Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: April 1998 Volume 36 Number 2, Pages 63–64

Notes and Comments

Page 63


Berwyn Banking Office Closes

On Wednesday, February 11, the Berwyn branch office of CoreStates Bank closed -as part of the "fall-out" from the year earlier acquisition by CoreStates of Meridian Bank, previous operator of the office. The closing severed a history of almost 110 years of banking operation at the location, on the south side of Lancaster Avenue across from the railroad station, which had been interrupted only by the Depression era banking holiday declared by President Franklin Roosevelt which lasted from March 10, 1933 to February 8, 1934.

The first bank at the location was organized as Berwyn National Bank in 1888 by Joseph W. Sharp, William Coates, Isaac Cleaver and other local citizens who saw the need for banking facilities in the expanding village of Berwyn. The bank opened for business on June 1, 1889, with Sharp installed as its first president. His son, Joseph W. Sharp Jr, later headed the bank. Berwyn businessman William H. Fritz served as Secretary of the Board of Directors for 38 years until his death in 1938.

In June of 1957, Berwyn National Bank and Paoli Bank merged to become Upper Main Line Bank. This was the first of a series of mergers and name changes over subsequent years that saw the sign in front read Community Bank, Central Penn National Bank, and Meridian Bank before it became CoreStates. The dates 1888, 1930 and 1934 appear engraved in the limestone facade of the bank front facing Lancaster Avenue, commemorating the date of organization, date of build­ing renovation, and date of reopening following the bank holiday.

Page 64


Open Land Conservancy

History Club members took a key role in a program about the "History of the Great Valley," presented at the Annual Meeting of the Open Land Conservancy of Chester County held Tuesday evening, March 31 at Great Valley Presbyterian Church. The history topic, arranged by Conservancy president Mitsie Toland as a panel presentation, covered a wide range of subjects calculated to help members and neighbors in attendance better understand the rich history and legacy of the area.

Eva Noll was lead speaker for the evening, covering how it all began, from the Indians onward. Sue Andrews told of her research on the Andrews place (the old Detwiler farm), which has included some archaeological discoveries around the foundation of her house. Herb Fry spoke about transportation and commerce in the valley, the development which followed road building, and the coming of the railroads. Dave Wilson reminisced about life and farming in the "good old days" around the Wilson Farms. Other speakers included Claudia Genuardi on Magnet Stone Farm, Ellen Mary Meigs about growing up at the Gardiner Cassatt mansion (now the Upper Main Line YMCA), and Richard Toland about the Great Valley Mill.

Mrs. Toland told the meeting that during the past year over 30 acres had been added to the Valley Creek Preserve on North Valley Road, through outright purchase and conservation easement. The preserve now protects a total of 69 acres of the Valley Creek corridor west of North Valley Road in Tredyffrin.


"Berwvn Walk" Slide Show

The Berwyn Walk held last August took to the road on Saturday evening, February 7, when two club members revived the successful tour with members of the Adult Fellowship of Berwyn Methodist Church through the medium of a slide show. Skip Eichner, who has a complete collection of slide photographs, handled the projector as Herb Fry "walked" the audience around Berwyn, pointing out some of the history of the village. Another good time was enjoyed by all.


Club Officers

At its January meeting the club elected the slate of officers shown on the "table of contents" page to serve for the next two years. Newcomers to the list are Betty Ripka and Marlene Rafner. We thank retiring officers Virginia Mentzer and Barbara Fry for their most valuable support of the club. They have earned a well deserved sabbatical.


Page last updated: 2009-03-11 at 12:30 EST
Copyright © 2006-2009 Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society. All rights reserved.
Permission is given to make copies for personal use only.
All other uses require written permission of the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society.