A Brief History

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A Brief History of Lower Merion

Lower Merion Township was first settled in 1682 by Welsh Quakers, who were granted a heavily wooded tract of land along the Schuylkill River by William Penn. In 1713, Lower Merion was established as an independent Township with about 52 landholders and tenants. In 1900, during a period characterized by small farms, mills and factories, Lower Merion was incorporated as a Township of the First Class.

Today, the Township is largely residential, with thriving business districts and designated historic communities among the villages of Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Bala Cynwyd, Belmont Hills, Gladwyne, Haverford, Merion, Penn Valley, Penn Wynne, Rosemont, Villanova, Wynnewood, and the City Avenue District. Lower Merion boasts a wide-ranging array of playgrounds, swimming pools, picnic areas, and nature parks over 40-plus facilities encompassing more than 700 acres. Playgrounds are equipped with facilities for tennis, baseball, softball, soccer and basketball, and the Township offers supervised recreation programs during the summer and winter months. Township government is committed to preserving the beauty and character of Lower Merion's natural and man-made resources.

Lower Merion is a multiple award-winning community with a deep sense of civic pride and involvement. About 20 business and civic associations provide an opportunity for residents to participate in their community. In addition, the Township maintains a "Community Resources Leadership Bank" of citizens interested in serving on one of the many appointed Township Boards, Councils or Commissions.

Located in the heart of the historic “Main Line," the Township is a first-ring suburban community bordering the City of Philadelphia. The term comes from the title “Main Line of Public Works of the State of Pennsylvania,” given to a line originally built by the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad company in the 19th century to connect the city with the town of Columbia, Pa., on the Susquehanna River.

At nearly 24 square miles in area, Lower Merion is the largest of the 62 municipalities located within Montgomery County. It is home to nationally recognized public and private schools, as well as colleges and universities, including Bryn Mawr College, Harcum College, Haverford College, Rosemont College, and Saint Joseph's University.

Population

As of the 2016 U.S. Census, the township had a total population of 58,288, with 23,868 households. The Township has a median housing value of $341,100 and a median family income of $86,373, the highest in the County.

Excellent educational opportunities, two respected hospitals, convenient shopping and dining establishments and a plenitude of open space all within its borders, make Lower Merion Township one of the most desirable communities in which to live and work.

 

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