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Kelpius at the Franklin Inn Club

by on February 6, 2013

Last night Al Holm and I made a presentation on the Kelpius community at the Franklin Inn Club in Center City Philadelphia. Al and I are resident members of the Inn; Al is a founding member of the Kelpius Society.  Other Kelpius Society members attending last night’s meeting were Joanne Kellerman, our treasurer, Carol La Belle, corresponding secretary, Nick Bucci (Nick has deep knowledge of the Kelpius site and is available to give tours), and Don Sloan, a member of the Kelpius Society and current president of the Roxborough-Manayunk-Wissahickon Historical Society.

I began with a brief introduction to Kelpius, providing background on the Pietists in Germany and the motivations that lay behind their decision to emigrate from Europe to North America in 1694. I also talked about the activities of the Kelpius Society, which include a publications program (visit our website at to order books), public programs, site development and interpretation, and site archaeology and botany.

Al then showed a series of images which illustrate the history and significance of the Kelpius community, and their legacy. Our presentation, preceded by a buffet dinner, was well-attended and provoked lively discussion and debate.  You can find more information about us at the Kelpius Society website. New programs are being developed; we expect to post an events calendar soon.

The Franklin Inn club was established in 1902 by S. Weir Mitchell, noted author and physician. Edith Wharton was a friend of Weir’s and often dined at the club. Prominent members in past years have included Henry Charles Lea, E. Digby Baltzell, and N.C. Wyeth. Notable current members besides Al Holm include Daniel Hoffman (former poet laureate of the United States), Nathan Sivin, Thom Nickels, and Walton Van Winkle. The Inn was the first private club to admit women to membership, who now play vital roles there. You can learn more about the Franklin Inn Club and its history by going to their website at  The image of the Inn posted below was painted by an unidentified artist.

Thomas Carroll
The Kelpius Society

The Inn

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