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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Huntingdon Valley in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Melmar

 
 
Melmar Marker image. Click for full size.
June 18, 2019
1. Melmar Marker
Inscription.  Melmar was built in 1910 for Nicholas & Sarah Biddle. The Biddle's are one of Philadelphia's most prominent families who founded institutions such as Bailey, Banks and Biddle, JP Morgan, and the Union League of Philadelphia, the Wharton Business School, Cornell University, Duke University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Drexel University. Four US Navy ships have been named USS Biddle based on family members serving in high ranking US positions. Nicholas's brother was featured in the Disney movie “The Happiest Millionaire”, and his great uncle appears in the video game Assassins Creed III.
 
Location. 40° 6.362′ N, 75° 4.019′ W. Marker is in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, in Montgomery County. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Huntingdon Valley PA 19006, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome to Huntingdon Valley Station (approx. 1.1 miles away); All Aboard for Valley Falls (approx. 1.1 miles away); Harold F. Pitcairn (approx. 1.9 miles away); Pennepack Baptist Church (approx. 1.9 miles away);
Melmar image. Click for full size.
2. Melmar
a different marker also named Pennepack Baptist Church (approx. 1.9 miles away); Bryn Athyn Cathedral (approx. 2 miles away); a different marker also named Bryn Athyn Cathedral (approx. 2 miles away); Bryn Athyn Historic District (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huntingdon Valley.
 
Also see . . .
1. Biddle Family History. (Submitted on July 7, 2019.)
2. Andalusia, Nicholas Biddle's childhood home. (Submitted on July 7, 2019.)
3. Biddle Family Papers. (Submitted on July 8, 2019.)
4. USS Biddle. Five US Navy ships have been named after Biddle family members (Submitted on October 3, 2019.) 

5. Melmar at Visual Globetrotting. (Submitted on October 26, 2019.)
 
Additional comments.
1.
The marble pergola in the backyard was relocated from Ontalauna, Joseph Wharton’s mansion (Sarah’s grandfather and the founder of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania), and was originally imported into the US from Italy where it was previously used by Roman Senators.

The front fluted ionic columns are from Oak Hill, another Philadelphia mansion that was given to Sarah’s parents by Joseph Wharton as a wedding
Melmar image. Click for full size.
3. Melmar
gift and previously owned by notable Philadelphians Seth Craige and Joseph S. Lovering. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted October 7, 2019.

2.
Inside, Melmar contains 33 rooms with 10,318 square feet of above ground living space including 10 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, and 10 fireplaces.

Outside, Melmar is nestled on two acres of grounds backing to Lorimer Park and the Pennypack Creek. Greek columned porticos cover brazilian ipe hardwood porches on all four sides of the home, with a bluestone path leading from the rear portico to a marble amphitheater located at the lower level of the three tiered rear grounds. The belgian block lined circular drive includes a lighted, three tiered fountain and provides parking space for more than fifty cars, as well housing a private, walled courtyard with a four car garage.
    — Submitted July 10, 2019.

