Look up a Narberth address
1,467 current properties in the borough, and 90 no longer extant properties for which we can identify census records are profiled.
Every item and piece of data we have on each property and its main buildings will be cross-referenced. Going forward we will add more past buildings and possibly other points of interest.
How are the timelines determined?
The timeline tracks a property's lifespan from year built through year demolished, if applicable. It includes records of address changes, which makes it possible to locate addresses that were later renumbered. It is based on:
- Property atlases: When does the building first appear or disappear? When does an address change? We examined maps from 1881 to 1961, most of which appear on the Narberth History Map.
- Aerial photographs from 1929 to 2019, notably the series taken by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission every 5 years 1959 - 2015.
- U. S. Census enumerations: 1900 – 1940, every 10 years.
- Montgomery County property records may be used when they confirm the evidence listed above or they are recent, 1960s and later. Earlier than that, many of the dates are inaccurate or approximated.
In addition, we consulted other primary sources to establish timeline years:
- Contemporary listings (1911 Main Line directory, 1915 phone book listings reprinted in Our Town)
- Our Town articles
- Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide published 1886 – 1940
- Dateable historic photographs
Later accounts of Narberth's past, such as Narberth's Historical Prelude by Carden F. Warner, the Narberth chapter of Montgomery County, The Second Hundred Years by Victoria Donohoe, and others in our Narberth Sources section have refined many dates.
For all that, we must issue this disclaimer: All of these sources are incomplete and subject to human error and interpretation. Years may be approximate.
About the U. S. Census records
The every-ten-years United States census offers a trove of details about individuals. They are incomplete and subject to enumerator error. They are handwritten, so open to interpretation. Nevertheless, the chief inspiration that launched Narberth Addresses may have been the availability of these records online:
We imported partial transcriptions from FamilySearch.org, made corrections based on other sources, especially contemporary maps, and transcribed additional categories of interest, for example home ownership and the professions and trades. Each household entry is linked to an online facsimile of the original document at FamilySearch, which requires a free account for access.
To protect individual privacy, the enumerations are released by the Department of Commerce 72 years after the census date. We started with 1900, 1910 and 1920. We plan to import and transcribe 1930 and 1940 in due course, and 1950, which arrives April 2022. 1890, a truly seminal moment in local history, was destroyed by fire in 1926, so sadly must remain unavailable.
Narberth Streets—A Chronology
|Modern name||Opened by|
|Haverford Avenue||1700||Haverford and Merion Ave through 1920 map|
|N. Wynnewood Avenue||1871|
|Rockland Avenue||1877||Read a brief history of Rockland Ave.|
|N. Narberth Avenue||1877||Named Old Gulf Rd until ca. 1889|
|E. Wynnewood Road||1879|
|Forrest Avenue||1888||Spelled Forrest or Forest?|
|N. Essex Avenue||1888|
|S. Essex Avenue||1889||Named Thomas Ave. on 1896 map|
|S. Narberth Avenue||1889|
|Maple Avenue||1893||Named Readrah Ave. on 1896 map|
|Station Circle||1896||Not named prior to the 1990s.|
|Chestnut Avenue||1900||Named Hillslope Ave. on 1896 map.|
|Meeting House Lane||1913|
|Langdon Lane||1946||Previously the property of Langdon Lee.|
|Hansen Court||1976||The neighborhood had previously been Hansen's Nurseries.|