St. Davids Golf Links, Poplar and Walnut Avenues, early schools

29_image01In the collection of old picture postcards recently rescued from the cellar of the Wack Drug Store by Dr. Norman A. Wack for this column, the one shown here is undoubtedly the most artistic and perhaps the most interesting.

It is marked ”Golf Links, St. Davids,” and the view shown is one looking from the eastern boundary of what was until recently the Helms estate, on the southeast corner of Lancaster avenue and St. Davids road. Within the past few years the large Helms house has been demolished to make room for the St. Davids Park Apartments, which now occupy all of the Helms property.

At the time this picture was taken the land on either side of Lancaster avenue, now the Main Line Golf Club, was occupied by the St. Davids Golf Club, now on Radnor road north of Wayne. The white stone house to the left in the picture, which probably dates back to the time of the early Welsh settlers, still looks very much as it always has.

On the southern side of the Pike, where it intersects Iven avenue, a war memorial has been erected to the memory of those from Radnor township who died in World War I, and in the middle background, partially hidden by trees, is the site of the new Rowland School and the nearby Wyeth Laboratories.

To the extreme right, in the distance, several Villanova College buildings are just visible.

But to many who will see this old picture, the fondest memories of all will be stirred by its immediate foreground, which marks the foot of the old golf links hill, the best spot for miles around for sledding, as the youth of many generations can well remember!

29_image02The above picture shows Poplar avenue as it appeared soon after its first houses were built, a matter of almost 50 years now. The double houses on the right still look about the same, as do the individual homes on the left. At that time the street had not been paved, although good sidewalks had been laid. In the intervening years since the picture was taken, many smaller places have been built beyond the double houses on what was then the property of Dr. George Wells, one of the best-known Wayne physicians of his time.

29_image03Many of the homes shown in this picture were Wayne estate houses that date back to the middle eighties. Since the street was built up so solidly even then, and since the houses were so sturdily built, there has been little change from the time the postcard was printed, except that a few houses have been remodeled, the street has been paved, and the trees have greatly increased in size.

(To be Continued)

In regard to the several pictures of the old Radnor School No. 4, on King of Prussia road, which we described recently, the following letter from Marie Good Hunt, Librarian at the Memorial Library, is an interesting follow-up which your columnist greatly appreciates, Mrs. Hunt says:
“We have been interested in your articles on the early schools of Radnor township as we have a close connection with them. My grandmother, Mary Morgan, was the teacher at Morgan’s Corner (Radnor) in 1865. The old building, a one room structure, was a few yards back of the gas station just off Radnor road. The other three schools were at Ithan, the Eagle (Strafford) and one on the ground of the old Baptist Church off Conestoga road, now torn down. Nathan P. Pechin’s oldest sister was one of her students. Grandma had many fond memories of her stay in Radnor, but unfortunately, when she talked of the incidents, we made no notes.”

(To this letter your columnist wishes to add that she would like to do a series of articles on the original old schools of Radnor township. She would welcome all information on the subject and any pictures.)