Hidden History of Kensington and Fishtown

Overview

The docks and alleys of Philadelphia's riverward neighborhoods teem with forgotten stories and strange histories. In the overlooked corners of Kensington and Fishtown are the launching of the Industrial Revolution, the bizarre double suicide of the Rusk twins and the violent Cramp Shipyard strike. With a collection of his "The Rest is History" columns from the Fishtown Star, local historian Kenneth Milano chronicles little-known tales from the Speakeasy War of 1890 to stories of seldom-recognized hometown hero ...

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Hidden History of Kensington and Fishtown

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Overview

The docks and alleys of Philadelphia's riverward neighborhoods teem with forgotten stories and strange histories. In the overlooked corners of Kensington and Fishtown are the launching of the Industrial Revolution, the bizarre double suicide of the Rusk twins and the violent Cramp Shipyard strike. With a collection of his "The Rest is History" columns from the Fishtown Star, local historian Kenneth Milano chronicles little-known tales from the Speakeasy War of 1890 to stories of seldom-recognized hometown hero Eddie Stanky, who went on to play for the 1951 New York Giants. Join Milano as he journeys into the secret history of two of the city's oldest neighborhoods.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609491031
  • Publisher: History Press, The
  • Publication date: 12/14/2010
  • Pages: 141
  • Sales rank: 954,497
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth W. Milano was born and raised in Kensington and still lives in that section of Philadelphia, where his mother's German ancestors first arrived from Unterleichtersbach, Bavaria, in the early 1840s.
He is a graduate of St. Anne's Grammar School, Northeast Catholic High School and Temple University. Before attending Temple University, Ken served a four-year apprenticeship as a marine painter at the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

After college, Milano taught GED and ESL classes for eight years at Lutheran Settlement House in Kensington, where he met and married Dorina Lala, formerly of Fier, Albania. They have two boys, Francesco and Salvatore.

Ken also has a twenty-plus-year history in the rare and scholarly bookselling and manuscript business. He currently works with the bookselling firm of Michael Brown Rare Americana, LLC, of Philadelphia, and received his training under Mr. George R. Allen, of the legendary Philadelphia firm of William H. Allen, Booksellers.

In the mid-1990s, Mr. Milano, along with Rich Remer and Torben Jenk, helped to found the Kensington History Project, a community-based historical group that researches, lectures and publishes on the history of Kensington and Fishtown.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Brian Rademaekers 9

Acknowledgements 13

1 Kensington in Olden Times

Origins of the Word Shackamaxon 15

Point Pleasant, Terminus of Ancient Native American Transportation Routes 18

Window to the Revolution John Hewson Elizabeth Farmer Robert Morton Lieutenant Colonel John Graves Simcoe 20

Captain Peter Browne, Revolutionary War Blacksmith 28

Kensington's Protest of Jay's Treaty, 1795 30

Batchelor's Hall Revisited 32

John Fanning Watson's Description of Kensington 39

2 Industry and Labor

The Johnson Brothers and Frederick Sanno, Early Kensington Steam Engine Builders 43

John Bromley & Sons, Carpet Weavers 47

H.W. Butterworth, Hero Fruit Jar Company and the Founding of the Riverfront Railroad Spur 55

Uriah Smith Stephens and the Founding of the Knights of Labor 63

Frederick W. Fritzsche and the Philadelphia Labor Lyceum 66

The Violent Cramp Shipyard Strike of 1920-1921 68

3 Crime, Politics and Social Disorder

The Great Kensington Bank Robbery of 1871 87

The Brazen Rusk Twins and Their Destiny with Death 91

Fraud and Failure at the Shackamaxon Bank and the Founding of the Ninth National 97

The A.C. Harmer Club, Kensington's Forgotten Political History 99

Kensington's Speakeasy Wars 101

Port Richmond's Bloody William Street 104

4 Medical, Health, Hygiene and Social Work

Cholera Comes to Kensington, 1848-1849 107

The Civil War and the Founding of the Hospital of the Protestant Episcopal Church 109

The Public Bath Association in Kensington 114

The Kensington Temperance Society 116

Social Work and Recreation in Kensington 118

5 Little-Known Kensington and Fishtown Celebrities

Alexander Adaire, Lumberman, Advocate for Night School for Working Men 121

"The Rose of Tralee" and the Cruice Family of St. Anne's 124

Lieutenant Colonel Peter A. McAloon, St. Anne's Civil War Hero 127

Billy Sharsig, Early Baseball Man of Kensington 130

Eddy Stanky, Professional Baseball Player, "The Brat from Kensington" 132

Joseph T. Verdeur, Cedar Street's Gold Medalist Swimmer 134

Bibliography 137

About the Author 143

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