Derivation of Local Names: Towns, Roads and Lanes

Academy Road: Named for the Lower Merion Academy, built in 1812.

Ardmore: A small town in Ireland on the Atlantic coast.

Armat Avenue: Named for George Armat, a Philadelphia merchant, who owned a 100 acre farm in the area,

Ashbridge Road: Named for Joshua Ashbridge family that lived in Thomas House (built in 1764), now called Ashbridge House.

Athens Avenue: Classic Greek names, styles, etc. were popular during Napoleonic age and Ardmore was given name Athensville.

Avon Road: From Haverford estate of Charles E. Mather, called Avonwood Court.

Baird Road: After Matthew Baird, proprietor of Baldwin Locomotive Works, through which his estate, Bardwold, was laid out.

Bala: Town in Gwynned, Wales. Derived from the Celtic “belago” meaning the efflux of a river from a lake.

Ballytore Road: After Isaac H. Clothier, Philadelphia merchant and philanthropist, who built his castle and called it Ballytore.

Bangor Road: Town in Gwynned, Wales. Derived from Celtic “ban” meaning a bond or strengthening, and “cor” meaning woven.

Barmouth: Town in Gwynned, Wales. An Anglicized form of “abermaw,” “bar” being a mutation of “aber,” the mouth ot the river Maw. “Maw” means broad.

Belmont Avenue: “Pretty mountain” or “beautiful mount” was the name given by the father of Judge Richard Peters to his mansion on the Belmont Plateau in West Fairmount Park, by which the road runs.

Berwyn: Name of a mountain range forming the border between Merioneth and Montgomery counties in Wales.

Black Rock Road: From igneus black rocks that are found in the vicinity.

Bowman Avenue: Named for Roger Bowman who settled in locality in 1798.

Brookhurst Avenue: From Brookhurst Inn, which catered to frequenters of Belmont Driving Park.

Bryn Mawr: Name given to his plantation by Rowland Ellis after his home in Wales. Means “high moor,” or “great hill.”

Buck Lane: From Old Buck Tavern which dated to 1730.

Cheswold Lane: From Cheswold, (“chestnut woods”), the estate of A. J. Cassatt.

Chichester Lane: Once part of the Wister farm of 190 acres. G. M. Chichester married a Wister daughter.

Conestoga Road: Derived from the Conestoga Indians and applied to a river and, in turn, to a valley. The road got its name because freight was carried in Conestoga wagons.

Conshohocken: Lenape word meaning “pleasant valley,” “at the long fine land,” “at the place of the great land.”

Coulter Avenue: For Lewis Coulter whose farm was divided into building lots.

Cricket Avenue: Originally the farm lane from Lancaster Avenue to the Sheldon farm (popularly known as Mud Lane). In 1880, a parcel of the farm was sold to the Merion Cricket Club which was located here until 1889.

Curwen Road: Originally part of Walnut Hill, the large estate of the Curwen family dating back to 1787.

Cynwyd: Town in Gwynned, Wales. Personal name of a Welsh saint/confessor.

Daylesford: Named for a tourist resort in Australia.

Devon: Named for a tourist resort in England.

Dove Lake: Dove paper mill, which used outline of dove as watermark, was located here in colonial times.

Dreycott Lane: Meaning “secluded spot” or “secluded retreat” is the name of a village in England founded in 825 A.D.

Eagle Farm Road: From Eagle Farm of John Suplee.

Elmwood Avenue: Elm was the old name of Narberth.

Fishers Road: Road opened in 1846 through the 81 acre farm of William A. Fisher.

Flat Rock Road: Road leading to Flat Rock Ferry across Schuylkill below Flat Rock Dam.

Floyd Terrace: Named by Frank S. Floyd who developed this and Markee Terrace.

Ford Road: Vestige of a once major highway which connected Old Conestoga Road (Montgomery Avenue) with the falls of the Schuylkill.

Gladwyne: In 1887, the Lower Merion Post Office renamed this area from Merion Square to Gladwyne, which was borrowed from a nearby freight station of the Reading Railroad.

