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Everybody's Hometown

Walking Tour

Media Borough Pennsylvania Official Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media has always been a town rich in historical associations both national and local.

Such well known figures in American history as:

  • Abolitionist Lucretia Mott
  • William Jennings Bryan
  • President Zachary Taylor and
  • Mrs. Ida McKinley

were connected in some manner with Media Borough. State Senator Thomas Cooper, Dr. Philip Jaisohn, Congressman John Broomall, historian George Smith, artist Charles Fussell and Minshall Painter all made their mark upon the character of Media and left it with a proud and honored legacy. In traveling back in time with us on this walking tour, we hope to share with you a part of our valued heritage as a community.

  1. Media Borough Hall - Site of the Way Homestead, one of Media's original farms in 1850. Isaac Chalfont later built a livery stable here with stagecoach service to Chester. The fare was 25 cents one way. The present building was constructed as a post office in 1918. In 1969 it was converted into municipal offices.
  2. Ledger Building - Built in 1895 by John B. Robinson, a Congressman and local political figure, who was editor of the Media Ledger, a well known weekly newspaper at the turn of the century
  3. Haldeman's Store - Constructed in 1854 by Isaac Haldeman, first president of Media Borough Council, as a grocery and dry goods store. The First National Bank of Media had its original office here in 1864.
  4. Burdsall & Adams Cigar Factory - 104 and 106 West State Street. Manufacturer of famous cigars in 1900. It was Media's leading industry employing fifty people in this 1879 building. The company's best selling cigar cost 5 cents.
  5. Provident Bank - Built in 1899 in French Renaissance Revival architecture as the permanent home of the First National Bank of Media. Widely known for its distinctive Victorian design features. The great bronze doors at the front are original.
  6. Beatty Building - Dates from 1849. It was the first commercial structure erected in Media and continues in business use today. The lot on which it is located was purchased for $367.50 during the original sale of ground in Media by the County Commissioners.
  7. Plymouth Hall - Originally constructed in 1850 as the Charter House, a famous temperance hotel and summer resort. Media Borough Council first met on a permanent basis in this building in 1851.
  8. Institute of Science - Dates from 1867. The institute itself was established in 1833 "to promote for the people of Delaware County, the study and diffusion of general knowledge." It contains a museum of natural and area history. More information can be found on the Delaware County History website.
  9. Legal Row - the first business district of Media, occupied by lawyers and early merchants in 1850. An early photographic studio, Thompson's Daguerreotypes, as well as a druggist and chemist were located here.
  10. Court House - The original section was completed in 1851 with one courtroom. The structure was later expanded and altered in 1871, 1913 and 1929. Generally regarded as one of the handsomest court houses in the eastern United States. William Jennings Bryan once orated from the front steps.
  11. Delaware County American - 212 West State Street. Home of the famous weekly newspaper established in 1855 by Thomas V. Cooper, a leading political figure of his day. Two presidential platforms were written here.
  12. The Engle Bakery - 216 West State Street. This was originally the German bakery of Christian Schur in 1892 and later purchased by Harry Engle who baked bread, cakes and confectionary here. Homemade ice cream was 5 cents a plate.
  13. Cooper House - First home in Media of Thomas V. Cooper, state legislator and president of the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1878. This house was built prior to 1870. Number 330A was later used as an office by Dr. Philip Jaisohn, a famous Korean patriot and founding father of Korean independence from Japan. He settled in Media after service as a medical officer in three U.S. wars for which he was commended by Congress in 1946.
  14. State Street Historic District - 400 to 412 West State Street. Row of brick townhouses typical of Media during the preCivil War period about 1855. One of the last undisturbed blocks of old Media. Numbers 331-341 were built between 1855 and 1873. The first school house is located around the corner at 8 South Lemon Street. It was constructed in 1853 and used until 1860.
  15. Broomall House - Built in 1873 it was the home of John M. Broomall, a county judge, Civil War Congressman, and friend of Abraham Lincoln. It is a typical Victorian estate house of the latter half of the nineteenth century.
  16. Glen Providence Park - The first Delaware County park, established in 1935 as the result of a gift of thirty acres of ground from George Butler, a later owner of the Broomall House and estate.
  17. Williamson House - Built in 1850 by Charles R. Williamson, a borough councilman and businessman. The house has been used as a residence, post office, grocery store and shoe factory during its history. The structure was restored as law offices in 1976.
  18. Front Street Row - Typical block of Media row homes from 1880. They retain original brick walks and facades.
  19. Armory - Built in 1908 as headquarters for the Cooper Rifles, a military unit which was organized in 1877. It later housed Company M, 111th Infantry, Pennsylvania National Guard which left Media as a body in 1917 to serve in the First World War. Media men also departed here for the Mexican expedition in 1916 and World War II.  Located in the lower level of the Armory, at this time, is the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum which was was recently picked "Best Non-Profit of the Year" by the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.  For more information on the museum go to www.paveteransmuseum.org.    
  20. Presbyterian Church - The first church constructed in Media. It was designed by John McArthur, architect of the Philadelphia City Hall, and completed in 1855. It is well known for its classic Greek Revival style.
  21. Media School - Constructed in 1914 as the Media High School. It was formerly the site of the county poor farm and the famous Shortlidge Academy for Boys. The former athletic field is a community park named for John K. Barrall, long time principal of the school.
  22. Hillhurst - 216 South Orange Street. Built in 1890 by John Biddle as a summer home. It was designed by Addison Hutton, a famous Quaker architect of the Victorian period. This site was once part of the John Hill farm, one of the original properties composing what is now Media. H. Jones Brooke purchased the ground and erected the Brooke Hall Female Seminary in 1856, one block to the west. It's most famous graduate was Ida Saxton, wife of President William McKinley.
  23. Manley Home Site - The home in 1870 of Charles D. Manley, a distinguished public servant who served as borough councilman, mayor, school board member and state legislator between 1850 and 1870. His son Lt. De Haven Manley was a naval officer during the Civil War and a hero in the battle between the Monitor and Merrimac in 1862. A law office now occupies the site. The row of brick buildings between South Avenue and Olive Street, one block to the west, was Media's first office district. Numbers 100-102 date from 1855. Number 112 in 1878 was the home of the Delaware County Record, a widely known and respected weekly newspaper of the period. This block is now a borough historic district and retains the atmosphere of Media's early days.
  24. Briggs Farmhouse - Built in the early 1800's, this structure served as an early residence and later an inn called Brigg's Tavern. The property was one of the original farms composing what is now Media.
  25. Minshall House- Built in the early 1800's, it is the oldest house in Media.  There were many owners of this house, which was also used for a store at one time, from the Minshalls to their sons and through many owners to 1937 when ownership passed to Marion and George T. Lewis.  In May of 1975, on the 125th Anniversary of the Borough of Media, Marion Lewis deeded this house, in memory of her late husband, to the citizens of the Borough, who have designated this as a Historical Site, and restored the house as you see it today.  The Minshall House is completely furnished with period furniture, many valuable antiques, both borrowed and gifts.