Skip to content
Views of Narberth Past

Elm Station, about 1880

Image source: Collection of the Lower Merion Historical Society

Addresses in view: 204 Haverford Ave. (†1967)

modern view of the historical image seen from the same viewpoint
28 Jan 2017

Built around 1870, razed 1967. It was built at the same time using the same materials and style as the Wynnewood, Haverford and Villanova stations, all still standing as of 2018.

The original line, laid in 1857 by the Pennsylvania Railroad, carried two tracks. In 1879 it was expanded to four and the N. Wynnewood road tunnel underpass was constructed. This photo clearly shows three tracks.

The second photo is earlier than 1879. The platform is lower, as shown by the three steps leading down from the station. In the later photo, the gas lamp and the telegraph pole are gone.

looking down a two-track rail line; beside a platform of wooden planks with a lampost and a three-story stone station house
A pre-1879 photo, using the same circular format. Note the telegraph poles, gas lamp, the "Elm" sign over the porch, and two tracks.
Three-story stone and wood building surrounded by parking with cars from the 1950s and 60s.
The original Elm Station in the 1960s, from Haverford Ave. Courtesy of Patricia O'Neill.

Dora Harvey Develin, Historic Lower Merion and Blockley (Philadelphia, George H. Buchanan Company, 1922), pages 12-13:

William Thomas, when the Pennsylvania Railroad was built through his plantation, gave the ground for a station which was for a great many years called Elm Station. He called it "Elm" for his old home in Wales. When he gave the land it was with the understanding that it should always bear this name. But this was not done, for the railroad officials changed the name to Narberth, and the suburban settlement or borough of Narberth now stands on what was the Thomas place.