TOWNSHIPS: HATFIELD - HORSHAM - LIMERICK - LOWER MERION.
HATFIELD - This township is on the line of Bucks and Montgomery counties, with Towamencin on the southwest,
Franconia on the northwest and the borough of Lansdale on the south. Its area is eleven square miles, or 7,040
acres. When Lansdale was incorporated in 1872, much territory was taken from Hatfield township. This subdivision
of the county is situated on the divide between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. Smaller streams rise both in
and outside the township, flow through its domain, and empty their waters into either one of the two larger streams
named. The general character of the soil is red clay mixed with fertile loam. It was the opinion of historian Buck,
in writing on this township, that its name originated from a town and parish in Hertfordshire. He also says one
John Hatfield lived in Norriton township as early as and possibly the court named this township after him. In 1785
the township had within its borders: two gristmills, one sawmill, one tannery and a hotel. Its population has been
at various periods: In 1880, it was 520, in 1830, 835; in 1850, 1,135; in 1870, 1,512; in 1880, 1,694; in 1890,
1,833; in 1900 it was 1,497; in 1910 it was 1,600, and in 1920 was 1,789.
The date of organization of this township is not really known, but from records it is certain that it was not until
after 1741, but was known at the close of the Revolutionary War, as damages were assessed to Jacob Reed, forty
pounds, and Isaac Wisler, twenty-five pounds, both residents of Hatfield township, resulting from incursions of
the enemy; this country was open to foraging parties during the winter of 1777-78, and scattered farmers doubtless
suffered much loss at their hands. It was mostly by reason of Lord Howe's army quartered in Philadelphia during
the winter season just mentioned, that caused most of the trouble. John Fries, of "Fries' Rebellion"
notoriety, was born in Hatfield township In 1750. He resisted the English ideas of taxation, refused to pay under
the house and window tax law, and was sentenced to be hung, but through the kindness of friends Influencing President
John Adams, he was pardoned.
By act of the General Assembly, approved March 24, 1818, the township of Hatfield was formed Into a separate election
district, and the elections ordered to be held at the house of John Buchanan; In 1825 It was ordered held at the
house of Peter Conver, and again it was changed to the house of Jacob C. Bachman. All later elections were at some
public hail or schoolhouse,
The schools and churches are treated under the general chapters on such topics elsewhere in this work. It may be
said here that this township adopted the free-school system about 1840, early after it was created within the commonwealth.
The German Baptists and Mennonites were early in the religious field in this part of Montgomery county.
The villages of the township are: Line Lexington, situated on the county line, partly in Bucks county; Hatfield,
Colmar and Hockertown. These were the old-time villages, but have mostly become defunct, with the building of the
railroad through the township, from Lansdale in the southeastern corner to the northwest corner, with the borough
of Hatfield en route, and which place has come to be a good sized mart. Orville Station, Orville, Unionville and
Trewgtown, are simply hamlets, with a few business interest. The borough of Hatfield now has thirty-three business
houses. (See chapter relating to Boroughs of the county.)
HORSHAM - Horsham, probably named for one of its earliest settlers, Thomas Iredell, whose
birthplace was Horsham, Sussex county, England, and who located here not later than 1709, bought two hundred acres
of land and built a residence a half mile north of the meetinghouse. He was married, says the Philadelphia records,
in 1705, and died in 1734. Robert Iredell, one of his descendants, was many years proprietor of the "Norristown
Herald," and in the eighties was postmaster of his borough. The date of his birth was October, 1809.
This is one of the eastern townships in the county, and is bounded on the north by Bucks county. It is regular
In form, being from five and one-half miles long by three miles wide; it has almost io,ooo acres within its limits.
It is well watered and drained by several branches of the Neshaminy. Milling on these water-power streams used
to be very common and profitable. The Doylestown and Wllow Grove turnpike passes through this township; also the
Whitehall and Bethlehem pikes touch Its territory.
