Yesterday, I received the notification via e-mail of the passing of a great old friend who was a wonderful historian. It made me think, again, of all the unsung heroes working away on their own at home or in little historical societies, saving family history, local town history, and making it available to others.
Louisa Llewllyn was my high school teaching mentor in the 1980's when I first went to Gloucester High School to teach English. No one ever needed a mentor more. She was also my inspiration. She was undauntedly optimistic and hard-working. She wrote a local history called FIRST SETTLEMENT ON THE DELAWARE RIVER, GLOUCESTER CITY, which made me and many other people aware of the lost history of that remarkable river port. She was Citizen of the Year many times for her wide-ranging volunteer efforts in numerous community programs.
Recently, I was searching via google for the other woman history writer who had so impressed me when i was a volunteer at Bivalve. Margaret Louise Mints had independently published at least two histories that I found after a good bit of searching since they are out of print and rare now. Louisa's book is also out of print and impossible to get. That is a shame because both of their books were repositories of invaluable information on lost worlds.
I never met Margaret Louise Mints, but I am grateful that I had the honor to know Llouisa Llewellyn. Someone swiped my copy of her book from my classroom where I often referred to it when doing lessons on local history. I wish I had a copy of it now.
If you want more information on Louisa Llewellyn, you can probably refer to the Gloucester City News (online or in paper format) which I buy from Carr's Hardware Store on Broadway in Gloucester City. I used to subscribe, but I've been retired for so long now ( a dozen years already) that I have grown away from those employment roots and just buy single copies from time to time when I'm shopping at the hardware store.
Some day in the future, perhaps I'll do a piece on Gloucester History, what a deep rich history there is in that town. Check out the Historical Society on King Street opposite the historic Mill HOuses if you are ever in that area. You can also take a picnic lunch down to Proprietor's Park, a few blocks from the historical society, and enjoy the wide and beautiful Delaware River as it glides by with it's barges and ferry boats, container cargo ships and storm torn logs. At that very beach many years ago, some parts of the old British War Ship August were still visible in the mud, but they are gone now.