Commemorative Sign Post Erected in Garden Court
Once upon a time, in the merry old land of OZ, the Royal Historian of Oz, Ruth Plumly Thompson, actually lived in Garden Court, at 245 S. Farragut St.! You may not have heard of her, but between the years 1921 and 1939, she was the official author of all the OZ books published after L. Frank Baum's death in 1919. "Writing the adventures of OZ", she said, "was one of the happiest experiences of my life" and she welcomed letters from her fans. Letters continued to come to the house until the 1980's according to Florence Selvin, the current owner of the home.
Ms. Thompson had largely been forgotten until her home was featured in a walking tour of Garden Court call "From Farm to Ford". The research for the tour was done by Lisa Weidman and she succeeded in her application to convince the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to install a historical marker on Farragut Street.
The unveiling of the market took place on Sunday November 4th in conjunction with the University City Arts League's HOT MUGS event. Festivities included Oz themed arts and crafts, a discovery table on Ms. Thompson, short plays based on The Wishing Horse of OZ and an exhibit of Oz books. At 12:45 pm, attendees assembled and marched to Farragut St. playing trumpets and drums. A representative from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Ms. Weidman introduced the history of Ruth Plumly Thompson, and State Representative Jim Roebuck unveiled the marker.