Home / Dwell  / Main Line Parent Neighborhood Guide: Havertown

Main Line Parent Neighborhood Guide: Havertown

This sprawling suburb is rich in history, community, and family-friendly everything.

This sprawling suburb is rich in history, community, and family-friendly everything.

Just nine miles west of Center City, Havertown is a widespread suburb of thriving local businesses, parks, playgrounds, schools, and proud neighborhoods, each with its own feel and identity. From Brookline to Oakmont to Westgate Hills, Havertown is a family-strong Delaware County commonwealth belonging to the high-ranking Haverford Township School District. Adjacent to the Main Line and with easy access to Philadelphia, Havertown makes the perfect home for commuters with active families. 

Havertown History

The historical significance of Havertown is celebrated and promoted by the Haverford Township Historical Society, itself a longtime coalition of community-based Havertown residents begun in 1939 with the mission of preserving and educating on local history. 

The Grange Estate

Haverford Township was settled in 1681 on land purchased from William Penn, and George Washington himself was a visitor to the historic Grange Estate in Havertown’s Chatham Park. This mansion built in 1700 on a ten-acre estate is still open to the public, now one of Delaware County’s most affordable venues for outdoor weddings and other events. Havertown’s elementary school’s field-trip yearly to Nitre Hall, built just above Cobbs Creek circa 1800, Lawrence Cabin, one of Havertown’s oldest residences dating back to 1710, and Federal School, a one-room school-house established in 1797 along Darby Road. Want to take in Havertown’s many historic sites in one day? Hike or bike the Haverford Heritage Trail, wending through Havertown and throughout the district. 

Havertown Roots

Perhaps the most notable quality shared amongst the many Havertown neighborhoods is the strong sense of family and community, With kid-friendly streets, excellent public and private schools, and over thirty outdoor parks and playing fields, Havertown holds a strong attraction for new families to root in and grow, and for established families to dig even deeper. 

The Deuschle Family: Erica and Dave with Callie, Wesley, and Wyatt. Photo courtesy of STR Productions and the Deuschles

Erica Deuschle, Havertown-born-and-raised mother of three, former board member of Haverford Township Historical Society, and award-winning realtor with a booming practice throughout Havertown and far beyond, has this to say about the place she and her family call home, “I know every divot in every street. [When] we knew we wanted a bigger house we thought, do we move out of Havertown? But it was too hard to leave.” Erica’s roots in Havertown are so deep that even her parents, Doc and Terri Dougherty, are natives who attended Haverford High School. The recently retired Doc spent his career in service to the township as a mechanic and later as Public Works Director for a decade. 

Now living in Havertown’s Brookline sector, Erica notes that her corner of the world has “…come a long way since I was a kid, but it still has that small-town vibe I love so much. Havertown has grown with the times.” Community events, a diverse population, restaurants, activities, and schools that embrace and support special needs kids are just a few of the reasons Erica and thousands of other families are pleased to call Havertown home.

Havertown Living

Havertown’s many neighborhoods largely feature single-family homes in a variety of styles and sizes. You’ll also find rowhomes, condominiums, and apartments to own or rent. While home values vary according to size, location, age, condition, and construction, the current median is under $350,000, and property taxes are relatively low, making this area more affordable than some nearby Main Line townships. Developed over centuries, Havertown offers assorted home styles from Victorian and Craftsman to Dutch Colonial and the Havertown signature, the brick Colonial. Havertown residents are house-proud, with year-round attention to gardening, landscaping, and curb appeal.

Havertown Business 

A major contributor to Havertown’s curb appeal? Taddeo’s Greenhouses, a family-owned business since 1954, of the sort that is an ideal representation of Havertown’s local marketplace. So many local businesses keep Havertown quaint, but active and well-serviced, from coffeehouses and restaurants to yoga studios and automotive repair shops.

 

Michael Taddeo says, “I keep my hands in the soil.” Another born-and-bred Havertownian who attended local schools, he also has hands in the community as he beautifies the streets of his lifelong home and preserves the Taddeos’ long-standing relationships with their customers. Running the business with his mother, “Bunny,” and a cousin, they maintain a Havertown establishment opened by Michael’s grandparents. Offering a livelihood over the decades to numerous Taddeos and a seasonal selection of annuals, perennials, indoor plants, and more to Havertown residents, Taddeo’s Greenhouses is a community essential. It inspires that rare trait in today’s world of corporate shopping: a sense of belonging. 

 

Spring’s first pansies in Taddeo’s Greenhouse

Havertown Schools

The Haverford Township School District features five elementary schools: Chatham Park, Chestnutwold, CoopertownManoa, and Lynnewood, each with its own mascot, programming, and fierce pride. All five elementaries filter into Haverford Middle School and Haverford High School. Additionally, Havertown is home to many pre-K, nursery, and Montessori schools, along with private K-12 and other schools throughout the township. 

Haverford High School

Havertown Institutions, Old and New

Haverford Area YMCA

Erica Deuschle says, “In the last decade, the township has really upped their game.” What could speak to this statement more than the transformation of the Swell Bubblegum Factory, another historic Havertown site opened in 1947 and closed in 2004, into the gorgeously appointed Haverford Area YMCA? A huge boon to the township, the Y is just part of this community’s development over recent years. Institutions like The Skatium, where team practices, lessons, events, and free-skate sessions keep the ice busy year-round has been going strong since 1974. And don’t forget The Haverford Township Free Library, open since 1937 at Darby and Mill Road, right in the heart of Havertown, where, by definition, such an important community hub belongs. With its calendar brimming with activities and events for all ages, the library enriches the population it serves with literature, film, knitting circles, poetry groups, trivia nights, pajama story-time and so much more.

The Haverford Township Free Library

Havertown Events and Must-dos

Havertown is buzzing with action and events throughout the year. In September, attend the Haverford Music Festival, flooding the Oakmont Business District with music and custom since 2011. In October, celebrate the town at Haverford Township Day, then enjoy Oktoberfest, a fundraiser hosted by the Haverford Township Historical Society, which also hosts the yearly Holiday House Tour each December. When the weather starts to break, bike, run, or walk along Karakung Drive, closed to traffic every Sunday from May through October. For two weeks each May, you’ll have the opportunity to continue more than fifty years of fun at the St. Denis Fun Fair and spot its iconic Ferris wheel as you cruise along Eagle Road. June is the month for Irish Fest and Heritage Festival where you’ll enjoy historic demonstrations, food, crafts, vendors, music, and activities from morning until evening.

Are you a long-time Havertown resident, or a new inhabitant? We’d love to hear about your connections to your community. Comment below with your story!

Photographs by Karen Barbuscia, except where noted.

Assistant Editor

3 COMMENTS
  • Danielle Foster April 24, 2019

    We have lived in havertown the first time, for 8 years (renting) then moved out for 1 whole year and had to come back to raise my children here and bought our home here 3 years ago. My husband and I opened our photography business (Danielle Foster Creations) in 2011 on Darby Road and recently to our 3rd location (still in Havertown) at 1717 West Chester Pike.
    This building from what I gathered was a stop for the Underground Railroad and I love to have my business in such a cool historic building in Havertown. I love the sense of community here and have no plans going anywhere else

  • steve May 2, 2019

    We love Havertown, or as we like to affectionately call it – HTOWN! As an owner of HTOWN Born – BlueRooted we think it’s the best place to live in DELCO, let alone the country! Keep making HTOWN the best it can be!

POST A COMMENT

New Server (199.223.114.41)