A Short History of Willow Grove, PA

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The following article is brought to you by the sexual abuse attorneys from Willow Grove. Our legal team is happy to assist you in learning about the CDP of Willow Grove.

Brief History of Willow Grove

Willow Grove is a census-designated place (CDP) within Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Its history started with the Manor of Moreland land grant established by William Penn in the 1700s. Dr. Nicholas More, a friend and business associate of Penn, received 9,815 acres of land. In 1718, the area became known as the Township of Moreland, and the first home was built a year later. To absorb the surrounding swamplands, willow trees were planted in the township. Around 1792, the name of the town was officially changed to Willow Grove. By the mid-1800s, it had become a summer vacation retreat community for Philadephia residents.

Willow Grove grew and developed rapidly in the late 1800s and early 1900s as railroads and trolley development expanded into the area. As the area gained more traction, the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company decided to build an amusement park at the end of the line. In 1896, Willow Grove Park was opened. The park would become the prototype for a number of parks throughout the country.

As of 2010, Willow Grove has a population of 15,726 people and a total area of 3.6 square miles. The edge city is home to many retail and office spaces.

Learn more about Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania: From Past to Present.

Willow Grove Park

Willow Grove Park was an amusement park that opened in 1896 in Willow Grove. As a premier amusement park in the U.S., the trolley park was a way to encourage weekend customers on the trolley line. One of its biggest attractions is the music pavilion. Known as the "Music Capital of America," the park has hosted a wide range of orchestras and bands. John Philip Sousa and his band members performed at the music pavilion every year from 1901 until 1959 when the pavilion was demolished. In 1975, the park was closed down.

Willow Grove Park Mall

Left vacant for nearly a decade, Willow Groce Park was cleared for the development of the Willow Grove Park Mall. Opened in August 1982, the large three-story mall is home to over 120 stores and a variety of restaurants. Owned by Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, it is the third-most profitable shopping mall in the Philadephia area. The mall features a scenic elevator and a carousel that pays homage to the former amusement park.

Some of the tenants in the mall are:

  • Victoria's Secret & PINK
  • Saladworks
  • Express
  • T-Mobile
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop
  • Stride Rite
  • H&M
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Go Games & Toys
  • Studio Movie Grill
  • Zumiez
  • PacSun
  • Hot Topic
  • Hollister Co
  • Champs Sports
  • Deep Sic CBD | Edibles & Oils
  • Swarovski
  • TGI Fridays
  • Yard House

The anchor stores for Willow Grove Mall are Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom Rack, Sears and Primark. It can be found at the intersection of Moreland Road and Easton Road.

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