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Nether Providence Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Nether Providence Township
Wolley Stille, ca. 1692-1700
Wolley Stille, ca. 1692-1700
A beautiful place to call home
Location in Delaware County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Location in Delaware County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 39°54′38″N 75°22′13″W / 39.91056°N 75.37028°W / 39.91056; -75.37028Coordinates: 39°54′38″N 75°22′13″W / 39.91056°N 75.37028°W / 39.91056; -75.37028
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Delaware
 • Total 4.72 sq mi (12.23 km2)
 • Land 4.71 sq mi (12.21 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
240 ft (70 m)
 • Total 13,706
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,923.62/sq mi (1,128.76/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s) 610

Nether Providence Township is a first class township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Many residents refer to the township by the name of its largest community, Wallingford, because the Wallingford postal code is used for most of the township. The population of the township was 13,706 at the 2010 census.


Nether Providence Township is located in central Delaware County at 39°53′40″N 75°22′25″W / 39.89444°N 75.37361°W / 39.89444; -75.37361 (39.894612, -75.373705). It is bordered to the north by the borough of Media, the county seat. Other neighboring municipalities are Upper Providence Township to the north; Springfield Township, the borough of Swarthmore, and Ridley Township to the east; the city of Chester to the south; and the boroughs of Brookhaven and Rose Valley to the west.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.2 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.17%, is water. Crum Creek forms the eastern boundary of the township, and Ridley Creek forms the western and southern border. Nether Providence's commercial area or downtown is located on Providence Road between the bridge over SEPTA's R3/Media Elwyn line and Wallingford Avenue. Interstate 476 runs up the east side of the township near Crum Creek, with access from Exit 3 (Baltimore Pike).


The first recorded inhabitants of Nether Providence Township were Native Americans of the Lenape tribe, who lived in the area for about five hundred years, but by 1740 few remained. On August 14, 1682, two months before William Penn's landing in Chester, John Sharpless came to the area. Penn had given Sharpless a thousand-acre (4-km²) tract, and he settled near Ridley Creek.

Thomas Leiper House Delco PA
West Lawn, listed on the NRHP

By the time Penn arrived, there were several small settlements in the area, which became known as Providence Township. Providence Township comprised today's Nether Providence, Rose Valley, Media, and Upper Providence. On October 17, 1683, the residents of Providence Township petitioned the Court of Chester County, of which they were then a part, to establish a road from Providence to Chester. The court approved the creation of Providence Great Road (now Route 252).

Nether Providence went through four distinct phases from farming, to manufacturing, to resort, and finally, to residential community. By 1729, the area was producing sufficient crops to allow exporting to New England, Canada, and Europe.

Fourteen major mill complexes were built in Nether Providence, six on Crum Creek and eight on Ridley Creek. The first, a cotton mill along Crum Creek, was started by Thomas Allen in 1763. He named his mill for his hometown, Wallingford, England. The mills played an essential part in the growth of Nether Providence. Millhands lived in the self-contained villages that grew up around the mills.

After the Civil War, wealthy Philadelphians built summer residences and vacation resorts in the area.

Leiper estate bank
Bank building on the Thomas Leiper Estate

The first railway was the Leiper Railroad, a horse-drawn quarry rail line, constructed in 1809–1810 and used to haul cut stone until about 1828. That early rail line was superseded by the Leiper Canal. The first steam-locomotive train came through in 1854; it used a single track with a sidetrack at Wallingford. The first post office in Nether Providence was established at Hinkson's Corner in 1873. Trolleys also contributed to the area's development. The first independent trolley was the Chester and Media Electric Railway, chartered in 1892. The last trolley through the township closed in 1938. The Nether Providence Police Department was established in 1935, and automobile parking was regulated in 1947 and speed in 1949.

Three sites within the township, Wolley Stille, the Thomas Leiper Estate, and Westlawn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 2,833
1940 3,793 33.9%
1950 6,173 62.7%
1960 10,380 68.2%
1970 13,589 30.9%
1980 12,730 −6.3%
1990 13,229 3.9%
2000 13,456 1.7%
2010 13,706 1.9%
2020 14,525 6.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of Census 2010, the racial makeup of the township was 85.6% White, 7.0% African American, 0.1% Native American, 5.2% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population [1].

As of the census of 2000, there were 13,456 people, 5,007 households, and 3,755 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,857.7 people per square mile (1,103.1/km2). There were 5,125 housing units at an average density of 1,088.4/sq mi (420.1/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 90.08% White, 6.12% African American, 0.10% Native American, 2.34% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 1.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,007 households, out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.3% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the township the population was spread out, with 25.4% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $68,059, and the median income for a family was $78,491. Males had a median income of $72,370 versus $49,048 for females. The per capita income for the township was $32,946. About 3.1% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.

Religious institutions

Wallingford PA Presby PHS615
Wallingford Presbyterian on an old postcard
Greater Philadelphia Baptist Church Nether Providence twp DelCo PA
The Greater Philadelphia Baptist Church, formerly Zion AME
Leiper Presby Swarthmore PA
The former Leiper Presbyterian Church

Several religious congregations serve Nether Providence.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Holy Trinity is a Lutheran church located approximately at the intersection of Harvey Road and route 252.

Ohev Shalom

Congregation Ohev Ohev Shalom is a synagogue located on route 320 approximately at the junction with route 252.

St. John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom is a Roman Catholic church on route 252 across from Springhaven Country Club.

Wallingford Presbyterian Church

Wallingford Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian church located at the intersection of Brookhaven Road and Avondale Road.

Greater Philadelphia Baptist Church

Formerly occupied by Zion African Methodist Episcopal, the church building was occupied by the Greater Philadelphia Church in 2015. It is located in South Media at the intersection of Manchester Ave. and Wallingford Ave.

Lieper Church

The historic Lieper church is located on Fairview Road in Ridley. In 2015 it became home to Holy Myrrh Bearers Ukrainian Catholic church.


Bowling Green

Bowling Green is a neighborhood of detached houses north of Baltimore Pike bordering Media Borough. Streets in Bowling Green are Mulberry Lane, Bent Road, Quaint Road, Twyckenham Road, Truepenny Road, Luckie Lane, Hidden Acres Lane and Surrey Road while west of Beatty Road.

Pine Ridge

Pine Ridge is a neighborhood of detached houses north of Baltimore Pike. Streets in Pine Ridge are Hemlock Road, Beechwood Road and Pine Ridge Road. Pine Ridge is zoned to go to Swarthmore-Rutledge School even though it is in Nether Providence Township.


The first area school started in 1810. Nether Providence Township currently lies within the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, created by a merger between the Nether Providence and Swarthmore-Rutledge School Districts in 1983. Public school students within the township attend either Nether Providence Elementary School, Swarthmore-Rutledge Elementary School or Wallingford Elementary School for grades K-5, depending on where they live. Strath Haven Middle School serves students in grades 6–8, and Strath Haven High School serves students in grades 9-12.

The township's only parochial school is the Mother of Providence Regional Catholic School, located in the southern part of the township, in Wallingford. It formed in 2012 from a merger of St. John Chrysostom in Wallingford and Nativity BVM School in Media. Originally Nativity BVM was to be the location of the merged school, but St. John Chrystosom appealed and the archdiocese changed its decision. Notre Dame Catholic Girls High School was formerly in Moylan. In 1981 it closed.

The township is also serviced by the Helen Kate Furness Free Library.


It is a part of SEPTA. Train stations in the township include: Moylan–Rose Valley, and Wallingford.

Notable people

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