How the Main Line Got Its Name

Image via CBS Philly.

The truth about the origins of the Main Line’s famous name lies in the history of its surrounding area, writes Ukee Washington for CBS Philly.

Before being bought by the privately-owned Pennsylvania Railroad in 1857, the Main Line of Public Works was a state-owned rail line that ran cargo west from Philadelphia to south of York. The new owner then built train stops and villages from Overbrook to Paoli for Philadelphia’s wealthy.

“It turned into a lifestyle where you lived, you got away from the city,” said Lower Merion Historical Society president Gerald Francis.

Since then, it has become the inspiration for many movies, including The Philadelphia Story. The popular film was based on the socialite Helen Hope Montgomery Scott and the famous Ardrossan mansion in Radnor.

Several institutions of higher learning can also be found in the area, including Cabrini University, Haverford College, and Villanova University.

Finally, the key towns of the Main Line are linked by Lancaster Avenue with many of them still successfully preserving their historic business districts.

And while the area is no longer considered country, its unique charm is always there.

Read more about the Main Line at CBS Philly here.

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