A rare picture of a trolley at the corner of State and Orange Sts. c.1900
Note: Delaware County has changed so much in the last c.115 years. There were hardly any cars then and trolleys was the way to go and back then trolleys went everywhere. This is a little article about a trolley ride from Swarthmore to Media. Enjoy!
July 18, 1907
THE HILLS AND DALES OF DELAWARE COUNTY
Nature’s Own Treasures and Numerous Delights Seen in a Trolley Ride in the Suburbs
Now, while Nature holds her carnival, is the time to put the nickel in the slot and enjoy the vision, says a writer in the Philadelphia Record. It comes but once a year, compensating and rejuvenating those who journey out to see.
City people must pay double, which seems extortionate, but the extra fare is necessary to reach the suburbs; then you tear off another ticket to see the sights. Yes, there are country sights.
In town, where we must daily go to earn our bread and butter, the seasons are marked chiefly by calendars, thermometers, shop windows and headgear, whether felt or straw, determining the period. But in the country, whence our food, raiment and shelter have their source, all coming originally from the great heart of Mother Nature, we have the revelations wonderful.
Replacing the cold and early dark of winter with its wind and sleet and snow, each a part of Nature’s various language, we have the blossom time. Both great and small, all things have answered the first bird call, spring’s reveille. Trees garlanded for the annual reception, decked and perfumed for their feathered colonies, overshadow modest wayside flowers. It is well this season of beginning is short or we might play truant to duty.
Boarding the trolley at Swarthmore we ride on Yale Avenue, passing the High and Preparatory schools, each with its quota of athletes practicing or playing match games in the open. In view, though a short distance up Chester Road, stand the college buildings. In silent dignity Parish Hall overlooks the magnificent campus, dotted here and there with coeds, variously engaged.
Back of the buildings and shielded by them from this view in Whittier Field, where thousands gather annually to see opposing teams contest in the season’s sports.
Now we run swiftly down grade for a while, crossing Crum Creek, below Beaver Falls. High above, with its gently sloping grounds meeting the water’s edge, is the inn. Long ago this was the home of Mr. Leiper who came from Scotland in this country in the eighteenth century. He operated snuff mills at Avondale, but a few rods away from the home he built on the hills, naming each for beloved spots in his native land. These old mills will stand, the buildings being used as tenements for Italian laborers in the stone quarries. A peep into the picturesque settlement delights the artist’s eye, for all is so quaint and seemingly remote from the rush of life.
Now we go gradually up and up. For we are headed for Media, the highest point in Delaware County. Passing on a level stretch we see Springhaven County Club with its far-reaching links. There are poultry farms, woodlands and fine estates along the way. The Pennsylvania Orphanage in spacious grounds is pleasantly situated at Wallingford. Then comes Moylan Inn and station. Here we cross Rose Valley Lane, but the impulse to get off must be combatted until another day.
Through South Media, then up Olive Street to the Court House, for Media is the county seat and here the majesty of the law is upheld in this venerable building surrounded by its pleasant grounds enclosed by iron fencing. Across the street from the Courthouse stands the “jail” - uninviting, as are all such structures, yet well filled with short-term people and those awaiting trial.
Streets lined with stately trees make an attractive picture. In a spacious lawn on West Washington Street may be seen one of the last trees of the primeval forest – a gigantic oak, sheltering under its branches large trees of other growths. Christ’s church, now about to celebrate its golden jubilee, is worth a visit.
The time has swiftly flown, our car back is humming its call. The cares that infest the day have been forgotten in the new thoughts suggested by the outing.
Should you be inclined to spend more time and another precious nickel an extension line will take you out to Elwyn School.