Merion, Pennsylvania facts for kids
Merion Friends Meeting House
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Merion – also known as Merion Station – is an unincorporated community in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. One of the towns that make up the storied Philadelphia Main Line, it is contiguous to the City of Philadelphia, and is also bordered by the unincorporated communities of Wynnewood and Bala Cynwyd, and the borough of Narberth.
Merion Meeting House was built at the present intersection of Montgomery Avenue and Meetinghouse Lane in 1695 by Welsh settlers.
The community was named after Merionethshire, Wales, the native home of a large share of the first settlers. Merion is often referred to as "Merion Station," as this is the place name that the United States Postal Service recommends using in order to distinguish Merion from other areas in Pennsylvania with similar names. However, the historical name of the town, used by historical figures such as Theodore Roosevelt, is Merion.
Merion Civic Association
The Merion Civic Association was organized in 1913 by Edward W. Bok with the motto "To be Nation right and State right, we must first be Community right." The Merion Civic Association made several important improvements to Merion such as paving, better lighting, cast-iron street signs, better fire and police protection, and planned tree-planting. President Theodore Roosevelt wrote an article in 1917 for Bok's magazine entitled "Model Merion."
After World War I, the Merion Civic Association sought to construct a community center in memorial to the 81 men from Merion who served in the armed forces during the conflict. Eldridge R. Johnson, the founder and president of the Victor Talking Machine Company, donated his house on Hazelhurst Avenue to this cause. The house was demolished and a new Merion Tribute House was built on its foundation. It was built with careful attention to detail, with Gothic patterns and local stone. The stone was shaped on site and window mullions all hand cut to match. The Tribute House is still used today for meetings of the Merion Civic Association and is supported by renting the space for parties or meetings. Merion also has its own public elementary school—Merion Elementary of the Lower Merion School District on South Bowman Avenue.
The Paoli/Thorndale Line, originally part of the Pennsylvania Railroad, was built through Merion in the late 19th century. Most SEPTA trains heading east to Philadelphia or west to Thorndale stop at Merion Station, located in the center of Merion.
Other public transportation options in Merion include the SEPTA Route 44 buses that travels along Old Lancaster Road and Montgomery Avenue between Ardmore and Center City, some of which stop at the Narberth Station; the SEPTA Route 65 bus that traverses the length of City Line Avenue; and the SEPTA Route 105 bus that runs the entire length of the Main Line along Lancaster Avenue (Route 30) and stops at the Wynnewood Shopping Center. All are within walking distance of Merion.
Demographics and government
Merion is located in zipcode 19066. Lower Merion Township is responsible for all governance.
According to the United States Census, 2000 Merion has 5,951 residents, 93.6% of whom are White; 2.1% are Black or African American; 2.7% are Asian; and 1.3% are Hispanic or Latino. 95.1% have a high school diploma or higher and 76.7% have a bachelor's degree or higher. 9.4% were born in a foreign country. 12.3% speak a language other than English at home, and out of that percentage the number that speak Hebrew at home is 10.1%. The median household income in 1999 was $103,229, and 2.7% of individuals were below the poverty line.
Merion has a comparatively large Jewish population and serves as home to Adath Israel, a Conservative Jewish congregation. Its Orthodox Jewish population is served by Lower Merion Synagogue on Old Lancaster Road, Aish HaTorah on Montgomery Avenue and the Chabad Center of the Main Line, located in the historic former General Wayne Inn on Montgomery Avenue. Reform Jews in Merion are likely to travel a mile west up Montgomery Avenue to Main Line Reform Temple-Beth Elohim, to Gladwyne's Beth David Congregation, or to Congregation Rodeph Shalom on North Broad Street in Center City.
The community north of Montgomery Avenue surrounding General Wayne Park is usually referred to as Merion Park and is in the same zipcode as Merion. It was built by developer Ralph Madway decades after the closing of the General Wayne Racetrack that once drew thousands of spectators to Merion for horse races on the green now the Park's grounds and bounded by Maplewood and Revere Roads.
Points of interest
- The Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation
- Barnes Foundation
- General Wayne Inn
- Merion Friends Meeting House, oldest in Pennsylvania and second oldest in the United States
Merion, Pennsylvania Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.