Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Lyndon Mansion

From Lyndon to Curtis Arboretum:  “A Panorama of Surpassing Beauty

For 170 years after the William Penn land grant to William Frampton, the rolling fields of today’s Curtis Arboretum were legacy Quaker farmlands. The name “Chelten Hills” was affixed to the area in 1854 by Edward M. Davis, an abolitionist entrepreneur who sold estates for country homes to wealthy Philadelphia businessmen. Prominent Philadelphia banker Abraham Barker purchased his estate in that year and named it “Lyndon.” Following his dramatic bank failure in 1890, the estate was purchased by an enterprising publisher, Cyrus Curtis, who constructed his own million-dollar mansion on the property. In this lecture, OYRHS Vice-President Dr. Thomas Wieckowski will trace the history of Curtis Arboretum and its two most prominent owners as it progressed from the colonial agrarian age, through the Gilded Age, and into the 21st century as a verdant haven for the residents of a gracious Philadelphia suburb. 


The lecture series is sponsored by a grant from the Jenkinstown Lyceum and all programs are offered on Zoom free of charge.  

Lectures will be held live on the internet via ZOOM and will not be recorded for later playback due to copyright restrictions on the images used in the presentations.  A link will be sent out to those on our emailing list.  In addition, the link will be posted on our website and Facebook page a day prior to the presentation. 

If you are not on our email reminder list and would like to be, please send your email address to

The webinar link and passcode for this lecture can be found here.