Settled in the 1680’s by Quakers from the lake region of northern Wales, the village of Bala Cynwyd was named after the Welsh towns of Bala and Cynwyd. As with most of the communities in the Main Line area, this picturesque village places a premium on education. Bala Cynwyd was originally two separate towns, “Bala” and “Cynwyd” (pronounced “kinwid” or sometimes “kinwood” by the locals). In the early 1900’s a post office was constructed to serve both towns, and by 1906 the towns had merged.
Located in Lower Merion Township, Merion Station borders the communities of Wynnewood, Narberth, and Bala Cynwyd. The main commercial district in Merion is located along Montgomery Avenue and extends into neighboring Bala Cynwyd. Merion Meeting House was built at the present intersection of Montgomery Avenue and Meetinghouse Lane in 1695 by Welsh settlers. The area includes restaurants, gift shops and other stores, as well as local landmarks more than a half century old whose reputations extend well beyond Merion’s limits, notably Hymie’s Merion Delicatessen, The Tavern Restaurant, Murray’s Delicatessen, Babis’s Pharmacy, Bala Pizza, and the Township Cleaners.