Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Llanerch in Delaware County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Battle of Llanerch Crossing

 
 
The Battle of Llanerch Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 24, 2017
1. The Battle of Llanerch Crossing Marker
Inscription. The rail lines that met and crossed at Llanerch Junction in the 19th century transformed fields into suburban neighborhoods. In the 20th century, the corner where West Chester Pike and Darby Road meet was a gas station and car dealership, before lying fallow as a vacant, weed-choked lot. In 2007, transformed by the hard work of community volunteers and township Public Works employees, Llanerch Crossing became a proud gateway to Haverford Township.

The history of transportation on West Chester Pike dates to the dusty, muddy stage coach days along the western extension of Market Street out of Philadelphia, known as the West Chester Road. The first improvement to this trail was the hemlock plank road of 1848. The wooden road, built by the Philadelphia and West Chester Turnpike Road Company, traveled from West Philadelphia to Newtown Square. Along the route penny-per-mile fees were collected at several toll houses. Fines also were imposed for avoiding the tollgate, speeding, vandalism or lying to the toll collector.

In 1859 the Turnpike Road Company created a franchise company known as the Delaware County Passenger Rail Road with horse-drawn cars running on rails, bringing passengers on Sunday excursions from Philadelphia to Castle Rock, past Newtown Square. It was those open-air carriages which captivated the young John Shimer of

Llanerch Crossing Park, Markers, and Mural image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
2. Llanerch Crossing Park, Markers, and Mural
Castle Rock. Shimer dreamed of one day owning a railroad. By 1891 Shimer had become a major stockholder in the Philadelphia and West Chester Turnpike Road Company and by 1895 his trolley line was in operation.

Shimer's new company, The Philadelphia, Castle Rock and West Chester Railway, in partnership with The Delaware County Passenger Rail Road, would eventually grow to become the West Chester Traction Company. The mightiest obstacle for Shimer and his trolley line was the formidable Pennsylvania Railroad, also building a passenger line called the Philadelphia & Delaware County Passenger Railroad, which would cross at Llanerch.

Both rail companies were laying tracks to Newtown Square — Shimer along West Chester Pike and the PRR crossing West Chester Pike at Llanerch. This was a dangerous crossing, due to the blind nature of the angle of the Pennsy trains approaching the pike and the falling grade for trolleys traveling west. During July, 1895, in order to stop the trolley tracks, the PRR parked a locomotive in the direct path of the trolley rail line. The resulting Battle of Llanerch Crossing was fought in a labyrinth of legal contracts, injunctions, and appeals to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and at the junction itself with threats, fists and curses. Eleven railroad employees were arrested but no one was seriously injured. By the end of the summer of 1895, Shimer

The Battle of Llanerch Crossing Mural Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 24, 2017
3. The Battle of Llanerch Crossing Mural Detail
At Llanerch Crossing Park. Painted by Jared Bader
was victorious and a year later the trolleys were running on electricity just as planned.

For a more detailed chronicle of these events, read The Red Arrow by Ronald DeGraw.
 
Erected 2007 by the Haverford Township Historical Society and the Citizens of Haverford Township.
 
Location. 39° 58.167′ N, 75° 17.867′ W. Marker is in Llanerch, Pennsylvania, in Delaware County. Marker is at the intersection of West Chester Pike (Pennsylvania Route 3) and Darby Road, on the right when traveling west on West Chester Pike. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Llanerch Crossing Park, Havertown PA 19083, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Birth of Llanerch (here, next to this marker); The Llanerch Car Barn (a few steps from this marker); Abraham L. Pennock (approx. 1.4 miles away); Old Haverford Friends Meeting (approx. 1 miles away); Thomas Garrett (approx. 1.6 miles away); Dr. George Smith (approx. 1.8 miles away); Collen Brook Farm (approx. 1.8 miles away); Joushua Humphrey (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Llanerch.
 
Also see . . .
1. Haverford Heritage Trail Site 31: Llanerch Junction and Crossing.

Llanerch Crossing Park Dedication Paver image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 24, 2017
4. Llanerch Crossing Park Dedication Paver
(Submitted on April 14, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. History of Llanerch. (Submitted on April 14, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. PoliticsRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 14, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 13, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 76 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on April 14, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   2. submitted on April 13, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   3, 4. submitted on April 14, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Paid Advertisement