The Freedom Valley Chronicles: Whitemarsh Woods – Part Two

Whitemarsh Woods is a residential neighborhood located on Germantown Pike in the Lafayette Hill section of the Freedom Valley.  Until recently, this property was undeveloped.  Today, about one-third of the land that became Whitemarsh Woods remains woodlands and open space, as seen in the top photograph of Arbour Circle.  The maps below show the transition of the property into a housing development.

Much of central Whitemarsh Township was still being farmed or maintained as woodlands at the time of this aerial photograph in 1942. The property that becomes the future Whitemarsh Woods residential neighborhood is highlighted in yellow.
By 1958, much of the open space in central Whitemarsh Township was developed or being developed into residential neighborhoods.  The Whitemarsh Elementary School is the building near the middle of the top of this photograph.  The property that would become Whitemarsh Woods is highlighted in yellow.
This aerial map shows the property that became Whitemarsh Woods, highlighted in yellow, was still open space and woodlands in 1971.
Whitemarsh Woods in 2018 is seen in the yellow of this aerial map.

The top photograph of Whitemarsh Woods is provided courtesy of Google, 2018.

The second, third, and fourth photographs are provided courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 1942, 1958, and 1971.

The fifth photograph is provided courtesy of Bing, 2018.

Do you have questions about local history? A street name? A building?
Your questions may be used in a future news column.

Contact Richard McDonough at

© 2019 Richard McDonough