The pioneer settlements were effected by persons including these: Samuel Carpenter, Mary Blunston, Richard Ingels,
Thomas Potter, Sarah Fuller and John Barnes, Their tracts Included half of, the township. The next set of persons
who here found homes for themselves were George Palmer, Joseph Fisher and John Mason. These all came in Just before
1710. It should be added that one-third of the township was taken up by Samuel Carpenter, who had more than five
thousand acres, obtained of William Penn. The Kenderdine and Lukens families were early in this township and left
their lasting Impression on the county, as characters sturdy and of the real worthwhile type of manhood and womanhood,
Another was Evan Lloyd, who came from Wales in 1719; he was the minister among the Friends, and built near the
The United States census reports for various enumerating periods have placed the population here as follows: In
1800, 781; in 1840, 1,812; in 1880, 1,315; in 1900, 1,157; in 1920 it was 1,189. In 1883 reports gave the number
of business places as one hotel, three general stores, two dealers in flour and feed. There was then a Friends'
meeting-house, and two small public halls within the township, where lectures and mass meetings could be held.
The villages were then, as now, Horshamyule, Prospectvllle, and Davis Grove. A post office was established in 1816,
at Horshamville, with Charles Palmer as postmaster. Forty years ago the village of Prospectville contained eight
houses, a store, hail and several shops. A post office was secured here in 1858. The first of all business enterprises
at this point was in 1779, when Thomas Roney kept an inn. In later times this place was known as Cashtown. Another
place is Davis Grove, within a half mile of the Bucks county line. Here Mary Ball kept an inn in 1790, and her
sign was "The Yellow Balls."
With less than sixteen hundred inhabitants, and an agricultural district, at that, there can scarce be found in
the country a people of more intelligence and generous social qualities than lived in this township during the
last two centuries. Here have been the homes of such noted literary and otherwise distinguished men and women as
Sir William Keith, Dr. Thomas Graeme, Mrs. Elizabeth Ferguson, John and Anna Young, Dr. Archibald McClean, Robert
Loller, David and Joseph Lloyd, Samuel and John Gummere; John, Abraham and Isaiah Lukens, Hiram McNeal, and the
Simpson family, of whom John Simpson was greatgrandfather to General Ulysses S. Grant. This Simpson was tax-collector
in the township in 1776, and was a landowner of considerable means, The father of General Grant was Jesse R, Grant,
who died in 1873 and the mother In 1882. Mrs. Jesse R. Grant was the daughter of John Simpson, of Montgomery county,
and remained here until nineteen years of age, then settled in Ohio, where she married, and among her children
was he who was to command the armies of his country and finally be made its President for two terms.
LIMERICK - This township is bounded on the northeast by Frederick, southeast by Perkiomen
and Upper Providence, south by the borough of Royer's Ford, southwest by the Schuylklll river, west by Pottsgrove,
and northwest by New Hanover township. It is about four and onehalf by five miles in size, and contains close to
14,000 acres-among the most extensive In Montgomery county In Its area. July 14, 1879, Royer's Ford borough was
wholly taken from the territory of this township, reducing both extent of territory as well as population. Along
the Schuylkill river the soil is excellent, but most of the territory is a stiff clay, which at times is unproductive.
The streams are not as large in volume of water as most parts of the county afford; In fact, only a sawmill was
ever attempted to be run by water power in the township, and that not entirely successfully.
