Historical & Cultural Society
LENA BLACKBURNE BASEBALL FIELD DEDICATED BY J IM “MUD MAN “ BINTLIFF.
By Will Valentino, Palmyra Historical & Cultural Society
On the morning of Saturday April 14th, 2012, Lena Blackburne’s famous rubbing mud came home to Palmyra when Lena Blackburne Memorial Field in Palmyra was dedicated in his memory by baseball’s “Mud Man”, Jim Bintliff of Delran, N.J. Jim was introduced by Mayor Karen Scheffler and gave a touching dedication from the center of the field surrounded by the assembled ranks of the Palmyra-Riverton Athletic Association. In his dedication, Jim asked the kids to remember “there is a little piece of Lena Blackburne and Palmyra on every baseball that gets used in professional baseball today”. Blackburne, a 68 year resident of Palmyra died in 1968 after giving 47 years of his life to organized baseball.
Seen in the photograph are Back Row(left to right) Palmyra Historical Society President, Jim May, Carol Reiner, Carol Lopez, Will Valentino, Jim Bintliff, Mayor Karen Scheffler and Howard Norcross who organized the event. Front Row: Bryan Norcross, President of the Pal-Riv Athletic Association. Play Ball!
To All Readers of “BACK IN TIME” ,
For the past four years and over 130 hand crafted editions, BACK IN TIME has been dolling out local history in spades through the pages of THE TOWN NEWS. In recent years, Burlington County Freeholders honored this column with its own History Preservation Award, recognizing that a town’s history is its heart and soul.
In the wake of THE TOWN NEWS closing, I am pleased to announce BACK IN TIME will continue in Regina Collinsgru’s wonderful Monthly hometown newspaper THE POSITIVE PRESS. Regina has expanded the circulation of the paper to include Palmyra, Riverton, and Cinnaminson. The Newspaper is circulated at 16,000 copies and is mailed to every home and business in Riverside, Delran and Delanco. Locally, the paper is available at The Riverton and Cinnaminson Public Libraries, Ward Fuel, JT Vac and Sew, Palmyra Borough Hall, Mulberry Café on Cinnaminson Ave and Georgetti’s. Eventually, the plan is for the paper to be mailed to every home in Palmyra, Riverton and Cinnaminson as well.
Until then, spread the word that BACK IN TIME is back and get your copies at the locations listed. The newspaper is usually available the first week or so of the month, and the Deadline is the 15th of each month for your own submissions, photos and news. Please go towww.thepositivepress.com for more details and online articles about the towns we live in!
BACK IN TIME will feature in every edition with expanded coverage and more photos. Subscription information is available at the POSITIVE PRESS website if you live outside the area and would like your editions mailed to you each month.
Your history is who you are, and its preservation is important. For more info, Go to the Borough Web site at www.boroughofPalmyra.com and scroll to “communities” and then “Historical Society”. You will also find some old postcards and historical photos onwww.riverlineneighbors.com website as well as many contributory articles. Help us in making Palmyra a better “Place to live and grow”. Get involved in the future of Palmyra by celebrating its past. !!!!
I’ll see my dedicated readers and friends of the Palmyra Historical Society every month in THE POSITIVE PRESS
Will Valentino ,
Board Of Trustees
Palmyra Historical & Cultural Society
PALMYRA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PLANS A NEW BOOK ON AN OLD TOWN!
By Will Valentino for the Palmyra Historical Society
ORIGINS OF THE PALMYRA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
It was back in 1991 that a group of citizens learned of the impending demolition of the Historic Spring Garden Street school structures, which date to the 1865 and the 1895. This inspired group of citizens who fought the battle to save those schools became the Palmyra Historical and Cultural Society. The schools were saved as a result of a community united in action and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1991, our group has been proactive in introducing many community minded projects, including originating the idea and concept of Palmyra Cove, which has become one of the jewels of the area.
