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"The natural and human resources which gave us our past must be preserved in order to guarantee our future. Without a total respect for events, for people, for things and life-styles past; we, in the present, will not earn our right to the future.
The New Hope Historical Society has made a commitment to our town’s heritage. We have stated we care. We will continue to share our rich and varied heritage with the community and with all who visit us. We will continue to inspire people to explore New Hope’s past understand its present and envision a better future."
The New Hope Historical Society has, since its founding in 1958, achieved the following goals:
Purchased and renovated the c. 1751 Parry Barn located in the center of town. It has served the Society as an exhibition hall and as a rental property.
Purchased, restored and maintains the c. 1784 Parry Mansion which had been in the possession of the Benjamin Parry family for five generations since its construction. The Society purchased the Mansion in 1966. The years following 1966 were devoted to the actual Mansion restoration, employing the most knowledgeable conservator of the time, Francis Lovett. The creation of the decorative museum which opened in 1972, unusual as it spans 125 years from 1775 to 1900, was the inspiration of Charles Lamar, noted decorative historian, curator, and interior designer. Since 1972, the Society has opened the doors of this splendid mansion and museum, the centerpiece of New Hope and tribute to the American experience, for all people, residents and visitors alike.
In addition to these two major accomplishments, the NHHS has contributed whenever possible, to the preservation and historic awareness of the community. The society provided funds for the desperately needed restoration of the New Hope Cemetery, final resting place for many of the town’s earliest inhabitants. The NHHS created the Ferry Street Landing Park and contributed to its restoration in 2004, moved the New Hope-Ivyland Railroad Station to its present location, and restored the 1828 Chief Logan weathervane, which was on the verge of complete disintegration, and which now stands on the lawn at the Parry Mansion. In 2006, the Society installed ten historical site markers around town to inform the entire community of the historical context of the town in which we live, work and play. The society also maintains archives pertaining to the history of the town and region.
We preserve the architecturally invaluable Parry Mansion and Barn, its unique collection of period furniture and decorative arts, and its surrounding landscape; staff the museum while it is open to the public for tours; celebrate Benjamin Parry’s birthday, host an annual coach tour which is historical and cultural in nature; orchestrate an annual town and country garden tour of private gardens; hold a series of informative lectures; conduct historical walking tours; publish a quarterly newsletter; present an annual New Hope History Day program; produce in collaboration with the NH-S High School students an "Evenings with" historical figures series; fund the Francis Curley Memorial Scholarship, and publish books on local history. We also host several social gatherings throughout the year, all of which are well attended and contribute to our fund raising efforts. And we are most proud that we have an active membership base of well over three hundred individuals, households and businesses.
Remember what we are doing today will be history tomorrow!