Arden (Images of America)
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The Village of Arden was founded in 1900 by sculptor Frank Stephens and architect Will Price, both social reformers who sought to create an ideal society based on principles set forth by the American economist Henry George. With funding from Joseph Fels, a wealthy Philadelphia soap manufacturer who also financed C. R. Ashbee's Guild of Handicraft in England, Stephens and Price purchased 162 acres in northern Delaware and named their colony after the Arden forest of William Shakespeare's As You Like It. The community's motto was "You Are Welcome Hither," but Arden's founders did not anticipate the diverse and colorful mix of radicals and progressives their experiment would attract, including Upton Sinclair, muckraking author of The Jungle, and Scott Nearing, author of Living the Good Life. Through photographs, Images of America: Arden explores the early history of one of this country's most vibrant, yet little known, utopian experiments.
in this photograph Elena Darling appears to be caning a chair, she is primarily known for her leaded glasswork, and a few examples can be seen here on her bench. Her firescreens and candlescreens, many done in partnership with Buzz Ware, were particularly sought-after items. (Photograph by L. A. MacDonnald of Harvey, Delaware.) Margaret Wood’s silverwork greatly impressed the writer for the New York Herald Tribune. According to the article, Wood made silver trays, bowls, tableware, and jewelry.
Stephens. Don Stephens dated the photographs of his furniture 1916; however, this music stand can be documented considerably earlier. In the aforementioned article on Arden published in Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Magazine, the stand can be seen on the porch of the Roserie. The elaborate wrought iron hinges from the Arden Forge accentuate the ornate carving on this wonderful oak blanket chest. Like much of the Arden furniture, it is considered a one-of-a-kind piece. Barley twist turnings were
in the battles over free speech and the right to assembly simultaneously being waged in Philadelphia, many campaigners, including Frank Stephens, were sentenced to time in the Dover jail. In Stephens’s case, he received a pardon from the governor before serving out his full sentence of 30 days. After a year of educational effort and campaigning, in September 1896, Georgists finally announced their slate of candidates, standing behind the candidate for governor, Dr. Lewis Slaughter, and others
people,” and a participant in the Delaware Invasion. Now it was he, in turn, who came to Stephens and proposed “an arts and crafts colony that should let us work out the truths of both Henry George and William Morris.” After looking at a property in New Jersey, which they ironically lost to a land speculator, the two men decided upon a 162-acre farm outside of Wilmington, Delaware, 2 miles east of the Delaware River near the crossroads of the village of Grubb’s Corner. The farm was owned by David
the meadow just below the Derrickson barn. It was operated by Jerry Harvey, and was a source of lumber for many early cottages. (Photograph by L. A. MacDonnald of Harvey, Delaware.) Frank Stephens took an active role in both the construction and design of many early cottages. He is seen here in 1907 returning from a building project at the Clement property. One of the most photographed cottages in early Arden, the Admiral Benbow was a gift from Frank Stephens to his children Don and Margaret