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March 12, 2021

Three new Pa. historical markers approved for Philadelphia in 2021

State commission unveils 23 new selections

History Society
Philly Historical Markers 2021 Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Since 1946, about 2,300 blue and gold historical markers have been placed at significant locations across Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has more than 300 historical markers.

Philadelphia has more than 300 historical markers spread throughout the city, each recognizing a significant person, place or event that shaped Pennsylvania's development.

Another three markers will soon be coming to the city after the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission approved 23 new markers across the state.

The new markers were selected from 39 applications, bringing the state's total to approximately 2,300 since the program's inception in 1946.

A complete online database of Pennsylvania historical markers allows you to locate specific figures by county and category, which can range from Native Americans and settlers to politics, athletes, entertainers, artists, factories and businesses.

Below are the new Philadelphia markers and the descriptions provided by the PHMC. Exact locations and installation dates were not immediately available for all of them.

Anna Elizabeth Dickinson (1842-1932)

Quaker abolitionist and women's rights advocate. She was an eloquent and highly paid public speaker, making her one of the most recognized American women of her time. She began public speaking at age 13 and was the first woman to address Congress in 1864.

Dr. Oscar James Cooper (1888- 1972)

One of the founders of Omega Psi Phi (OPP) at Howard University, the nation's first fraternity established at a historically Black college or university. Following graduation, Cooper became a physician and settled in Philadelphia where he spent his entire career. He continued his role as a founder of many influential organizations including the Philadelphia Chapter of OPP, was a charter member of the Pyramid Club, and supported many Black charities.

Wyck House and Rose Garden

A National Historic Landmark, Wyck served as the ancestral home of one of Philadelphia’s leading families from 1690 to 1972 before being taken over by the Wyck Association and opened to the public in 1974. Originally constructed in 1690, the house was renovated by renowned architect William Strickland in 1824 and has undergone few changes since that period. Wyck is significant for its gardens, especially the rose garden that retains heirloom plants in their original plan. Many of the varieties exist only at Wyck or have been the source of plant material to other historic properties, such as Monticello.

Some of the other new markers approved this week include Wayne County's "Winter Wonderland," in recognition of the Christmas song written by Pennsylvania native Richard Smith, and Washington County's Stan Musial, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. Artist Andy Warhol also will receive a marker in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

In Montgomery County, Anna Morris Holstein (1824 - 1900) will receive a marker in Upper Merion Township for her role in restoring Washington's Headquarters and establishing Valley Forge as a state park, and later a National Historical Park.

Chester County's Brandywine Township will get a marker for aviation pioneer George Alexander Spratt, whose research played a key role in enabling the Wright brothers' first flight.

Nominations for historical markers may be submitted by any individual or organization. They are evaluated by independent experts from throughout the state and approved by the agency's commissioners.