In 1741 the number of taxables within Limerick was fifty-eight; in 1828, 315; in 1882 it was rated wIth 646. The
population at various census enumeration periods has been: In 1800 it was 999; in 1840, 1,786; in 1880, it was
2,365; in 1890, 2,224; 1900, 2,250; in 1910, 2,267; and in 1920 it was about 2,350. The census of 1850 had returns
showing 373 houses, 403 families, and 248 farms. The Reading turnpike crosses for five miles through its center
and the Limerick and Colebrookdale pike three miles. The former improvement was made in 1815, and the latter in
Soon after 1709, the first real settlement of the township was made, and by 1734 had increased to twenty-one residents,
and landowners: John Davy, 300; Enoch Davis, 300; Edward Nichols, 600; John Kendall, 300; Owen Evans, 400; William
Evans, 300; Joseph Barlow, 400; Peter Umstead, 250; Oliff (or Adolph) Pennypacker, 250; Henry Reyncr, 100; William
Woodly, 150; Jonathan Woodly 300; William Malsby, 200; Henry Peterson, 200; Peter Peterson, 100; Nicholas Custer,
7; Hironemus Haas, 250; Lawrence Rinker, 50; Stephen Miller, 170; Barnaby Coulson, 50; Martin Koib, 150. In 1876
the returns named among the citizens of the township, blacksmiths, joiners, weavers, tailors, cardwinders, and
Parker's Ford is about five miles above the present village of Linfield, about five nilles below Pottstown. The
road from here to the Trappe is five miles and a half, and was laid out at a very early day. The land rises gradually
from the river, but on the Chester county side is more elevated. It was at this place, September 19, 1777, that
the following incident took place, as mentioned in the journal of Rev. Henry M. Muhlenberg, residing at the Trappe:
In the afternoon we had news that the British troops on the other side of the Schuylkitl river had marched down
towards Providence, and with a telescope we could see their camp. In consequence of this, the American army, four
miles from us, forded the Schuylkill breast high, and came upon the Philadelphia road at Augustus church. His Excellency,
General Washington, was with the troops In person, who marched past here to the Perkiomen. The procession lasted
the whole night, and we had numerous visits from officers, wet breast high, who had to march in this condition
during the whole night, cold and damp as it was, and to bear hunger and thirst at the same time.
What a fit subject for a painting, methinks, the title to be "The American Army Breast-deep Crossing Schuylkill
River." Indeed, it would be a suitable counterpart to "Washington Crossing the Delaware."
The borough of Royer's Ford is located on land formerly being the southeastern corner of Limerick township. To-day
there are no incorporated boroughs within the township, but the villages, past and present, may be described as
follows: Forty years ago the villages were Limerick Station, Limerick Square, Fruitville, and Stone Hill. The first
two named were post office points. Since 1838 the township elections have been held at Limerick Square. To modernize
the villages here, it should be said that in June, 1884, application was made and the court granted, that it was
wise to incorporate into a borough, and the name selected was "Linfield," as known to-day as the railroad
place on the Reading road. It only contains about a dozen houses and a small amount of business. Limerick Square,
a little east of the center of the township, contains a post office, a few houses and stores. The post office of
Limerick was established here in about 1828. Widow Lloyd kept an inn here at the junction of the two pike roads
as early as 1758, and in 1776 it was conducted by John Stetler, and the locality was then known many years as Stetler.
In 1858 It contained a steam gristmill, two smith shops, a sawmill, sixteen houses, a number being large threestory
brick buildings. A trolley line now passes through the place, with frequent cars going and coming to the nearby
cities. Fruitville, another small village on the Colebrookdale pike, about a mile and a half from Limerick Square
to the northwest, has the usual number of small business houses and a few good residences. Of the schools and churches
within this township the reader is referred to the general county chapters covering such topics.
