From its beginning, Media was different than most towns. It was formed in 1848 on 48 acres purchased from Sarah Briggs to provide a more centralized location for the Court of Justice for Delaware County. The Borough profits from a carefully planned preliminary design that best utilizes its confined dimensions, business districts, shopping areas and residential neighborhoods that coexist naturally with a busy Court House schedule.
During the latter half of the 19th Century, Media became a very popular summer resort for well-to-do Philadelphians. Several large vacation hotels were built including the Idlewild Hotel (1871) on Lincoln Street at Gayley Terrace, Chestnut Grove House or “The Colonial” (1860) on Orange Street, and Brooke Hall on Lemon Street and Washington Ave. (now Baltimore Ave.). The Chestnut Grove was once used for a year as Swarthmore College due to a fire on their campus. Media was connected to Philadelphia by rail in 1854 as a part of the Philadelphia Baltimore Washington Railroad, with as many as 50 trains a day passing through Media. Trolley transportation lines spread to and through Media in the 1890’s and early 1900’s.
Is Media, PA the Birthplace of Rock & Roll?
No, but almost. We have our connection. In March of 1951, record producer Dave Miller of Media, PA persuaded Bill Haley (of nearby Boothwyn, PA) to add drums to his group, The Saddlemen, and record the Ike Turner / Jackie Brenston R&B hit “Rocket 88.” The release on Miller’s Holiday Label was Haley’s first Rock & Roll recording. It is considered by some musical historians to be the first ever Rock & Roll record.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,533 people, 2,782 households, and 1,112 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,399.0 people per square mile (2,848.4/km²). There were 2,966 housing units at an average density of 3,966.3 per square mile (1,526.9/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 81.02% White, 14.22% African American, 0.14% Native American, 2.01% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 1.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.88% of the population. There were 2,782 households, out of which 14.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.2% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 60.0% were non-families. 49.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.85 and the average family size was 2.73. In the borough the population was spread out, with 13.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males. The median income for a household in the borough was $42,703, and the median income for a family was $58,065. Males had a median income of $42,121 versus $31,904 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,188. About 6.1% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over. The population in 1900 consisted of 3,075 people, whose numbers grew to 3,562 in 1910, and to 5,351 in 1940.