Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mr. Griffith's mail problem? rename the town!! And a new book on the Bergdoll Family a flyer this week


The original Lansdowne Railroad Station about 1910.

Name origins of Lansdowne, East Lansdowne and Collingdale borough are deep in the development of railroads. The Lansdowne took their names from Pennsylvania Railroad station, while Collingdale was originally the name of a Baltimore and Ohio Station. 
If it hadn’t been for the fact that a Mr. Griffith had trouble getting his packages delivered – Lansdowne might not have its present name.  But he did have trouble.
Originally Lansdowne station was known as Darby Road – I was one of the first stops on the Philadelphia – West Chester rail line.  It was quite often confused with Darby station on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Line. (Both of these railways are now parts of the Pennsylvania Railroad).
            This Mr. Griffith (his first name was not available) operated some sort of a business that involved the delivery of many packages.  Very often they would be miss-routed to Darby station.  This provoked him and he decided to complain to the railroad.
He took this matter up with Col. Thomas Scott, who was then, in 1876, president of the railroad.  Col. Scott agreed to change the name of the station
 Together they considered a list of names and on April 1, 1876, finally picked Lansdowne as one of the most appropriate and pleasant sounding.    The station was hereafter known as Lansdowne station and when the borough was incorporated in 1893, it took this name.
The name Lansdowne is presumed to have been taken from an elevated tract of land in England which bears this name.  Lansdowne, England is near Bath in Somerset County.  It is noted for its breed of sheep.  There is a Lansdowne in Australia – a county – which probably derived its name from the English district also.
 East Lansdowne borough was, of course, named for Lansdowne borough which it adjoins. This borough was originally part of Darby Township.
            Collingdale also took its name from a railroad station.  But it was almost named Collingswood.
Originally Collingdale was the location of many large and beautiful estates.  However, when the Baltimore and Ohio railroad was established, it purchased much of the land on which these estates were location and cut many of them in half
            One of the old Biddle estates was located along what is now Clifton Avenue, between Chester Pike and MacDade Boulevard.  This was sold to William Folwell, a linen manufacturer.
 Collingswood Mills was the name of Folwell’s business.  When he sold land to the B & O and they decided to locate a station there, his sale asked that it be named Collingswood station – after the mills.
The railroad approved the name but when an application was made for a post office there, the government turned it down.  It seems they already had a Collingswood post office near Camden.  They did not want another so close. 
However, they agreed to an approximation of the name and thus Collingdale was suggested.  The station was built in 1886 and named Collingdale station.  When the borough was incorporated in 1891 it took its name from the railroad station.
The station, which was located on the northwest corner of Clifton Avenue and the railroad, was torn down some 60 years ago.

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