Long-Time Park Visitor Leaves a Legacy for Generations to Come

April 27th, 2022 News and Events

When nature lover Carolyn Sundstrom, aka Tess Rivers, passed away in 2016, she left a memorial gift to Washington Crossing Historic Park that will continue her legacy and benefit visitors far into the future. The sizeable donation that was left as an estate gift will be used for the creation of new classroom space and interpretive opportunities for visitors to the park.

Born Carolyn Sundstrom, which means ‘sunny river’ in Swedish, Carolyn was known by many as Tess Rivers which she assumed as her pen name.

Carolyn was a frequent visitor to Washington Crossing Historic Park where she could often be found walking her dog Rain. She was a lover of poetry, both writing and performing it. She loved her home, her friends, the land, wildlife, reading, and her job as a therapist. She made the world a better place for those who knew her.

A story recounted by a friend tells of Carolyn taking a plate of food to the man who watches over the Washington Crossing Bridge on Thanksgiving night so he too could enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. She was caring and generous in life, so it’s not surprising that she would continue to give to others even after her death.

Described as a “’force of nature,’ so much so that it was difficult to discern just where nature stopped and Tess began,’” Carolyn was known as an independent woman who valued blueberries more than gold.

According to Jennifer Martin, Executive Director of the Friends group, estate gifts like the one left by Carolyn can have a lasting impact.

“We are very grateful for the generous donation from the Carolyn Sundstrom estate and for the time she was able to spend enjoying our park. Donations, such as this, are a good way to leave a personal legacy and support an organization that has meaning to you,” says Jennifer. “These types of gifts can also carry tax advantages to the individual or surviving family.”

If you would like to discuss how to leave a bequest to the Friends in your estate, please contact Executive Director Jennifer Martin at 215-493-4076 or visit our website.