The East Falls Historical Society, founded in 2004, is a non-profit organization dedicated to discovering, preserving and promoting historic interest in the East Falls community. To this end, our organization is active in documenting historic buildings and sites in East Falls. We conduct oral histories from East Falls' long-time residents and directors of East Falls organizations. Our archiving of precious materials preserves original documents for future generations. We offer free lectures on topics of historic interest and host walking tours of the neighborhood. Our Reference Committee answers questions from interested parties, near and far. Over two hundred historic photographs are maintained in our collections and are available for purchase. Our library contains nearly one hundred historic books. We accept donations of East Falls memoraabilia.
The mission of the East Falls Historical Society is to maintain the historic past and enrich the present community of East Falls by establishing an historic presence in East Falls. The society shall seek to create an awareness and appreciation of our historic heritage and to promote the discovery, preservation, and continuation of the history of East Falls.
The East Falls Historical society is applying for a grant to the Preservation Alliance of Philadelphia. We would like to use the grant money to shine a light on the Kelly Family of East Falls. John B. Kelly built his home at 3901 Henry Avenue where his children, including John B. Kelly Jr. and Grace grew up and returned to many times as adults. John B. Kelly, Sr. was born in East Falls and achieved renown by winning three gold medals in the 1924 Olympics. His son, John B. Kelly Jr. won the prestigious Henley Rowing competition in 1948. Living along the Schuylkill River in East Falls provided a life-long commitment to the sport of rowing. John B. Jr. was educated at Penn Charter School in East Falls and his sisters at Ravenhill Academy in East Falls. Grace began her acting career at Old Academy Playhouse and the family worshiped at St. Bridget Church all in East Falls.
The Historical Society plans to erect a historical marker near the Kelly house. A trolley tour of those places special to the Kelly family will be held in the spring. One of Grace’s movies will be shown in conjunction with the dedication of the marker.
The East Falls Historical Society welcomes volunteers to help with archiving, conducting oral histories and arranging programs and walking tours.
Please e-mail us at at email@example.com or call Ellen Sheehan at 215-848-8396.