823 South Street
Robert Mara Adger was born in Charleston S. Carolina in 1837, one of 13 children. At the age of six the family moved to Philadelphia and Robert attended the Lombard Street School (known as the Bird School because of its’ principal James M. Bird). As a teenager Robert worked at his father’s furniture store, where he gained invaluable business skills he would later use as the director of the Philadelphia Building & Loan Association.
Adger developed a love of books at an early age, and became a member the Banneker Literary Institute, an black bibliophile organization founded in 1854(2). He also organized the Afro-American Historical Society, which housed his personal collection of rare African-American books, pamphlets and artifacts. This society collected, preserved and discussed African-American history well before it was in vogue. He died June 10, 1910.
Blockson, Charles L. Philadelphia’s Guide: African-American State Historical Markers. Philadelphia: Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection / William Penn Foundation, 1992.
(2)Schomburg, Arthur A. Black Bibliophile & Collector: A Biography. Wayne State University Press, 1989