3. Notable Biddle Relatives
•Sarah’s grandfather Joseph Wharton (1826-1909) founded the Wharton Business School at The University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College
•Nicholas’s grandfather Anthony Joseph Drexel (1826-1893) founded Drexel University
•Nicholas’s
Melmar's entryway image. Click for full size.
June 21, 2019
4. Melmar's entryway
sister-in-law Mary Duke Biddle was the granddaughter of Duke University founder George Washington Duke (1820-1905) and Nicholas’s niece Cordelia Biddle married Angier Duke, the grandson of George Washington Duke
•Nicholas and Sarah’s daughter-in-law Mary Hopkins Biddle (married to son Nicholas Jr) was the great great niece of Johns Hopkins University founder Johns Hopkins (1795-1873) (Mary’s father was also named Johns Hopkins)
•Nicholas’s great aunt Rebekah Cornell Biddle (1755) was the aunt of Cornell University founder Ezra Cornell (1807-1874)
•Nicholas’s aunt Edith Biddle Van Rensselaer was married to the great grandson of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute founder Stephen Van Rensselaer (1764-1839)
•Nicholas’s aunt Sarah Drexel Van Rensselaer, was married to another great grandson of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute founder Stephen Van Rensselaer
•Sarah’s grandfather Joseph Wharton (1826-1909) founded Bethlehem Steel
•Nicholas’s uncle Samuel Biddle (1844-1919) founded jeweler Bailey Banks and Biddle
•Nicholas’s nephew Jamie Biddle’s (1929) wife’s great great grandfather Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours founded Du Pont
•Nicholas’s grandfather Anthony Joseph Drexel (1826-1893) founded a financial firm which eventually became JP Morgan
•Sarah’s grandfather Joshua Ballinger Lippincott (1813-1886) founded publishing company J. B. Lippincott
Melmar Grand Stairway image. Click for full size.
5. Melmar Grand Stairway
Company
•Nicholas’s uncle Cadwalater Biddle (1837-1906) founded the Union League of Philadelphia
•Nicholas’s great grandfather Nicholas (1786-1844) was President of the Second Bank of the United States
•Nicholas’s great great aunt Elizabeth Ross Biddle (1740-1823) was the aunt of Betsy Ross (1752-1836) and the sister of Declaration of Independence signer George Ross
•4 US Navy ships have been named USS Biddle after Nicholas’s great great uncle Nicholas Biddle (1750-1778)
•Nicholas’s great great uncle Nicholas Biddle (1750-1778) appears in Assassins Creed III as the captain of USS Randolph
•Nicholas’s brother Anthony Drexel Biddle Sr (1874-1948 / 2104 Walnut St) is the main character in Disney’s movie The Happiest Millionaire
    — Submitted October 3, 2019.

4.
Brigadier General Nicholas Biddle grew up in another historic Biddle family estate, “Andalusia”, which is considered one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States. Andalusia in Bensalem, Pa was built for great grandfather Nicholas Biddle (1786) who served as the third and last president of the Second Bank of the United States (chartered 1816–1836). He also served in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and is best known for his role in the Bank War.
Melmar Amphitheater image. Click for full size.
6. Melmar Amphitheater
    — Submitted July 7, 2019.

 
Additional keywords. Biddle Philadelphia Mansion Nicholas Biddle Wharton School of Business Drexel University Bethlehem steel J.P. Morgan Joseph Wharton Lippincott Oak Hill Ontalauna Andalusia
 
Categories. ArchitectureCharity & Public WorkEducationEntertainmentIndustry & CommercePatriots & PatriotismWaterways & Vessels
 
Melmar Columns relocated from Oak Hill Mansion image. Click for full size.
September 30, 2019
7. Melmar Columns relocated from Oak Hill Mansion
Melmar Marble Pergola relocated from Joseph Wharton’s Ontalauna Mansion image. Click for full size.
8. Melmar Marble Pergola relocated from Joseph Wharton’s Ontalauna Mansion
Biddle Estate Gates image. Click for full size.
March 10, 2019
9. Biddle Estate Gates
Andalusia (aka Nicholas Biddle Estate) image. Click for full size.
10. Andalusia (aka Nicholas Biddle Estate)
As a child, Nicholas resided at Andalusia, (also known as the Nicholas Biddle Estate), a historic mansion and estate located on the Delaware River which is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States, and is one of the most recognizable buildings in America. Many notables have been entertained at Andalusia including President John Quincy Adams, Sen. Daniel Webster, the Marquis de Lafayette and Bordentown’s Joseph Bonaparte, the former King of Spain among others.
 

More. Search the internet for Melmar.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 9, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 7, 2019. This page has been viewed 199 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on October 7, 2019. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 7, 2019.   4, 5, 6. submitted on July 10, 2019.   7, 8. submitted on October 3, 2019.   9. submitted on July 7, 2019.   10. submitted on October 3, 2019. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. An indoor marker? Copyright info for photos? • Can you help?
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