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Views of Narberth Past

E. M. Richards house, about 1895

Image source: Suburban Manors of Late Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Wells & Hope Co. 1885-95); Free Library of Philadelphia, Prints & Picture Collection (Special collotype collection)

Addresses in view: 226 N. Narberth Ave. (†1919)

modern view of the historical image seen from the same viewpoint

"Elmhurst" was one of the first "suburban" houses in Elm Station, constructed for Elizabeth M. and Samuel Richards on five acres bought from Edward R. Price in 1881.

Elizabeth Richards sold the house in 1900 to Alfred Justice, older brother of F. Millwood Justice. The Richards heirs began to sell off lots and streets were cut through. A slice split off by new Conway avenue ended up part of Narbrook Park. In 1914, Justice sold the house, which a year later ended up with the ubiquitous Narberth builder William D. Smedley, whose office was the Cabin. Smedley was probably responsible for the house's demolition by 1919. By then, all that remained of this Narberth pioneer were its entrance columns and angled property lines running intermittently from N. Narberth all the way to Conway.

2 reddish stone columns
The "Elmhurst" entrance columns, made of the same stone as the house, are all that remains. Today they announce the driveway to 224 N. Narberth.

Victoria Donohoe has written extensively about the friendship between Samuel Richards, himself a developer, and Edward R. Price, and the role Richards played in the development of a "Lady's Book Village" in Narberth in Narberth—A History (1994), and Montgomery County, The Second Hundred Years (1983).