LOWER MERION - This is the most southeasterly township in Montgomery county, and previous
to the taking off of what is now the borough of West Conshohocken, the greatest in extent and number of population
of any In the county. This division was effected In 1874. It has within its present limits several vigorous, rapidly
growing villages, but only one borough has been carved from its territory aside from West Conshohocken, and that
is Narberth. Its villages are Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Rosemont, Wynnewood, Rose Glen, and smaller hamlets. The surface
of the township is ideal in many ways. Its soil in most sections is excellent for farm and garden purposes. Its
beautiful small streams are ever a joy to the beholder. Not less than thirteen of these creeks empty into the Schuylklll
river within the borders of this township. So plentiful are the streams of pure water that It has been said many
times that there was not a single farm of any considerable area within the township that did not afford at least
one strong, cold, never-failing spring of water. The largest of these streams above named is Mill creek, which
rises and unites with the Schuylkill all within the confines of the township, and in Its course has flowing into
its channel fourteen lesser streams. This main stream, Mill creek, was noted for having a paper mill before the
Revolutionary War. "Roberts' grist and paper mills" was noted by the writers of In 1858 its waters propelled
one plaster mill, two grist and sawmills, besides eleven manufactories. Before 1822 the Merlon Cotton Mills, with
spindles, was also run by the falling waters of this stream. Rock creek, Indian creek, Trout run Rock Hill creek
and Cobb's creek are included in the list of streams that have gladdened the heart of man for a long period of
As to the population of the township, it should be said that the United States census reports give these significant
figures: In 1800, it had 1,422; m 1840, 2,827; in 1860, 4,423; in 1880, 6,287; 1890 it had 10,092; in 1910 it was
17,671 and in 1920, the figures given were 23,827. As early as 1883 there were seven post offices in the township,
but the advent of rural carriers cut these down somewhat, but with the springing up of new villages others were
established until to-day all villages in the township have excellent postal facilities. The public schools are
numerous and of the truly worthwhile type. The private educational institutions are many; there are a half dozen
select schools for girls, and the great almost world-famed Bryn Mawr College for females, which was established
in 1880, together with the select private schools, gives the township more female pupils in higher schools of learning
than can be named at any other place in America. (See Educational chapter.) Methodist, Episcopal and Presbyterian
churches are among the very early denominations to be found within Lower Merion township (see Church chapter for
further account of the religious denominations). It should be here mentioned that the Society of Friends was the
earliest to worship within this township, and an account of the Old Meeting House appears in the Church chapter
The township derives its name from Merioneth, in Wales, from which country so many of the pioneers of this township
emigrated. In 1685 the boundary between Merion and Chester county was ordered determined. It is also known that
Upper and Lower Merion obtained prior to 1714. On the original survey maps the names of purchasers include such
families as the Hollands, Pennocks, Roberts, Woods, Humphreys, Ellis, and Jones. These names are well known through
their numerous descendants in this township at the present day.
The local historian, William J. Buck, says in his history: "During the Revolution, particularly while the
British held possession of Philadelphia, from September, 1777, to June, 1778, the inhabitants of Lower Merion,
in consequence of their nearness, suffered severely from the raids of the enemy. Though no striking events of interest
occurred here during the exciting struggle, yet it was compelled to bear some of its trials. Shortly after their
departure an assessor was appointed to value the damages, which amounted to in our money. During this period twenty-nine
persons stood attainted with treason within the present limits of the county, yet only one of the number was from
this township, thus showing that the mass of the people here must have been generally disposed to Independence."
This spirit of unflinching loyalty came on down through the periods of the War of 1812, and the Rebellion, as well
as in the last World War.
One can hardly avoid traveling over sacred ground in passing through Montgomery county. Nearly everywhere one turns
is some association with the Revolution, apart from the preeminent one of all America, that of Valley Forge. Yet
it is to be regretted that these historic spots have as a rule never been appreciated enough by the citizens to
even place proper "markers" of wood, stone or bronze, to tell the traveler that he is passing over historic,
almost sacred ground. But it is of Valley Forge that we write at this time. Cornwallis remarked at Yorktown to
Washington: "Sir, your greatest victory was not at Yorktown, but at Valley Forge." Then no wonder the
residents in and surrounding this spot should take on a just pride and delight themselves by showing the stranger
the sights at hand and pointing to the everlasting hills and majestic windings of the channel of the Schuylkill,
on whose charming scenes the eyes of Washington rested in the "times that tried men's souls" - 1777-78
- when the destiny of a nation was being determined.