The Palmyra Historical Society organizes periodic events that are free to the public and help promote historical awareness and other topics of local interest. In recent years we journeyed though the Underground Railroad, learned how to tend a historical garden and walked the streets of Palmyra with a Lenni-Lenape Indian family who descended from the native Tribes indigenous to this area centuries ago. Events in the past year have included a Deed research seminar, a presentation on old postcards featuring the town and our famous annual GEM DIG fundraiser during Palmyra’s Festival Day in May. Most recently the Palmyra Historical Society has taken to the Delaware River offering riverboat tours highlighting the riverfront histories of Palmyra and Riverton. Watch for our announcements of future events on the Borough website, local newspapers, and handbills and posters around town.
OLD PHOTOS AND ARTIFACTS WANTED FOR OUR ARCHIVES
The Palmyra Historical Society is asking all local Families and residents of surrounding communities to help us archive historical images featuring Palmyra from the 1800’s through the 20th century for inclusion in a future book. While older photographs offer more of a historical patina, photos of parades, string bands and events from the last 25 to 50 years are also encouraged. The technology of the 21st century now allows us to digitally scan images that may have been, in some cases, decaying in the heat of an old attic or a musty basement.
ONCE SCANNED, YOUR ORIGINAL PHOTOS WILL BE RETURNED TO YOU,SHOULD YOU WISH IT.
Through your donation of an original photograph or a scan, your photograph will be guaranteed a place in history and will be preserved in our archives for future generations. You have nothing to lose and there is so much to gain!
WHY IS THIS NECESSARY?
As the years pass, we have no control over what happens to our estates if we move, pass away, or suffer loss due to natural tragedies. If you are moving, or have located old photos, newspapers, advertisements, signs, posters, yearbooks or artifacts please call the Palmyra Historical Society before throwing them out.
WANT TO MAKE A DONATION TO OUR ARCHIVES???
Please call member WILL VALENTINO, Registrar for Society Donations at 856 303 0758 and leave a message. The past two years have produced major donations of materials long thought lost. Your donation of photographs or artifacts is important to us and we need your help!
Supporting Memberships in the non-profit PALMYRA HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL SOCIETY are available at $12 donation for an individual and $20 donation for a family. These supporting memberships help fund our free public events and the preservation and conservation of Historic materials. GET INVOLVED TODAY.
Checks or Money Order can be made payable to:
THE PALMYRA HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL SOCIETY
P.O. BOX 446
PALMYRA, NEW JERSEY 08065
Preservation does not stop with photographs. Towns such as Palmyra, New Jersey and others like them such as Riverton are Historic places that should be conserved and protected. They do not build towns like these anymore and the old houses and buildings that make up our streetscapes deserve respect and protection. They can never be replaced. Original details of an old house such as gable decorations, moldings, old doors and especially old windows contribute to the architectural tapestry of towns like Palmyra. When renovating, keep in mind that a quick 15-minute decision that may seem right can take years to correct and eradicate. Know and understand the architectural history of your house. There are many Internet sites dedicated to the preservation and beautification of old historic homes. Preservation of your old house is the best investment you can make in it today! Fifty years from now, these communities will be even more in demand, but they must survive intact.
Remember to look for “THE TOWN NEWS” to read our weekly feature ‘BACK IN TIME” available at most local shops, Borough Hall and the Post Office. Each week member Will Valentino highlights photographs from the archives, private collections and reader donations. Pick up your copy of “THE TOWN NEWS” every Friday and travel “BACK IN TIME” with the Palmyra Historical and Cultural Society!
EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED IN THE LIGHT OF THE PAST
By WILL VALENTINO for the Palmyra Historical Society
PLAY BALL: PALMYRA REMEMBERS LENA BLACKBURNE
Russell “Lena” Blackburne played baseball for the Palmyra Field Club way back in the early 1900’s and was the first kid ever in Burlington County to make it to the Major Leagues. In 1938, as a coach for the Philadelphia Athletics, he changed the game of baseball when he discovered the mud he harvested from a secret Delaware River tributary took the shine off new baseballs, giving the pitcher better control. His legacy continues to this day!