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Views of Narberth Past

Coal yard, about 1906

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Image source: Lower Merion Historical Society

Addresses in view: Water Tower (†1919)

modern view of the historical image seen from the same viewpoint
20 May 2017

Chester Preston Cook (1877–1942), whose wagon is second from the left, started in business February 1905, according to an advertisement. He acquired the coal yard property the following year; it remained in the Cook family until 2020. Cook and his wife Laura Riegel (whose grandfather is considered to be the founder of Riegelsville, Bucks County in 1832) owned the C.S. Wood estate "Rockland" in Lower Merion from 1907 until their deaths in the 1940s.

The rail siding can still be seen on the 1953 aerial photo of Narberth's downtown and the 1961 map. Other landmarks visible are the 1890s water tower and the frame building above the trestle constructed at Hampden and Windsor in 1896 as a temporary chapel following the Narberth Presbyterian Church fire. It was moved here as the first home of the Narberth Fire Company 1897–99. It was used as storage by C. P. Cook and replaced in the 1920s by the brick building that in 2017 houses the Little Gym.

One-story dark brick building covered in flags and patriotic bunting. Sign on roof reads 'Coal, Wood & Builders Supplies'
The coal yard office, c.1920. With a second story added in the 1920s, it still stands in 2023 on the south-east corner of Narberth & Haverford. Lower Merion Historical Society