Students living in Rutledge attend school in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District.
Rutledge was founded in 1885 by a group of Philadelphia businessmen, and incorporated as a Borough in 1887. Here is how the community was described in an 1897 promotional brochure:
“Located ten miles from Philadelphia, on the line of the Central Division of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, three minutes walk from Morton Station – it is reached in from 20 to 30 minutes by 21 trains daily… To the west lies the magnificent Swarthmore College, and to the southeast, three miles away, lies the Delaware River… its school is one of the finest in the county; its houses are neat and attractive, and their owners take great pride in their homes and the adornment of their grounds.”
Since then, there have been a few name changes. The train line is SEPTA’s Media/Elwyn Line, which provides 26 trains on weekdays from Philadelphia to what is now called the Morton-Rutledge Station. But in many ways, this description still holds true today. The schools in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District are still among the finest in the county, and the homes, many of them dating back to the late 19th century, are still kept with pride by their owners.
There is a long-standing legend that the Borough was named after Ann Rutledge, a sweetheart of Abraham Lincoln. This erroneous story is perpetuated in the sign that greets you as you approach Rutledge from the south on Morton Avenue. The actual story, according to the founders’ brochure, is that the town was named after a then-popular romantic novel written in the 1860s. However, the site of what is now Rutledge Borough was once a section of land on the estate of Edward Rutledge, who served as Representative from South Carolina at the Constitutional Convention of July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia and was the youngest signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. The person who first suggested the name may also have known of this connection.