Sunday, January 26, 2014

Old Delaware County Place Names

Chester Pike looking east at Knowles Ave. about 1905
   Delaware County place names can drive historians and lay people crazy. Just in the last 100 years, whole towns and communities have disappeared and changed names. I still say I'm from Leedom, where I have lived my whole life, but unless you are from Ridley, no one has any idea what I'm talking about. I still say words like Painters Crossing and people just look at me. Painters Crossing is the intersection of Routes 1 and 202 in Concord Township. Some names stand the test of time and others do not. When Judge Sketchley Morton became the post master of the new town of Morton in November of 1867 he just named the town and post office after himself. George W. Moore when he took over the Ridleyville  post office in 1882 named it after himself too. Ridleyville was around for some sixty years, and it was the intersection of Lincoln Ave. and Chester Pike in Prospect Park. To confuse things Moore donated the land for the railroad station in Prospect Park for free as long as the station was named after him. Which is why, even today, when you take the train the conductor says " Moore, Prospect Park". Even though Prospect Park was incorporated in 1894 as Prospect Park the post office remained "Moore". letters to Prospect Park were sent, "Prospect Park, Moore Pa". The post office was finally changed to Prospect Park in 1932.
 Thomas Booth was not shy either, in June of  1854 he named the new post office in Chichester after himself and his family. That name "Booths Corners" is still around today.
Other county names have faded and quickly. "Ward" in Concord Twp. had it's own post office from the 1880's till 1972. The town, if you could call it that was just south of Concordville by Rt. 322. When was the last time you heard some one use the name "Ward"?
More next week on place names

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