News and Events: 2020-2021
Each of us can attest that 2020 and 2021 proved very challenging for so many individuals, companies, and organizations.
Millbrook’s staff adapted as best we could through the pandemic parameters in order to remain engaged and to continue fulfilling our commitment as Hatboro’s historical society. During this period, Millbrook pushed forward on several key initiatives.
During these volatile times, we can remember these words from President Lincoln -
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”
- Continued engaging officials and stakeholders in protecting historic sites and structures in Hatboro, especially on the southern end of town. Working with the Hatboro Borough Historian and Historical Commission, Millbrook’s guidance contributed to creating a long overdue Historic Preservation Ordinance, which was passed in August 2021.
- Installed in 2021 two permanent displays in the new Crooked Billet Elementary School. The first display is dedicated to the May 1778 Battle of Crooked Billet and includes manuscripts, maps, pictures, and period reproductions of items for military and domestic use. Featured in the display are copies of letters written by General George Washington and General John Lacey just after the engagement. The second display was devoted to education in Hatboro from 1734 to the present. It is our hope that these displays will capture the attention of the school community and visitors, and motivate us all to learn more about Hatboro's history.
- Continued our work in cataloging data from historic deed records, and published four terrific editions of Grist, our quarterly journal.
Published in 2021 a new book, "Hatboro Then & Now", a new Hatboro history in photographs with section introductions and captions. More than 250 images of what this three-century-old town looked like back THEN and what it looks like NOW.
The book is dedicated to the memory of Ron Beifuss, one of Millbrook's founders and the visionary for the Then & Now book, who passed away in August 2021. Ron, a life-long Hatboro resident, will be remembered as the town’s longtime resident shoe repairman, who operated his family's business on Byberry Road, founded in the late 1920s by his father. Beside his active leadership at Millbrook, Ron served on historic boards and commissions in Hatboro and across Bucks and Montgomery counties, including Hatboro’s Bi-centennial commission. He was a Revolutionary and Civil War reenactor and an avid amateur archaeologist. With his passing, Hatboro and The Millbrook Society have lost a touchstone to the past and a resolute supporter of preserving our history for the future.
In 2021, the Friends of Cressbrook was formed. Millbrook is represented by Dan Troilo on the Friends of Cressbrook Board, The mission of the Friends of Cressbrook is to preserve and maintain the Cressbrook properties at the southern end of Hatboro on York Road and to appropriately restore them. The properties include the historic Walton house and Tannery building. The goal is to use the properties as educational resources and event space to increase understanding of their role in Hatboro’s history and Hatboro’s role in colonial era history
To honor Crooked Billet Day on May 1st, 2021, the Society has placed flowers on the Crooked Billet grave site at County Line and Park Avenue, and at the monument to Crooked Billet on Jacksonville Road in Warminster.
Several members staffed a table at the Hatboro Farmers Market periodically over the summer of 2021.