History of Lower Moreland Township

The Lower Moreland Township has not always resembled the model of modern suburban living that it composes today. Even before the automobile zoomed through the busy intersections in the historic Bethayres section of Lower Moreland, farmers laden with goods trudged their way, in horse and buggy, up an already established Route 232, Huntingdon Pike, stopping perhaps at the Lady Washington Inn for a short retinue from the midday heat. Although it was only one Township in those days, Lower Moreland was already separating itself as a residential haven and center for early Pennsylvania industrialism, such as the wheelworks and blacksmiths that dotted the corridor of Route 232. Glancing into our past, Lower Moreland residents can be proud of their town's historical significance and heritage.

Although still a colony of Great Britain, the unique characteristics of American life were starting to take shape in the lands of Pennsylvania, grated to Sir William Penn by the King of England himself. In 1684, as Penn began to resolve the matters of his own estate, he chose to save one parcel of land for a close friend of the family, Nicholas Moore, a prominent London physician, and on June 7th 1684, the lands which now comprise Upper and Lower Moreland were granted to Moore and deemed the "Manor of Mooreland." Predating the existence of Montgomery County itself, it was not until 1784, at the founding of Montgomery County, that the area changed its namesake to Moreland Township, and remained this way until the end of the nineteenth century. Although the area experienced tremendous residential and commercial growth throughout its first hundred years as a part of Montgomery County, Moreland Township remained, in majority, home to numerous farms and mills, especially along the thriving banks of Pennypack Creek, located near Terwood Road. Historically, it was not until January 3rd of 1917 that the modern day municipal designation, The Township of Lower Moreland, was bestowed to this area, as residents hoped to save expenditures by dividing old Moreland Township into two recognized municipalities, each with its own system of government and enumeration of laws.

Unlike many places with less than 15,000 residents, the rich history of Lower Moreland can compare to that of anywhere in all of Montgomery County. A center of busy commuter travel during the 17th and 18th century, the Lower Moreland of the twentieth century slowly saw the conversion of a farming community to the development of manufacturing, and commercial industries. The preeminence of the flour and sawmills soon gave way, and Lower Moreland exploded into the baby-boomer years between the late forties and early sixties. In 1950 Lower Moreland possessed only 2,245 residents as counted by the US Census Bureau, but by 1970 that number spiked dramatically to 11,746 people; this growth ushered in the tremendous modern day appeal that Lower Moreland possesses for young couples entering the market for a place to live. In 1948, as a testament to its steady historic growth, Lower Moreland achieved First Class Township status.

Today Lower Moreland boasts some of the highest standards of living in the Greater Philadelphia area. Whether the fact that 90% of the Township is comprised of single-dwelling homes, has one of the highest per capita incomes in Montgomery County, or perhaps the best public school system there is to offer, Lower Moreland is undoubtedly an attractive community, offering the best of suburban living in close proximity to major urban areas. Entrenched in historical significance and local pride, Lower Moreland is at the forefront of residential living as we enter a new American century.