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Haverford Township

The Township of Haverford, Pennsylvania
Home rule municipality
First Class Township
Darby Creek in Haverford Township
Darby Creek in Haverford Township
Official seal of Haverford Township
Location in Delaware County and the state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Delaware County and the state of Pennsylvania.
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Country  United States of America
State  Pennsylvania
County Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Settled 1682
 • Total 9.95 sq mi (25.76 km2)
 • Land 9.95 sq mi (25.76 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
289 ft (88 m)
 • Total 48,491
 • Estimate 
 • Density 4,930.02/sq mi (1,903.46/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
FIPS code 42-045-33144

Haverford Township is a home rule municipality township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Haverford is named after the town of Haverfordwest in Wales, United Kingdom. It is a commuting suburb located due west of Philadelphia and is officially known as the Township of Haverford. Despite being under a home rule charter since 1977, it continues to operate under a Board of Commissioners divided into wards, as do "First Class" townships that are still under the Pennsylvania Township Code. Haverford Township was founded in 1682 and incorporated in 1911.

Haverford Township contains portions of the unincorporated communities of Haverford, Ardmore, and Wynnewood as well as the census designated places of Bryn Mawr and Drexel Hill. The unincorporated community of Havertown lies wholly within Haverford Township. The township population as of the 2020 census was 50,431, making it the 14th most populated municipality in the state.

Haverford Township holds the distinction of having hosted two different men's major golf championships at two different golf clubs: Merion Golf Club hosted the 1934, 1950, 1971, 1981, and 2013 U.S. Open, and Llanerch Country Club hosted the 1958 PGA Championship.

Haverford, along with Upper Darby, Cheltenham, Lower Merion together form as the major inner ring suburbs of Philadelphia.


Haverford Township was laid out by William Penn as part of the Welsh Tract or Barony—The original settlers, led by John Roberts, negotiated with William Penn in 1684 to constitute the Tract as a separate county whose local government would use the Welsh language. In 1681, a representative group of Welsh Quakers met with Penn to discuss their settlement having purchased forty thousand acres of land which today comprises all of Haverford, Radnor and Lower Merion Townships. "Companies of Adventurers" were formed, with the most prominent person in each taking out the patent on 5,000 acres of land as trustee. The first three families arrived in Haverford Township in 1682. Lewis David, Henry Lewis and William Howell selected land along the southern border.

The area was primarily agricultural until the second decade of the twentieth century. The census returns of 1860 show the value of livestock as $62,485.00; animals slaughtered $11,255.00; 46,049 bushels of grain harvested and the value of orchard and garden produce, $4,090.00.

The two creeks that mark part of the township boundaries provided good millseats for the early settlers. On Darby Creek to the west, Richard Hayes Jr., David Morris and Samuel Lewis erected a gristmill, known as Haverford New Mill, in 1707. Later a sawmill was attached. This mill operated until 1904. Near the border with Marple Township, Humphrey Ellis operated a very early fulling mill. In 1807 Henry Lawrence built a sawmill on this site, and in 1832 his son, William, built a gristmill close by. The sawmill remained in the family ownership for more than 125 years, and is the oldest industry exant in Haverford Township.

Toward the eastern boundary, Cobb's Creek, called Karakung by the Native Americans, was the site of a number of mills. Haverford Mill was the first, a gristmill built by William Howell in 1658. Daniel Humphreys purchased the property in 1703 and built a sawmill and fulling and dyeing mill. These were added to Dennis Kelly's holding in 1826 and became the Castle Hill Mills. This site is just north of Eagle Road on the west bank of Cobb's Creek.

About 1800 grist and sawmills were built on the headwaters of Cobb's Creek by Peter Brown, and in 1810 Jonathan Miller built grist and sawmills at what is now the Juncture of Mill Road and Karakung Drive.

Israel Whelen, Sr., built the Nitre Hall Powder Mills on Cobb's Creek, which were in operation by 1810. During the American Revolution very little black powder was manufactured in this country, and it was needed for engineering and mining. Between 1810 and 1840 these mills were the second largest powder mills in the U.S. with production of 800,000 pounds in 1812. The mills ceased operations in 1840 and were sold to Dennis Kelly, who converted them for the manufacture of cotton and wooden goods.