The Valley Forge Park is the direct result of the untiring working of the Valley Forge Park Commission appointed
by the General Assembly of the State of Pennsylvania in June, 1893, and provided "for the acquisition by the
State of certain ground at Valley Forge for a park." What was styled the Valley Forge Monument Association
began its work in 1882, and men like George W. Childs became its charter members. Congress was appealed to for
aid, but nothing was accomplished by such efforts. Then Pennsylvania was appealed to, to throw out its protecting
arm around the sacred spots about Washington's Headquarters at this point. At first it was asked that a befitting
monument like Bunker Hill and Washington Monuments to be erected by the commonwealth, but a better Judgment prevailed,
and the idea of preserving the entire grounds, containing over fifteen hundred acres, was developed and the bill
appropriating for such purchase was passed in 1893. There is always some brave, far-sighted person who has to do
with the beginnings of all great accomplishments and public institutions. It was the case here. Just who this person
might have been, it is certain that as early as 1842 (the late Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker says), Dr. Isaac
Anderson Pennypacker wrote in behalf of the preservation of this encampment, and in 1845 suggested the erection
of a suitable monument on Mt. Joy. To this end came the great Daniel Webster, William H. Seward, Neal Dow and.
others to Valley Forge. But such enthusiasm soon died away with the greater interest of a Nation that was destined
to be baptized in the blood of her own people, before true liberty and freedom could be vouched safe.
The first act passed, as above stated, In 1893 provided $25,000 for the purpose of the Commission, and in 1895
$10,000 were appropriated. Pennsylvania has now expended several hundred thousand dollars in purchasing the lands,
building of excellent paved roads, etc. But prior to all of these efforts was the celebration of the one hundredth
anniversary of the Evacuation of Valley Forge. To bring about this "Centennial," a society was organized,
and known as "The Centennial and Memorial Association of Valley Forge," of which Mrs. Anna M. Holstein
was elected regent. Subscriptions and the sale of membership tickets to the Association were carried on successfully
until the old stone headquarters house of Washington and an acre and a half of land surrounding it had been secured
at an expense of $6,000, one-half being secured by a mortgage, Later it was impossible to pay the Interest on this
mortgage by the Association, and an appeal was made to the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America in its convention
in Norristown in 1885. Six months later this worthy order had paid off the debt and received 3,600 shares of stock,
which gave them a voice in the management of affairs at Valley Forge. In 1887 the State gave $5,000 to further
the work, and in 1887 the Headquarters building was restored to its original condition. Additional lands were purchased
in 1889 and in 1904. A small fee had always been charged. to visit the "Headquarters Building," that
fine ancient stone structure, but in 1904 the Park Commission suggested that the State take over the property,
and in August, 1905, it was so possessed by the State. The amount paid the Association by Pennsylvania was $18,000,
which the courts held must be forever held in trust by the Association and could not be alienated or divided.
Since the State took possession of this immense natural park, with its numerous buildings, vast improvements have
been effected. But so great have come to be the interests centering around this national shrine that outsiders
are desiring to have a part in the making more perfect this spot, visited annually by its tens of thousands of
people from our own and foreign lands. Just at this time (1923) a chime of thirteen bells, one for each Colony,
is being placed at Valley Forge. The first bell was donated by the Massachusetts Society of the Daughters of the
Revolution; this is named "Paul Revere." The great tenor bell, weighing over a ton and one-half, was
to be given by the Pennsylvania D. A. R., and the New Jersey Society will soon have the fund raised for their bell;
the Colonial Dames of Delaware are to furnish one bell for their State. New York will have one of the heaviest
bells in the chime, and it will cost $5,000. Each bell will be endowed, so that a ringer will be present every
day of the year and every hour will be marked by a patriotic air. The national anthem will be played each day at
The Valley Forge Park Commission recently endorsed and approved the plan of building an historic shrine at Valley
Forge In honor of the heroes who fell in the late World War, and the project is being backed by the American Legion,
War Mothers, and other patriotic societies. It is to be a memorial of rare size and exquisite beauty, Such buildings
are much more practical and truly useful than the old-fashioned monuments of marble or granite. With the completion
of the above chime of bells and this Victory Hall, the improvements around a spot almost neglected and forgotten
by the average American up to thirty years ago, will indeed be a credit to Pennsylvania, Montgomery county, and
the location so long known as Valley Forge.
