Town Fathers (and Mothers)
One in an occasional series.
Mayor of Rose Valley since 2008, Thomas “Tim” Plummer is halfway through his third term. It has been a period not so much of change as of preservation of the lifestyle and conservation of the resources that Rose Valley’s 900-some residents treasure.
As mayor, he was able to secure a grant to purchase an acre at the intersection of Old Mill Lane and Rose Valley Road, protecting the “Borough Green” from development and providing a site for a memorial and heritage garden. He was deeply involved in negotiations and planning for the smart development of a 26-acre tract in Central Rose Valley, now known as the Traymore. The project optimized density and incorporated buffers using half the land to minimize impact from the development on neighbors, visitors and users of the adjacent Saul Nature Preserve.
With Tim’s enthusiastic leadership as president, the Rose Valley Historic District was established and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most recently, Tim was a leader in the establishment in 2015 of the Rose Valley Centennial Foundation, a nonprofit entity which facilitated donation of the historic William Price building Thunderbird Lodge by its former owners. Thunderbird Lodge became the locus of the Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society, also made possible through the creation of the nonprofit. In addition to gifts of priceless Rose Valley furniture and other artifacts of the 1900s arts & crafts community, $500,000 has been raised or pledged for RVMHS. Among other significant donations, RVMHS recently was awarded a state grant of nearly $100,000 for repair and upkeep of the building.
Although Tim is quick to point out that these initiatives were “not Tim Plummer efforts; they were board, committee, and community efforts,” he was undeniably the common factor. In a town where leadership is often denominated in decades rather than years, Tim fits into a long tradition of service. Prior to his election as Mayor, Tim served as president of Borough Council. He was appointed Controller of the Borough in 1994, President of Council shortly thereafter, and remained on Council for 10 years.
Tim’s family arrived in Wallingford in 1948, but, he says, “I grew up in Rose Valley because all my friends were here and we spent all our time in the woods. And I earned my Eagle Scout rank here.” A 1954 graduate of Nether Providence High School, Tim’s plaque was placed on the Wall of Honor at Strath Haven High School in 2003.
Tim’s service to his town follows a career in service to his country. A 1959 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he served in the Army until retirement in 1979, including service in the Viet Nam War. He is an expert on the former Soviet Union, where he worked with the U.S. Army and government, and was an assistant professor at West Point.
After his military career, he worked in New York City and Georgia, then took a top management position with a Philadelphia company. Tim says he was “thrilled to move back to Rose Valley. They say you can’t come home again, but you can, and I did, and I love it.” He has lived in a historic house called “Rose Hedge” since 1985, and it is in that home that he and his fiancée Margee Hanford will stay after their July marriage and for “as long as we can.”