In 1814, Dennis Kelly borrowed capital to purchase a mill-seat on Cobb's Creek. He erected a small wooden factory known as Clinton Mills. This was a highly successful venture and, after enlarging the mill, he built Cedar Grove Mill further downstream. Dennis Kelly provided material for the U.S. government from 1817 until 1860 with contracts ranging from $1,800.00 to $41,370.00. Improved transportation opened the township to development. The Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad opened for use from Broad and Callowhill Streets to Paoli in 1833, and went as far as Pittsburgh by 1835. Tracks meandered through the countryside, going along Railroad Avenue in Haverford Township. This was the first railway for general commerce in the U.S., but offered little in the way of service to passengers until the late 1860s. The Pennsylvania Railroad bought the Columbia in 1857 and began changing the roadbed for what became the Main Line to the west.

Early map of Haverford Township

The Philadelphia and West Chester Turnpike Company first built the toll road, then formed the Philadelphia and West Chester Traction Company and built the trolley line, which opened in 1898. The addition of the Ardmore line in 1902 brought much new housing. The trolleys provided good transportation to Philadelphia and workers began to commute. Moderately priced homes on smaller lots were built in communities such as Llanerch, Brookline and Oakmont.

The population of Haverford Township almost doubled between 1900 and 1925.

In the beginning of the 20th Century much farmland was purchased by wealthy families who built mansions and developed gardens on their new estates.

Allgates, November 2009
  • Brookthorpe- J. Stanley Reeves 31 Acres;
  • Far-Away- Clarence Warden 35 Acres
  • Allgates- Horatio Gates Lloyd Sr. 76 Acres; Cobble Court - J.H. Carstair's and West Hills - Atwater Kent and Maryland Woods, Mrs. Archibald Thomson. (Those starred are still standing).

Several golf courses were developed. Merion Cricket Club Golf Association incorporated Clifton Hall an old farmhouse, in their clubhouse. They have 140 acres in the main course or East Course and 160 acres in the West Course. The Llanerch Country Club consists of 126 acres. The Pennsylvania Railroad Golf Club was established in 1925 on 109 acres bounded by Earlington Road, Manoa Road and City Line. This property was sold in 1943 to Warner West Corporation, which developed Chatham Park.

The first building erected for educational purposes was the Federal School, in 1797. During the 1800s four additional one-room schools and one parochial school were built. The latter part of the 19th century was the beginning of the present school system. After World War II, additions were made to existing schools, a new high school and three one-story elementary schools were built. Today there is one middle school, one senior high, five elementary schools, four parochial schools and four private schools.

Historical sites

Lawrence Cabin

Lawrence Cabin

David Lawrence was one of the early Welsh settlers in Haverford Township. He emigrated with his wife Elinor Ellis and her family in 1684, and took up part of his father-in-law’s land grant. His son Henry Lawrence purchased 209 acres along Cobbs Creek in 1709. It has not been determined whether the log house predates this purchase, but a 2+12-story stone addition was built c. 1730, and later a clapboard summer kitchen was added. It became known as the Three Generation House, and remained in Lawrence family ownership until 1942.

1797 Federal School

1797 Federal School

The first record of the purchase of land for a school in Haverford Township was October 29, 1797. Alexander Symington received 5 shillings for an irregularly shaped building lot of one quarter of an acre and three perches near the present day intersection of Darby and Coopertown Roads. Payment for the land was made by five trustees: Philip Sheaff, William Brook, Francis Lee, David Lyons and Benjamin Hayes Smith, "for the purpose of erecting a school thereon for the use of said Township of Haverford". The 1797 Federal School is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Pont Reading

"Pont Reading House" is situated on the Easterly side of Haverford Road, Haverford Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, at the corner where the Ardmore Trolley passes en route between Brookline—Oakmont and Ardmore, and near Ardmore Junction Station of the Philadelphia and Western Railway. It was the home of Joshua Humphreys, the builder of the USS Constitution. Here, this beautiful specimen of early American homes still stands, in an excellent state of preservation and repair, as it has since 1813, when the front section was built and added to the middle three-story section erected 1730–60, which in turn was then added to the rear and original two-story structure, built possibly as early as 1683. One of the log walls of this first and original section can still be seen as one enters a door on one of the sides thereof, All surrounded and shaded with some large trees, of the original forest, still surviving.

