Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, is the in heart of the Philadelphia western suburban area known as The Main Line. This township, adjacent to Philadelphia, covers over 23 square miles and consists of leafy neighborhoods with fine homes and estates, parkland, prestigious public and private schools and universities, historic estates and exclusive shops. With a population of over 58,000, it is one of the most affluent and populated municipalities in Pennsylvania.
Welsh Quakers settled in the area in 1682 after being granted the tract of land from William Penn. In 1713, Lower Merion was established as an independent Township and by 1900 the status was updated to the title of Township of the First Class.
The township oversees the school system and the Lower Merion School District is one of the top rated school systems in the country. The township has its own highly rated police force and public works departments. It truly is a township of the First Class!
Development along Pennsylvania’s Main Line boomed in the early 1880’s. Though the area was first developed as fashionable retreats for wealthy Philadelphians, the railroad added many stops along the Main Line, catering to the fledgling middle-class communities nearby, thus spurring development in these now commuter communities. These communities are often referred to as some of the first “bedroom communities,” where residents may have lived in Lower Merion, but relied on the employment opportunities found in the larger city of Philadelphia. By the turn of the 20th century, these small communities along the Main Line were some of the most fashionable suburban areas in America, attracting the increasingly affluent middle-class. A balance of suburban affordability and rigid social standards appealed to both the elite and those who wanted to rise up through the social strata. In addition to this rising professional class, a number shopkeepers, artisans and tradesmen moved to the area to support the community.
Lower Merion is well known for its extensive park system with over 668 acres which includes nature trails, parks, recreation facilities and playgrounds. The township oversees an extensive array of sports programs including but not limited to soccer, baseball, basketball and swimming. It is also home to private clubs and facilities such as the Ardmore YMCA, the JCC in Wynnewood, The Cynwyd Tennis Club, Philadelphia Country Club, Merion Cricket Club, and the Philadelphia Skating Club.
The local “towns” within the Township are home to some of this country’s most prestigious colleges and universities. Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Villanova are home to Bryn Mawr College (one of the “seven sisters”, Haverford College and Villanova University. Rosemont College and Harcum College are also within Lower Merion Township. Other “towns” include Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Narberth, Penn Valley, Wynnewood and Gladwyne. The Main Line is a convenient place to live; just 130 miles to Washington DC and 120 miles to New York