Then you saw it, now you don't
The Lansdale Historical Society delivers part four of its journey through our area's past
Despite the bone-chilling cold and unforgiving winds, members of the Lansdale Historical Society made their way to the Lansdale Parks and Recreation center for part four of the "Then You Saw It, Now You Don't" series, which showcases the many changes the North Penn area has undergone over the past 100-plus years.
After a brief introduction, Stephen Moyer, second vice president of the historical society, began a picture-by-picture narration of the many buildings, homes and businesses that used to be located in the area.
Through the use of comparative photography, Moyer would show the audience pictures — some dated prior to 1890 — and then ask the audience if they could identify the locations. After a moment, he would then cue up a picture of the present location, which resulted in a variety of comments from the crowd.
Many of the pictures were taken during a time where stagecoaches and trolleys were the most common forms of transportation, a time without traffic signals where roads were private, and tolls to use them were common. To see the same locations after being modernized was absolutely stunning.
For instance, a photograph was shown of a heap of scrap metal that had been gathered during World War II. No one in the audience could pinpoint the location, until Moyer showed a current photo, which showed it was the intersection of Second Street and Cannon Avenue. Members of the crowd gasped as they realized it was the exact same location where 28 townhomes are scheduled to be built.
Other photographs were met with a collective groan, such as when the crowd saw a photo of the current Rite Aid at the former location of the Hotel Tremont. While that reaction would seem obvious to anyone who lives in Lansdale, it wasn't the worst.
A beautiful Victorian home was shown, as the audience made guess after guess as to the building's location. The new photo didn't shed a lot of light on the location, but the crowd was amazed as a lovely home turned into a square-edged, modernized apartment building.
A fair amount of pictures were easily identifiable, but they served to take the audience on a trip down memory lane.
An older couple spoke of a time when Main Street was filled with homes that had porches and front yards. Others marveled when they saw that a small, rundown home once stood on the intersection of Broad and Vine streets.
By the time the show was over, Moyer received a large round of applause. Even as the members were getting their coats on and packing up the seats, stories were swapped about a time that seems so long ago.
The nostalgia was undeniable, and the presentation almost had a feel of sitting with the family and breaking out the old photo albums.
Check out our photo gallery for most of the slides from the event.
For anyone interested in attending upcoming events, check the Lansdale Historical Society's website below. If you want to attend, but can't make it, there will also be a DVD detailing each part of the series.
For more information on the Lansdale Historical Society, visit www.lansdalehistory.org.