details.

Shaudys, Anna K. (NCM)

Anna lived next to the canal near Mt. Eyre road in Washington Crossing from 9-months of age on. In her 89th year she maintained her memories of living near the working canal with its colorful boatmen. Recording and details.

Sims, Lynn: Bucks County Ballads (HC)

Lynn was born and raised in Bucks County, living in Yardley and Morrisville. She had a deep-seated love of the county and after moving to Fayetteville, NY, composed folk ballads about her former home. She recorded these ballads in an album called These Gentle ValleysRecording and details.

Sommer, Dorothy Slessinger (STHS)

Dottie was a long time member of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association and its theatrical guiding light for a number of years. She also played a key role in the New Hope Street Fair, and this interview was a promotional piece for the fair. Recording and details.

Solowey, Rae (MAM)

Rae Landis was the wife of artist Ben Solowey, who was known for his sculptures, paintings, and drawings. Rae and Ben were married in 1930 after a brief courtship, and she became his primary model. Recording and details.

Stack, Joan (NHHS)

Joan was a radio personality on WBUX in Bucks County, but she was also involved in local organizations including the YMCA and the Philadelphia chapter of American Women in Radio and Television. After leaving WBUX she started her own public relations firm. She interviewed people on her radio show and many of these interviews are here on our oral history pages.  Recording and details.

Swope, Howard; Dreyer,Leon; and Leddon,Carlton (NCM)   

These three men were boatmen who shared their knowledge of the Delaware Canal with Lance Metz from the National Canal Museum. We owe a debt of gratitude to Lance, who in 1980 searched out people who worked on the Canal and preserved their memories. Recording and details.


Taylor, Phoebe painter, illustrator, writer (MAM-BCCC)

Phoebe was a writer and artist in various media, probably training for a time with Fern Coppedge. She raised a large family and was a strong horsewoman. Although she illustrated many subjects it is clear that the horse captivated her spirit. She illustrated local magazines and self-published and sold a set of book/pamphlets. She is buried at Buckingham Friends cemetery. Recording and details.

Tease, Betty (STHS)

Betty’s father worked in the mill on Reeder Road and she was born in the small house at the corner of Reeder Road and current 202. She lived in Solebury all her life. Her interview covers 1920 to 2000. Recording and details.

Tinsman, Emma Fell (NHHS)

Emma tells many stories about her childhood days on a farm.  The never ending chores around food production are a key feature of this oral history. Emma married William Tinsman, Sr., and is the mother of William, Jr. Recording and details.

Tinsman, William Jr. and Susan (STHS)

The Tinsman family has owned the lumber yard in Lumberville for generations. Bill, with asides by his wife Sue, recounts his life in the area. Recording and details.

Touhey, John (STHS)

John first moved to Solebury in 1977 and purchased his home in Solebury village in 1997. He was largely responsible for the resurrection of STHS in 1998. Recording and details.

Trauch, Lester (MAM)

Lester was a lively Doylestown personality during and after his long career at the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer newspaper. He was born in Bedminster and attended Doylestown High School. He started working as a reporter for the paper in 1931 and remained there until he retired in 1981. His “Man About Town” column touched on many subjects including a strong presentation of the Bucks County theater scene and the famous actors, producers, and writers who populated New Hope and the county. Credited with “knowing everyone in Doylestown and everyone knowing him,” he was also a schoolmate and lifelong friend of James A. Michener. Recording 1 and detailsRecording 2 and detailsRecording 3 and details.

Trivellini, George sculptor, painter (MAM-BCCC)

George served apprenticeships in commercial art studios and then worked as a staff artist and graphic designer. He was both a painter and a sculptor, but in his later years concentrated on sculpting with metal. His large sculptures can be found in corporate and private collections in both the United States and in Europe. Recording and details.

Tugboat Captain (name unknown)(NCM)

Tugboats were used for a short period on the canal. This tugboat captain, whose name is never given, gives information about the tugs and about the canal. Recording and details.


Wallwork, Isaac (STHS)

Isaac was a metal blacksmith who worked with Morgan Colt in Phillips Mill and for the Frederick Glass Company in Bethayers, PA. He was interviewed  by New Hope-Solebury students about automobiles, his family, his schooling, and his jobs. The interview tape is missing but was transcribed and printed in book form.  Transcription.

Walp, Ed L. (NCM)

Ed began working on the Lehigh Canal in 1919 and occasionally worked on the Delaware Canal. He worked on dredge boats and other maintenance operations until the canal ceased operation in 1942. He continued with the company until 1965. Recording and details.

Warford, Harry, Jr. (NCM)

Harry was born in the locktender’s house at lock # 9 in New Hope. He lived in New Hope until 1952 when he moved to Trenton, NJ. Recording and details.

Wells, Charles (MAM)

Charles attended the George School and Amherst College. Initially he intended to become a writer, but after seeing designs by Leonard Baskin he became determined to be an artist. He was apprenticed to Baskin and later lived and worked in Italy. His works are in the permanent collections of many prestigious galleries and Museums. Recording and details.

Wentz, William (NCM)

William became a mule driver on the canal at age 9. His family was not into boating and he only worked in the summertime when school was out.  Recording and details.

Whitley, Robert  (SAI)

Robert is a third-generation craftsman who lives in Solebury. He is a studio furniture designer whose works have been presented as state gifts and are on display in museums around the country. Video and details.

Worthington, Ruth Stonaker (NHHS)

Ruth, a life-long practicing nurse, married Alvin Worthington, New Hope’s first Chevrolet dealer in 1929. Their energetic and outgoing lives are a perfect vantage point from which to observe New Hope from the Depression years through the heydays of the 1960s. Ruth’s common sense point of view and observations give us many details of the growth of New Hope borough and Solebury Township. Ruth and Alvin initially lived in New Hope but then moved to Rabbit Run Farm, just outside the borough in Solebury Township. Recording and details.

Wortis, Avi writer (MAM-BCCC)

Edward Irving Wortis writes under the pen name Avi. He is the author of 71 books, all geared to children or young adults, and was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2003. At the time of this interview in 1978 Avi and his then-wife Joan were living in New Hope. Recording and details.

Wortis, Joan hand weaver, textile and fiber art (MAM-BCCC)

Joan is an artist who works in textiles. At the time of the interview she was working mainly on garments. She was the wife of Avi Wortis, the writer. Recording and details.