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Montgomery County News in Brief

Hatfield resident noted

for volunteer work

A Montgomery County senior recently was honored by the MetLife Foundation as one of the nation's most outstanding older volunteers.

Beatrice States, of Hatfield, a retired associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, received one of MetLife's Older Volunteers Enrich America Awards. She was one of 25 volunteers older than 50 honored May 9 in Washington.

The program, now in its sixth year, recognizes the contributions of older volunteers and promotes volunteering among older adults.

States, 81, heads a program that teaches people to conserve, protect and restore water resources. She recently wrote a report that the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection uses as a guide for other water monitoring groups.

States also launched a youth camp on environmental education, and she mentors students in algebra and trigonometry three mornings a week.

MetLife established the foundation in 1976. Grants support health, education, civic and cultural programs throughout the United States.

Excavators unearth Muhlenberg's store

Recent excavation at the Speaker's House, the former home of Frederick Muhlenberg, led to the discovery of Muhlenberg's general store, which was built in 1782.

Muhlenberg, first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, lived at the property, at 151 W. Main Street in Trappe, from 1781 to 1791.

An archaeological survey last summer resulted in the excavation of more than 9,000 artifacts ranging from 18th-century pottery, hand-wrought nails and handmade glass marbles to sections of plaster from Muhlenberg's late-18th-century general store, which was believed to have been torn down in 1867.

With a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Speaker's House hired a mason to remove stucco from the east side of the building. The work, conducted in April, revealed both the pitched roofline of the general store, and the imprint of a thick stone wall.

"We knew there was a general store on the property but were not certain where it was located. Through primary source research, archaeological investigations, and, most recently, architectural investigations, we are fairly certain that the store was located on the east side of the house," Speaker's House executive director Allison Weiss said in a press release.

The mission of the Speaker's House is to preserve and restore the home of Muhlenberg for use as an educational center. For more information, visit


or call 610-489-2105.

Royersford plans

four-hour mural paint day

Work on a three-story Royersford Mural will continue Saturday with a four-hour Community Paint Day.

Part of Royersford's revitalization efforts, the mural is being created through a partnership between the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and Granor Price Homes.

The artwork has been created by students at Spring-Ford Area High School and St. Gabriel's Hall. The mural artist and students have spent the last six months preparing more than 140 panels of parachute cloth, which are to be applied to the buildings.

The Royersford Mural - featuring the history of Royersford and a landscape theme - is the first outdoor project that the Mural Arts Program has created in Montgomery County.

It is located on the Giftwares warehouse buildings, two large, three-story, metal buildings on Arch Street between the waterfront and Second Avenue. The buildings' owners, Gregg Dickman and David Ritchey, are donating the space.

To date, the project has cost $55,000, with one of the main sponsors being Granor Price Homes' RiverWalk at Royersford community. The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is seeking $5,000 more in donations for the mural.

Paint Day participants will meet at 10 a.m. at Arch and First Streets. Materials and refreshments will be provided. The painting will continue until 2 p.m., and might be canceled because of inclement weather.

To volunteer to paint, call Robyn Buseman at 215-685-0756. To donate, call Marshall Granor of Granor Price Homes at 215-830-1100, Ext. 204.

- Gene D'Alessandro