A view of West Chester Pike in Highland Park in Upper Darby, horses vs. trolleys
Please sign up to my history blog on the Daily Times home page!
Note: Trolleys had a lot to do with growth in Delaware County 100 years ago. When 69th St. Terminal opened Upper Darby began to grow rapidly. Trolley lines opened on all major roads including, West Chester Pike, Chester Pike, MacDade Blvd. etc. Below is a look back from 100 years ago
DELAWARE COUNTY RAPIDLY GROWING
Many Building Operations of Recent Months
More Predicted for This Spring and Summer
Has it ever occurred to the average citizen of this county that the northeastern section as well as the eastern end of the county is growing with great rapidity? If not, it would be well worth a trip through the above sections and observe the wonderful growth of one time bare farms, upon which now are springing up beautiful suburbs, dotted with handsome houses. The question may be asked what has caused these improvements, and what has brought to this county new life and new people? The answer is simply that within the past ten or twelve years trolley companies have built and operated through these farming districts excellent trolley lines, which has been taken advantage of by the people of our neighboring big city, Philadelphia.
TROLLEY LINES VALUABLE – The Philadelphia and West Chester Traction Company has been primarily responsible for the rapid growth of such places as Haverford and Upper Darby Township, as well as other districts through which this progressive company operates its lines. Since the Philadelphia and West Chester Traction Company has been operating a line along the West Chester Pike, from Sixty-Ninth Street terminal, many pretty suburbs have sprung up, such as Highland Park, Llanerch, Montrose and other places. Milbourne Borough which begins just west of Cobb’s Creek over the Philadelphia county line, is also a good example of the growth in the county. The Philadelphia and Western Line which also runs from Sixty-Ninth Street, has opened many places such as Beechwood Park, South Ardmore, while Ardmore division of the Philadelphia and West Chester Traction Company has been the cause of the rapid up building in the direction from Llanerch to Ardmore.
The Philadelphia and Garrettford Street Railway Company, running from Sixty-Ninth Street to Collingdale has been the cause of such suburbs as Drexel Hill and the Anderson Teract, while Clifton Heights, Aldan and Collingdale have greatly benefitted by this line in this way of many additional houses.
There is no doubt that the operation of these excellent trolley lines, with schedules which rarely vary, and which bring people to and from Philadelphia in remarkable quick time to their homes in this county, has been the cause of inducing outsiders to come to this county for their homes.
Now that the Philadelphia and West Chester Tradition Company is soon to construct another line from Sixty-Ninth to Media means that many acres of undeveloped land will be taken up and built into pretty suburbs.
PROMOTING OTHER SITES – At this time George W. Statzell, who built what is known as the Anderson tract, which is a beautiful little town, has turned his attention to developing the old Dunn and Conway properties, which he purchased last year. Mr. Statzell is having these tracts improved with four wide streets which run south of the Garrett Road to the Marshall Road in Lansdowne. These streets will be macadamized, sidewalks will be laid, as well as a sewer system which will be connected with the Lansdowne sewerage system. Mr. Statzell will build a large number of houses on the tract, the number at this time is not known, but it will be a small town when Mr. Statzell gets through with the improvements.
Drexel Hill north of Garrett Road is now a good sized town, which is the work of but two years and this year more than 100 houses will be erected. A big building operation will be started at Highland Park, Aldan and Collingdale. Another place which has built up rapidly during the past year is Garrettford and W.C. Devoe, a real estate man of Garrettford predicts that this will be a banner year for building in that place.
Benjamin T. Levis, the real estate broker of Media, also reports that there will be many improvements made in Springfield and Marple Township this summer. Mr. Levis recently sold the Blaswanger farm in Marple to Carl Thompson and the latter is going to improve the farm and erect a large farm on the place this spring.
Please join the Face Book page, Delaware County Historic Preservation Network
We post all local historical events in Delco, Please sign up to see history happenings in Delaware County