West Point, PA
 Welcome to the Village of West Point website!


West Point was known as Lukens Station from 1873 to 1876 and owes
its existence almost exclusively to the construction of the Stony Creek Railroad.

       In a corner of Upper Gwynedd Township in southeastern Pennsylvania, about 15 miles from Philadelphia, the village of West Point has existed since 1877. Very small by today's standards, it was the largest village in Gwynedd Township. The population of the entire township (now split into Upper and Lower Gwynedd) was about 2000 at that time.

     Isolated by farmland and forest from other towns such as North Wales and Lansdale, it was accessible by rail, trolley car and horseback. West Point was "west" of a mill in North Wales, and its name is derived from that fact. (The location of the mill building, still standing, is explored in more detail on this website.)

     West Point once had a grist mill, a planing mill, a saw mill, a brick yard and a lumber yard. There were two feed houses which supplied feed, coal, hay, cement, lumber and fertilizer. Portable steam engines were manufactured here. There was a fine hotel, a general store, tavern and a post office. There were stables behind the hotel and a blacksmith on Garfield Avenue.

     Passengers and freight arrived at the train station, and the trolley went through the village, stopping at Zieber's Park. Wagonloads of hay came here to be processed, then shipped out by train. There was an elementary school on Main Street, and later the Upper Gwynedd  high school was built next to it. Shoes and hosiery were made here, cows were sold, and almost every house had a chicken coop and a "truck patch" (vegetable garden). There was a wheelwright shop which added a gasoline pump when the automobile appeared on the scene. The telegraph office could be found at the train station. The station agent delivered the mail, which arrived at the post office in the general store.
This aerial photo of a section of Upper Gwynedd shows that as late as 1942 the village was still isolated by farmland. After WWII the farms in Upper Gwynedd began to be bought up and converted to housing. The very last bit of farmland adjoining west Point disappeared in 1999 when Merck built an office building on Broad Street near Garfield Avenue on what had been a corn field.

The dark rectangle surrounded by the bright area is the beginning of Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, formerly the Kellet Aircraft Company.                                    
Click here for a full size version.

An example of the population growth can be found in "A History of the Church of the Messiah, Gwynedd, PA." This is a small Episcopalian church which was built in the center of Gwynedd.

In 1878 (a year after the creation of the West Point village) the church had forty members and the Sunday School had 63 pupils.

In 1921 the church had 204 members and the Sunday School had 112 pupils.

In 1947 the church had 239 members and 80 pupils in the Sunday School.

In 1957 the church had 1,855 members and 350 enrolled in Sunday School.

It had taken 69 years for the congregation to grow by 400 percent, and just 10 years later the number was seven times that amount!

From 1947 to 1957 there were 39 million births in the United States. Unsurprisingly, the membership in the church doubled after 1965.

     As rural farmland was replaced by urban sprawl, West Point was surrounded by and encroached upon by late 20th century America. The "village" practically disappeared, swallowed by the new growth. In 2005 signs were placed at the four corners of the village so people could tell where it once started and ended.

     Every weekday morning an unending stream of automobile traffic flows through West Point, many of the cars going to the enormous pharmaceutical complex of Merck and Co which employs 11,000 workers at the site. Indeed, the location of the Amos Jones farm which was so significant to the formation of the village is now part of Merck’s property. Still, in spite of many of the parts being forever lost, the village survives somewhat intact.

     Today no lumber, bricks or engines are produced in West Point. Almost all manufacturing in the village itself has disappeared, leaving the repurposed buildings behind. Feed for livestock is no longer available for purchase, hay is not baled and the talk of fun at Zieber's Park is no longer heard at the tavern. You can't get a hotel room, there is no general store and the schools have vanished. Coal, chickens and cows are no longer for sale. There is no trolley service and if you need a ride on the train you'll have to drive to a train station.

     Although the train station and trolley tracks are gone, the Stony Creek rail line still operates on rare occasion. Residents find comfort late at night hearing the train coming through, the sound softened almost into melody as it fades into the distance. Few know where it has come from or what its destination will be, but that train was an important part of West Point history.


Freight train crossing West Point Pike on the Stony Creek Line.

     West Point still has the Post Office which made the village name official. It is also is the home of  the Upper Gwynedd Fire House. It is home to Gwyndale auto repair shop, Grace Church and a park with a playground. West Point Radio is heard on 91.3 FM.

     Also in West Point is a business center, the Village Tea House, a machine shop, a tree surgeon, a garden center, contractors, landscapers, lawyers and other professional and home based businesses, not to mention the headquarters and manufacturing plants for Colorcon and Merck & Co.

     There is also the (in)famous Pizza Time Saloon, housed in what had once been the West Point Grove Hotel. If you need directions to West point, just ask how to get to Pizza Time.

West Point is also home to some of the nicest people you'll find anywhere.


This website will showcase some of the sights and history of West Point Pennsylvania.
Enjoy your visit.