Pennsylvania historical society OKs 4 markers in Philly

state historical markerThe Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission approved four new blue-and-gold historical markers to be erected outside landmarks in Philadelphia County.

The new markers were among 12 selected from 47 applications.

The following is a list of the newly approved state historical markers with the name of the marker, location and a brief description courtesy of the state historical commission.

Old St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Philadelphia County

Established in 1763, it was a very early American Roman Catholic Church and Pennsylvania’s first Catholic Cathedral. The Continental Congress attended services here several times out of respect for the alliances with the Catholic countries of France and Spain. It was also the site of the first public religious commemoration of the Declaration of Independence in 1779.

Pennepack Baptist Church, Philadelphia County

The first permanent Baptist Church in Pennsylvania and the “mother” church of the American Baptist Association. Founded in 1688, the existing building dates to 1805 and was constructed on a 1707 foundation. The church spawned subsequent churches in New York, Delaware and Maryland. In colonial America, Baptist influence emanated from Philadelphia.

Walter M. Golaski (1913-1996), Philadelphia County

A mechanical-bio-medical engineer, Golaski developed a knitted arterial prosthesis which was the first practical artificial blood vessel replacement. After beginning his career modifying hosiery machines to enable the switch from silk to nylon in the knitting industry, he reapplied his knowledge to the medical field to produce a specialized machine for tightly knit Dacron arteries, which revolutionized vascular replacement surgery.

Wood Street Riverbank Steps, Philadelphia County

The staircase has been in the same location since the 1680′s. It is the last remaining set of steps that were established under land warrant by William Penn and represents the establishment of Philadelphia’s original waterfront. Originally connecting the waterfront to the commercial and residential sections of the city, they served to stimulate the economy and balance public and private interests. They facilitated transportation and commerce, and promoted westward settlement in Pennsylvania.



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