The Waynewood Hotel, George W. Childs Library, Wayne Presbyterian Church

43_image01Among the old picture postcards of Wayne that this writer received recently from Mr. Harry M. Buten, of Merion, are the two shown in today’s column. Although not a collector of postcards, Mr Buten has been able to tell this writer something of their history.

It was in 1898 that postcard printing was first started. According to a government ruling, no message could be written on the card, except on the picture side. Since there was usually a very small margin below the picture, the message, of necessity, had to be brief. On the reverse side were clear instructions, “This side is for the address only.”

This ruling remained in effect until 1907, when the address side of cards was divided into two sections by a middle line. The left section was labeled, “This space may be used for correspondence,” the right, “This space is for the address only.” In this connection, it is interesting to note that the picture postcard of the library must have been printed before 1907 and that of “The Waynewood” after that date, since only the latter has a message space on the address side of the card.

43_image02When the story of the founding and subsequent history of what is now the Memorial Library of Radnor Township was told in this column some months ago, a fruitless search was made for a clear picture of the small stone building, erected in 1893. The picture that was finally printed was dark and indistinct and in no way compares with the very clear one shown in today’s column.

At that time the library was known as the George W. Childs Library, since the ground on which it was built was a gift from Mr. Childs, a Philadelphia philanthropist, who had many real estate interests in the newly-developed community of Wayne in the closing years of the 19th century.

The transfer of library books was undertaken by wheelbarrow from the old quarters to the new. Since the former was on North Wayne avenue, this necessitated crossing the pike with each load. And even when pike travel was entirely by horse or bicycle this must have been a tedious process. The building pictured above still remains as part of the present greatly enlarged Memorial Library of Radnor Township, erected in 1949 in memory of the men and women of Radnor Township who gave their lives in World War II.

Like the postcard picture of the library, this one of the old Waynewood Hotel is much clearer than the one used two years ago in this column, in connection with the story of the building now known as the Wayne Church House, since its acquisition by the Wayne Presbyterian Church. Built in the early 1900’s by Charles Wood, a hotel man, it was described in an advertising folder issued at the time as “a delightful hotel in the beautiful Main Line country adjacent to Philadelphia… a perfect stopping place or permanent suburban residence.”

This view of the building, as it originally looked, is taken from the east side with the old Wayne Presbyterian Church just to the west of it. Many of the trees shown in the picture have now disappeared, while others show the tremendous growth that the years have brought. The building remains much as it was when it was built more than 50 years ago.

From time to time reproductions of others of these old postcards of Mr. Buten’s will appear in this column.