Chester County Historical Society wins online contest
Historical Society wins online contest
WEST CHESTER The Chester County Historical Society received nearly $9,000 and almost two million votes during a statewide online campaign to preserve historical artifacts. It beat nine other organizations in the competition.
The historical society earned a People's Choice Award for collecting the most money and votes in its quest to refurbish a visitors' book kept by a Chester County native imprisoned in 1855 for helping an enslaved woman gain her freedom.
Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman were among the hundreds of people from across the country who visited Passmore Williamson, an abolitionist who spent 100 days at Moyamensing Prison in Philadelphia, and signed the book, according to the historical society.
The log of visitors triumphed over Pennsylvania's other top 10 endangered artifacts. They include Thaddeus Stevens' wig, a 16th-century Mennonite Bible, and a bust of President Lincoln made of coal.
The Chester County Historical Society said it hopes winning the award will help it reach its fund-raising goal of $25,480. That money will go toward cleaning the book, fixing tears and rebinding it. A scanned copy of the book will be available online. - Michaelle Bond