Glanrafon Creek: Glanrason, through which the creek flowed, was the plantation of Kate Jones who came to Lower Merion in 1683.

Glenn Road: Ancient road leading to Mill Creek, named after Edward Glenn, local historian, who had his home on it.

Grays Lane: William Gray owned about 70 acres of land south of Trout Run and the lane that led to Montgomery Avenue to his home had this name.

Grenox Road: Combination of Green and Knox, brother and sister, who owned farms through which the road runs.

Greystone Road: Name of estate of Joseph B. Townsend, real estate lawyer. Blancoyd and Raynham, the nearby homes of his sons, furnished the name for two other roads in the locality.

Grove Place: Given by Wood, Harmon & Company, developers of Narberth, who favored arboreal names.

Gulph Road: Led to “the gulph,” old time description of a pass through a ravine.

Hardie Way: Named by John R.K. Scott for his son.

Harriton: Plantation of Richard Harrison, house built in 1704.

Haverford: Derived from HaverfordWest in Pembrokeshire, Wales, meaning “the goat’s ford.”

Holland Avenue: James A. Holland, a Lower Merion Supervisor of Roads, owned the land which was developed here.

Hood Road: Named after Walter W. Hood, one of the organizers of the Merion Title & Trust Company.

Ingeborg Road: German name given by William Simpson to his mansion built here in 1884.

Iona Avenue: Narberth developers named north and south streets alphabetically—Berkley, Conway, Dudley, Essex, Forrest, Grayling, Hamden. Iona was chosen arbitrarily to carry out the sequence.

Kennedy Lane: After John M. Kennedy, important Pennsylvania Railroad stockholder, who had his estate in Bryn Mawr.

Lakeside Road: Road ran past Bailey’s Lake, now filled in.

Lapsley Lane: Captain Joseph Lapsley Wilson owned the property on which the Barnes Museum and Arboretum are now located.

Latchs Lane: Corruption of Latch’s Lane. Jacob Latch, Revolutionary soldier, had his farm and homestead here.

Levering Street: Was cut through Villinova, the 17 acre estate of Abraham Levering.

Levering Mill Road: Led to ford of Schuylkill on Levering property, also to Anthony Levering’s mill.

Llanberris Road: Town in Gwynned, Wales. Named for the church of Peris.

Llandrillo Road: Town in Gwynned, Wales. Named for Church of St.Trillo. There are many places in Wales dedicated to this saint.

Llanfair Road: Town in Gwynned, Wales. Named for the Church of St. Mary. The full name is: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgoegrychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

Llanllew Road: After manor of Llanelyw in Wye Valley, Wales. Name given by Benjamin Humphrey to his plantation.

Lodges Lane: Led to mansion of Thomas G. Lodge, wealthy Cynwyd land owner.

Manayunk: From the Lenape “Manaiunk” meaning the lands along the Schuylkill River “where we go to drink.”

Matson Ford Road: Led to ford on the Schuylkill River, on the property of Peter Matson, an early Swedish settler.

McClenaghan Mill Road: Led to mills on Mill Creek confiscated as property of John Roberts and bought in 1797 by George McClenaghan.

Meeting House Lane: Leads to the Merion Meeting, a 1695 Quaker house of worship.

Merion: Grandson of a 5th century Welsh prince, from Merionethshire in Wales.

Montgomery: Named for the county Montgomeryshire in Wales, which is between Merionethshire and Radnorshire. Name of the 11th century Roger of Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury.

Monument Road: Continuation of Monument Road in Philadelphia. Ran past rough obelisk which, tradition says, was erected by Judge Peters in memory of horses killed during the Revolution.

Morris Avenue: Laid out in 1876 through 594 acre property of Levi and Naomi Morris, owners of Harriton.

Mt. Moro Road: After Moro Phillips, of Phillips Land Company, extensive landowners and developers of a century ago.

Narberth: Town in Dyfed, Wales. Name means sacred or consecrated place.

Old Railroad Avenue: Originally part of the roadbed for the Philadelphia & Columbia Railway.

Owen Road: Robert Owen was the first landowner here and his home, built in 1695, is still standing.

