Merchantville was primarily farm land until about 1851. Rumors of the coming railroad were the impetus for land acquisition. Although the town was originally part of Stockton Township, the citizens of Merchantville petitioned the state to become an incorporated Borough. This became effective May 18, 1874. In 1889, Francis F. Eastlack, local author, described the Borough, "Here you have an already established town, healthy, pure air, well lighted, well governed with every convenience befitting, wide awake, prosperous town, and where the people are hospitable and will gladly welcome all who seriously think of locating with them."The second growth occurred with the advent of the automobile age. when the Benjamin Franklin Bridge opened in 1926, new streets on the southern side of Maple Avenue were cut through, individual homes built and the Borough gradually developed to its near present population.
The borough was selected as a “Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia" by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. A classic mix of 19th and early 20th century architecture and tree-lined streets with beautifully maintained gardens define the historic borough and its vital downtown. Less than one square mile, Merchantville is home to almost 3,800 residents. Quaint and intimate, Merchantville offers an unprecedented and authentic sense of community. The town is very walkable earning a 84 out of a 100 Walk Score. Downtown Merchantville is a center for excitement. Residents have a remarkable number of opportunities for fun, freedom, and fanfare. First Fridays are always a favorite. Galleries, restaurants, and retailers all feature art, music, and movies. Parks can be found throughout the community and offer an array of athletic fields, walking trails, and playgrounds for the little ones. Just on the edge of town sits the Merchantville Country Club. This nine-hole golf course is considered one of the most challenging in the region.
Throughout the year, a number of seasonal celebrations and annual festivals also engage the local community. Some of these many events include the Garden Tours and the Merchantville Crafts & Fine Arts Festival, the Car Show & Sock Hop, Holiday Parade, Easter Egg Hunt, Town-Wide Yard Sale, the Downtown Candlelight Shopping and Historic House Tour, and the Merchantville Birthday Celebration on the first Saturday in June.
Students in public school for pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade attend the Merchantville School District at Merchantville Elementary School. Starting in September 2015, for ninth through twelfth grades, students from Merchantville highschoolers attend Haddon Heights High School as part of a new sending/receiving relationship, joining students from Barrington and Lawnside, who already attend Haddon Heights High school.
About the Neighborhood
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Data last updated: May 27, 2020 8:09:am.