As one visits Valley Forge, his eye will be greeted, as he passes over the thousands of acres within the State
Park and its surrounding farming lands, with many an interesting and truly historical object, nearly all of which
have been provided within this present generation. Among these may be named: Washington's Headquarters, the fine
old stone residence given over to the "Father of His Country" by pioneer Potts during that long, memorable
winter of 1777-78; the earthworks; the Washington Memorial Chapel, an Episcopal church of rare and costly design,
within and without, which is open daily from 8 a. m. to 6 p. in., and which has been made possible only through
the untiring zeal and natural ability of the present rector, W. Herbert Burk, D. D., who is also president of the
Valley Forge Historical Society; the Cloister of the Colonies; Valley Forge Museum of American History; the Soldiers'
Hut; the old Camp School; the Waterman Monument; the Wayne Monument; the Muhlenberg Monument; the Delaware Marker;
the Maine Marker; the Massachusetts Monument; the New Jersey Monument; the Pennsylvania Columns; the Monument to
the Unknown Dead; the Brigade Hospital (reproduction); the Headquarters of Commanding Officers (no admission);
View from Observatory in Mount Joy; the Defender's Gate, near the Chapel, and Museum.
The greatest object of interest to the thoughtful visitor at Valley Forge is the original field tent General Washington
used as headquarters the first week he spent upon the exposed hillsides at this .point, before Mr. Potts took pity
on him and gave him quarters in the now historic stone house, the first building one sees after alighting from
the railway train when entering the little hamlet of Valley Forge. To look upon the real genuine canvas tent which
the great commander used as his sleeping room and general headquarters, rivets the attention of the visitor upon
its every thread and fold, as it is seen in the museum, in the last place where one would. think to find so valuable
a relic. It was secured by Dr. Burk from Miss Mary Custis Lee, the daughter of Mrs. Robert E. Lee, widow of General
Robert E. Lee, and the owner of the tent, first on an option for its purchase of $5,ooo, and on August 19, 1909,
the first payment was made, amounting to $500. The remaining $4,500 was to be paid from money raised by exhibition
of the tent, and the money was to go to the support of the "Old Confederate Woman's Home," Richmond,
Virginia, of which Miss Lee was president. This tent is in fine condition, and is about ten by fifteen feet in
size and high enough to walk under easily. The Washington Memorial Library now contains about fourteen thousand
volumes, awaiting a proper home for safekeeping and use.
The Valley Forge Historical Society was organized by the Rev. W. Herbert Burk, D. D., June 19, 1918, to collect
and preserve documents and relics relating to Valley Forge, and the history of the United States of America and
other objects. But as has well been said by another, "The exhibition of the character of Washington is the
crowning glory of Valley Forge."
Bryn Mawr is among the more important unincorporated places within Lower Merion township. The name is borrowed
from the Welsh dialect, and signifies "great hills." As will be observed presently, it is chiefly known
by reason of its modern, fully equipped, up-to-date female college and select private schools for young ladies.
To possess a diploma from Bryn Mawr College means much to be justly proud of by any lady of the land.
Concerning the early history of this section of Montgomery county, it may be stated that it was settled in the
fifties to considerable extent for these times. In 1858 it had twenty-one residences, and was then known as Humphreysville.
It is nine miles from the city of Philadelphia, and joins Delaware county. For many years the place was sought
out by summer boarders from the city, it being a delightful place to spend the summer months. But this was all
changed when the great educational wave struck the place in the early eighties, after which the girls' private
academies and finally the great college, of which further mention is made, were established, and a fine group of
magnificent buildings of stone graced the always beautiful spot. To-day the place has near 6,ooo population, and
is the seat of many well conducted schools, including the public schools with two buildings. Bryn Mawr Female College
is the one important factor in the place, for here are hundreds and added hundreds of young ladies coming from
all parts of the globe. Now there are several students from Japan and other faroff islands of the sea, There are
also five boarding schools for girls.