Panorama Road: Laid out by Phillips Land Company in such a manner as to take advantage of the view.

Paoli: Named for General Pasquale Paoli, a Corsican patriot.

Parsons Avenue: Father of Luther Parsons had his carriage and wheelwright shops here.

Pembroke Road: Town in Dyfed, Wales. Originally a small village called Pater or Paterchurch.

Penarth Road: A seaside suburb of Cardiff, South Wales. Name means headland, or head of the Promontory.

Pencoyd: From Pennychlawd in Denbighshire, Wales, birthplace of A. Roberts who built his house in 1685.

Powder Mill Lane: Led to mills on Cobbs Creek, where gunpowder was made during the Revolution and later.

Price Avenue: Price family (corruption of ap Rees) owned nearly all of Narberth since the time of William Penn.

Radnor: Means “red earth,” Named for the county Radnorshire, located in central Wales.

Redleaf Road: Redleaf was the home of Thomas Pym Remington, lover of trees, who owned considerable land on both sides of Lancaster Pike in Wynnewood.

Rees Avenue: After Rees Thomas, early Welsh settler.

Righters Ferry Road: Led to ford on the Schuylkill River, operated by Peter Righter.

Roberts Road: Road in Bryn Mawr laid out in 1735 as “John Roberts, miller, road.”

Rosemont: Name given by Pennsylvania Railroad to its station as a compliment to Joshua Ashbridge, whose farm was called Rosemont and who deeded land in 1863 for a station.

St. Asaphs Road: Asai or Asaph, a native of North Wales, was abbot of the Monastery Llan Elwy in 545. There is a church named in his honor in Bala, Wales.

St. Davids: Patron saint of Wales. Grandson of Caredig, who gave his name to a large area of Wales— Ceredigion.

St. Pauls Road: Named by Walter Bassett Smith for St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Schuylkill River: The Lenape name was Ganoshowanna meaning “falling water,” “where to drink.” The early Dutch named it Skokihl or “hidden river.”

Shortridge Drive: After Nathan Parker Shortridge, banker and Pennsylvania Railroad executive. where his 200 acre estate was located.

Sibley Avenue: Squire William Sibley, who died in 1896, developed the property through which the road runs.

Simpson Road: Named by Walter Bassett Smith for the Ardmore Methodist Church (originally named Matthew Simpson M.E. Church).

Soapstone Road: From the steatite quarry found on former 90 acre farm called Soapstone and formerly owned by Clement Griscom, steamship magnate.

Sprague Road: After George S. Sprague, whose property lay on both sides of the road.

Spring Avenue: Part of James Thomas’ 100 acre tract. He built his house near by a spring whose overflow coursed along this road.

Spring Mill Road: Leads to a great spring across the Schuylkill River. Remarkable in colonial days for its flow, used today by the paper mill at Miquon.

Strafford: Named for the Earl of Strafford which was the name of the Wentworth family estate.

Summit Road: Runs along the highest elevation in Penn Valley.

Summit Grove Avenue: Was lane leading to Summit Grove House, a large frame house used in the days when Bryn Mawr was a popular summer resort.

Villanova: From the Augustinian College of St. Thomas of Villa Nova. St. Thomas was a 16th century Spanish bishop.

Warner Avenue: Named for Isaac Warner Arthur, Bryn Mawr businessman and later postmaster.

Waverly Road: From Waverly Farm, name given on the spur of the moment by a farmer, according to a story, while watching waving field of grain.

Wayne: Named for Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War general.

Wister Road: Louis Wister was owner of a large tract of land in the area.

Woodmont Road: Alan Wood named his estate Woodmont because it occupied the high ground above the Schuylkill opposite Conshohocken.

Wyndon Avenue: Wyndon, or Wyndham, was name of 18th century residence of Theodore N. Ely. Now owned by Bryn Mawr College.

Wynnewood: Wynne Wood was name of plantation named for Dr. Thomas Wynne.

Youngs Ford Road: Led from John Roberts’ mill to the ford on the Schuylkill River which was located on property of the Young family.


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