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An Early History of Penn Valley, PA

penn valley car accident attorney near penn valley women's club

The car accident attorneys in Penn Valley, PA, sponsor this article to present some detailed information about the area.

Penn Valley is a community located within Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania. The quaint town does not have its own post office, so Penn Valley residents share a ZIP code with Merion, Narberth, or Wynnewood.


The community of Penn Valley belongs to Lower Merion, which was settled in 1682 by Welsh Quakers who were granted a tract of land by William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania.

In 1713, the area was established as an independent township with approximately fifty-two landholders and residents.

In 1930, the areas of the township known as "Fairview," "Crow's Hill," and "Bowler's Woods" were incorporated as "Penn Valley."

Originally, Penn Valley was a farming community, known especially for Percival Roberts's 539-acre dairy farm, "Penshurst," and the smaller farms that surrounded it, located on PA Route 23, Conshohocken State Road, Hagy's Ford Road, and Old Gulph Road.

The community grew more suburban in 1939 when Penshurst's 75-room mansion was demolished in favor of residential development. Some of Penn Valley's most staple farms included "Crow's Hill," which was sold in 1921; "The Grove of the Red Partridges" on Old Gulph Road; and Charles W. Latch's 41-acre family farm.

Penhurst Farm

Penn Valley might be a small community, but it is packed with terrific local gems. One of the greatest tokens of the town's history is Penhurst Farm.

Penhurst Farm was built in 1692  by Percival Roberts, a scion of the Welsh family led by John Roberts that founded Lower Merion in 1682.

Penshurst stood on Hagy's Ford Road and Conshohocken State Road and extended through the hollow down to the banks of the Schuylkill River.

The Penhurst property hosted a dairy farm that was one of Pennsylvania's most productive, with modern milking machines and numerous barns.

The farm was known for its exquisite animals, including a pack of award-winning Ayrshire cattle known for eating alfalfa. The farm also hosted Berkshire hogs, chickens, and sheep. The farm also had peacocks and pheasants and remain popular in Penn Valley. Penshurst milk was popular in the area because it was not pasteurized.

On the farmland stood a 75-room mansion built in 1903, known for its stunning English gardens, Old World ornamental fountains, a fish pond, and a terraced stairway.

The original mansion was unique in that it generated its own electricity, and its plumbing system was self-sufficient.

Today, you can still find elements of the mansions' original characteristics.

The mansion was demolished in 1939, and many of the items in the home were sold at an auction. The majority of the land was sold in 1943 to Home Life Insurance Company, subdivided, and then built upon.

The farm's water storage tower persisted into the 1980s between the baseball and football fields of Welsh Valley Middle School. Unfortunately, the water storage was also demolished when state authorities deemed it a safety hazard.

Today, the only remaining signs of the mansion are its former gates that can be seen as Conshohocken State Road bends left toward Gladwyne and Ardmore.

Penn Valley Women's Club

Another token of history in Penn Valley is the Penn Valley Women's Club. Neighborhood farmers built the club as a schoolhouse and Sunday meetinghouse from 1826–1828.

Before World War II, the Women's Club held religious services.

A newer building replaced the original in 1876 and can be seen set back from Fairview Road. The building was modified in 1951 and is now the home of The Penn Valley Civic Association.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission designated the Women's Club as a historical site in 1978.

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David Petrone
Date Published: June 7, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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