Nitre Hall

The Nitre Hall Powder Mills, which gave the valley its name, were built by Israel Whelen shortly after 1800. The young nation had growing needs for explosives, and the mills prospered with an output of 800,000 pounds during the War of 1812. Nitre Hall Mills produced a quality and quantity of black powder in the U.S. second only to the Dupont Mills on the Brandywine. After the powder mills closed in 1840, Dennis Kelly bought the property and converted the buildings to the manufacture of textiles. Nitre Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Grange Estate

The Grange Estate, also known as Maen-Coch and Clifton Hall, is a historic mansion in Havertown, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Built in 1700 and expanded several times through the 1850s, it was purchased by Haverford Township in 1974. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 as The Grange.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 10.0 square miles (26 km2), all of it land. The township is part of the Pennsylvania Main Line and of the Welsh Tract.

Adjacent municipalities


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 21,362
1940 27,594 29.2%
1950 39,641 43.7%
1960 54,019 36.3%
1970 56,873 5.3%
1980 52,365 −7.9%
1990 49,848 −4.8%
2000 48,498 −2.7%
2010 48,491 0.0%
2020 50,431 4.0%

As of Census 2010, the racial makeup of the township was 91.2% White, 2.7% African American, 0.1% Native American, 4.2% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population [1].

As of the census of 2000, there were 48,498 people, 18,061 households, and 13,021 families residing in the township. The population density was 4,844.6 people per square mile (1,870.6/km2). There were 18,378 housing units at an average density of 1,835.8 per square mile (708.9/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 93.99% White, 2.12% African American, 0.10% Native American, 2.76% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.89% of the population.

There were 18,061 households, out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.9% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.17.

The age distribution was 24.9% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.

According to a 2010 estimate, the median income for a household in the township was $87,283, and the median income for a family was $103,138. Males had a median income of $52,471 versus $38,852 for females. The per capita income for the township was $29,749. About 2.0% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.1% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.

Most common first ancestries reported in Haverford township:

  • Irish (30.6%)
  • Italian (22.0%)
  • German (9.4%)
  • English (6.1%)
  • United States or American (3.1%)
  • Russian (2.9%)
  • Polish (2.2%)

Haverford Township and Championship Golf

A total of 6 men's Major Championships and 11 men's and women's US Amateur Championships, have been staged within Haverford Township. Bobby Jones completed his grand slam at Merion in 1930, Ben Hogan's comeback from a horrific car accident in the 1950 US Open staged at Merion.


Dow Finsterwald finished ahead of Billy Casper and Sam Snead in 1958 at Llanerch, the first PGA Championship held after the format was switched from match play to stroke play. Lee Trevino defeated Jack Nicklaus in an 18-hole playoff in 1971 at Merion when he famously tossed a rubber snake at Nicklaus on the first tee on the day of the playoff. The US Open returned to Merion in 2013, and was won by Justin Rose.

  • 1904 U.S. Women's Amateur (Merion Golf Club) Georgianna Bishop
  • 1909 U.S. Women's Amateur (Merion Golf Club) Dorothy Campbell
  • 1916 U.S. Amateur (Merion Golf Club) Chick Evans
  • 1924 U.S. Amateur (Merion Golf Club) Bobby Jones
  • 1926 U.S. Women's Amateur (Merion Golf Club) Helen Stetson
  • 1930 U.S. Amateur (Merion Golf Club) Bobby Jones
  • 1934 U.S. Open (Merion Golf Club) Olin Dutra
  • 1949 U.S. Women's Amateur (Merion Golf Club) Dorothy Porter
  • 1950 U.S. Open (Merion Golf Club) Ben Hogan
  • 1958 PGA Championship (Llanerch Country Club) Dow Finsterwald
  • 1966 U.S. Amateur (Merion Golf Club) Gary Cowan
  • 1971 U.S. Open (Merion Golf Club) Lee Trevino
  • 1981 U.S. Open (Merion Golf Club) David Graham
  • 1989 U.S. Amateur (Merion Golf Club) Chris Patton
  • 1998 U.S. Girls' Junior (Merion Golf Club) Leigh Anne Hardin
  • 2005 U.S. Amateur (Merion Golf Club) Edoardo Molinari
  • 2013 U.S. Open (Merion Golf Club) Justin Rose

Points of interest

  • Haverford College
  • Haverford College Arboretum
  • The Haverford School
  • Merion Golf Club
  • Llanerch Country Club


The first recorded purchase of land for educational purposes in Haverford Township was made on October 28, 1797, five shillings "for the purpose of erecting a school thereon for the use of said Township of Haverford". A stone structure erected on a site along Darby Road at the crossroads Coopertown served as a school until 1872. Today, known as the Federal School, the building still stands and serves as a window to history for Haverford Township children. Every fourth-grade student spends a day at the Federal School learning what it was like to be a student in 1797.

