About HVL > History
History of the Library
The Huntingdon Valley Library dates back to 1871. It was located on Huntingdon Pike near the present Gulf Station. The second library was formed in 1919 by the Community Club. All the volumes were donated. The Community Club ran fund raising movies and minstrel shows to keep the library going. After a few years, due to the lack of funds and volunteers, the library closed.
In 1953, the Women’s Club of Huntingdon Valley started the third library as a community project. The collection consisted of donated books. Yerkes Cleaners cleared a shelf in their cleaning establishment to house the books. Soon the library’s growth necessitated a move to a rented house on Huntingdon Pike. The Women’s Club formed a Library Committee and staffed the library with volunteers. Residents in the area paid the rent.
In 1961, referendum was passed, and the library was incorporated as a non-profit organization with a Board of Trustees. Two years later; the library found a new home in the former Memorial Baptist Church where it stayed until an addition was built on the old Red Lion School site located across the street. The library moved into the new facility in April, 1995. With the new facility came a need to update technology.
In 1995, the library joined the Montgomery County Library and Information Network Consortium (MCLINC), a non-profit organization whose members are the public libraries in the county. As a resource and information center; the goal of the Huntingdon Valley Library is to enrich the lives of the residents of Lower Moreland Township by meeting their educational, cultural and recreational needs.
Huntingdon Valley, historic village
Huntingdon Valley is situated on the Middle road, near the Pennypack Creek, and but a short distance, from the Abington line. It contains two hotels, two stores, a hall, merchant mill, church, post-office, coal and lumber-yard, railroad-station and about forty houses….
- Bean, Theodore W., History of Montgomery County Pennsylvania,Philadelphia, Everts and Peck, 1884
History of Lower Moreland Township http://www.lowermoreland.org/township-information/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.
Bryn Athyn – Lower Moreland Bridge – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryn_Athyn-Lower_Moreland_Bridge
Fetter’s Mill – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetter%27s_Mill
Lady Washington Inn – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Washington_Inn
Fetter’s Mill Village Historic District – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetter%27s_Mill_Village_Historic_District
Historic Bethayers – http://www.lowermoreland.org/township-information/historic-bethayres
Just up the hill from SEPTA’s Bethayres Regional Rail Station lies the historic village of Bethayres. Today Bethayres contains a mix of residences and businesses that fill the historic buildings along Huntingdon Pike in Lower Moreland Township. With a variety of retail shops, services and restaurants, historic Bethayres offers a little bit of everything for everyone.
The library has a local history collection and has digitized versions of several resources.
Voices of the Valley – This publication is available for purchase in the library and can be accessed here.
Coming Soon – Pennypack Historical Society pamphlets
The Old York Road Historical Society was founded in 1936 to study and preserve the history and folklore of the communities along and adjacent to Old York Road from Philadelphia to New Hope. The Historical Society curates a display case at the Library.
On Sunday, May 20th, 2007, a reception was held to showcase a new area of the library called Anna’s Corner, dedicated to the memory of former staff member Anna Shpigel. Many contributors to the fund made this new beautiful area of our library possible.