The churches found here with good congregations are the Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, Colored Baptist and Colored
Methodist Episcopal, United Brethren, and Roman Catholic, all having edifices except the United Brethren. The lodges
include Red Men, Eagles, Knights. ol Columbus, Moose, Legion and Grand Army posts. The local newspaper is the "Hothe
News," the history of which will be found In the Newspaper chapter. The Public Library and the one conducted
by the W. C. T. U. organization afford ample books for the community. The cornmerdal interests arc such as a college
and school center demands. The manufacturing plants are confined to the Thomas M. Royal Company, makers of all
kinds of paper bags and sacks for merchandise purposes. More than two hundred persons find steady employment In
this factory, the product of which is known the country over. The other factory is the artificial ice plant, which
is of large capacity. Of the hospital, banking, etc., other chapters will include all in the county.
Ardrnore is on the old Lancaster turnpike and Pennsylvania railroad, seven miles out from the city of Philadelphia,
and is the seat of local government for Lower Merion township, the township hall being situated there. An historical
account given of the hamlet in 1884 has this paragraph: "It contains nearly one hundred houses, two hotels,
one grocery, two drug and three general stores, a Lutheran church, a steam planing mill and shutter and door manufactory,
a lumber yard, and has a Masonic Hall for Cassia Lodge, No. 273, Free and Accepted Masons, and Chapter 262, Royal
Arch Masons; an Odd Fellows' Hall, Banyan Tree Lodge, No, 378, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Haverford College,
belonging to the Orthodox Friends, is only a half mile distant, in Delaware county, Pennsylvania. The village in
1858 contained only twenty-eight houses and in 1880 its population was five hundred and nineteen."
Before the Revolutionary War, the "Red Lion Tavern" was established here and kept by John Taylor over
a quarter of a century. Before the building of the railroad, more than fifty teamsters with their cargo of frieight
to and from the nearby city used to stop all night at this tavern. The village was originally called Athensville,
and the post office was Cabinet. In 1855 the Athens Institute and Library Association was incorporated, but in
the early eighties disbanded and sold the property. At this writing, the population of Ardmore is placed at 12,000,
and its business interests, outside the retail general stores and ordinary shops, consists of two well capitalized
banks (see Banking chapter), and the extensive manufacturing plant of the Auto-car Company, where more than one
thousand employees are engaged the year round. The local newspapers are the "Ardmore Chronicle" and the
"Main Liner," both wide-awake papers of which mention is made in the chapter on Newspapers of the county.
There are church organizations owning edifices and supporting a minister, as follows: Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist
Episcopal, Presbyterian, Evangelical Lutheran, Colored Baptist (two), African Methodist Episcopal, and Christian
Scientists. The civic orders include the Masonic, Chapter and Eastern Star lodges; the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows; and Independent Order of American Mechanics. The public schools are situated in two fine school structures,
and another is being planned. A public library, under the auspices of the Woman's Club of Ardmore, is a valuable
adjunct to the public schools of the place.
Other villages of Lower Merion township are: Rosemont, near Bryn Mawr; Pencold, in the extreme northeastern corner
of the township; West Manayunk, at the mouth of Rock Hill creek, opposite Manayunk, the Schuylkill dividing the
two places; Merion Square, located in the center of the township; Libertyville, to the northeast of Ardmore; Wynnewood,
below Ardmore proper; Academyville, a mile southwest of West Manayunk; Lower Merlon Academy, Flat Rock, and possibly
a few hamlets, constitute the villages or towns within the limits of Lower Merion township, which exist to-day,
or have in the past been known on the maps. Some were making their history away back before the Revolutionary struggle,
while others are of more recent date. None of these places in the nature of things could be expected to be large
in population, as they are in a sense but suburbs of the city of Philadelphia.