Haverford High School

Public school students living in Haverford Township attend schools in the School District of Haverford Township. The District currently has a student enrollment of approximately 5,475, and, residents number over 49,000. There are seven schools in the District: Chatham Park, Chestnutwold, Coopertown, Lynnewood, and Manoa elementary schools, with grades kindergarten through 5; Haverford Middle School, with grades 6–8; and Haverford High School, with grades 9-12.

Residents of Haverford Township benefit from a wide range of school supported services, including Adult Evening School; the Golden Age Program, the Senior Citizen Prom and the Tax-Aide Program for senior citizens; and Delaware County Community College courses for all residents. Haverford, which is a member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, maintains partnerships with local universities and colleges, businesses, service organizations, realtors, community groups and senior citizen organizations. In 1989, the

Founders Hall, Haverford College

District's Community Relations program received a "National Achievement Award" from the National School Public Relations Association.

Haverford College is located within Haverford Township with a portion partially within Lower Merion Township, was the first College founded by the Society of Friends in the United States in 1833, has several historic structures on its 225-acre property. [2] Of the nation's 357 "best" colleges, the Princeton Review ranks Haverford as #6 for Best Overall Undergraduate Experience. In addition, Haverford, unlike many of its peers, is located within easy travel of a large metropolitan center and the opportunities that Philadelphia offers.



Rail stations

SEPTA's Norristown High Speed Line services the following stations within the township:

  • Township Line Rd Station
  • Penfield Station Manoa Rd
  • Beechwood Brookline Station
  • Wynnewood Rd Station
  • Ardmore Junction Station
  • Ardmore Av Station
  • Haverford Station

Notable current and former residents

  • Garrett Brown, inventor of the Steadicam
  • Mark DiFelice, former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers organization
  • Jimmy Dykes, third and second baseman for the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox; manager of the Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, and Cleveland Indians
  • Theodore Freeman, NASA astronaut
  • Murray Gerstenhaber, professor, mathematician and lawyer
  • Randy Grossman, former tight end for eight seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League; four-time Super Bowl champion
  • Brendan Hansen, Olympic swimmer and six-time medalist, former world record holder in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke events
  • William Hoeveler, lawyer and judge
  • Charles Humphreys, Pennsylvania delegate to the Continental Congress
  • Joshua Humphreys, builder of the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides")
  • Steve Joachim, former professional football player for the New York Jets; won the Maxwell Award in 1974
  • Ross Katz, Academy Award-nominated film producer
  • Atwater Kent, inventor and prominent radio manufacturer
  • Billy King, NBA executive, current general manager of the Brooklyn Nets
  • John LeClair, NHL, former player, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Joe Lunardi, ESPN's March Madness bracketologist
  • Glen Macnow, sports talk radio host
  • Buddy Marucci, 2008 United States Senior Men's Amateur Golf Champion, U.S. Walker Cup captain 2007 and 2009, 1995 U.S. Amateur runner-up
  • Clay Myers, photographer, animal welfare advocate
  • Mitchel Resnick, MIT professor and creator of programmable bricks, the forerunner of LEGO Mindstorms, Scratch software and co-founder of Computer Clubhouse
  • Louis Robertshaw, lieutenant general in the United States Marine Corps
  • Jean Shiley, high jumper, 1932 Olympic gold medal winner
  • Andy Talley, head coach of Villanova University football, one of the most successful FCS college football coaches in history
  • Jack Thayer, survivor of the Titanic sinking
  • Michael Tollin, film director and producer
  • Jennifer Toof, appeared on VH1's Flavor of Love 2, Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School, and I Love Money
  • Sam Venuto, former American football running back in the National Football League.
  • Tom Verica, actor and director
  • Charles Alan Wright (1927-2000), American constitutional lawyer widely considered to have been the foremost authority in the United States on constitutional law and federal procedure; law professor, University of Texas School of Law, (1955-2000), University of Minnesota Law School (1950-1955)
  • Jeff Yass, stock and commodity market manager
  • Mark G. Yudof, president, University of California (June 2008 – present); former chancellor, University of Texas system (August 2002 to May 2008), former president, University of Minnesota (1997 to 2002)

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Municipio de Haverford para niños

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