Our Community

Rooted in history. Poised for growth.

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Our History

Roots so deep, they predate America.

Philadelphia is known for history, and Roxborough is no exception. Before our country declared its independence, we were already laying the groundwork for the beautiful, green, inviting community that Roxborough is today.

Our community was founded in 1682, more than three centuries ago. Back then, Roxborough was a neighborhood of farms stretching from the clear waters of the Wissahickon Creek to the apex of Ridge Avenue. William Penn singled us out as a uniquely beautiful part of Philadelphia.

Before the arrival of railroads, Ridge Avenue was a key travel route running from Center City Philadelphia, through Roxborough, and beyond. During the American Revolution, British troops marched down this central byway towards Philadelphia after the Battle of Germantown on October 4, 1777. Like much of the surrounding area, our community was the site of bitter battles and terrible war scenes.

After America won her independence, Roxborough began to prosper again. The industrial revolution arrived. Local waterways powered sawmills, paper mills, cotton mills, and more. Farmland was converted into stately Victorian streets. Religious and recreational organizations thrived. Our hospital was built. The community grew.

Roxborough Today

Today, Ridge Avenue has become less of a throughway and more of a destination. It is lined with restaurants, shops, and other local businesses. Despite the changing landscape, one aspect of our community has remained the same: the progressive, welcoming people who call Roxborough home.

Just like the pioneering farm owners, visionary revolutionaries, and hardworking industrialists of the past, Roxborough residents and businesses are reinventing this community, redefining it for a new generation.  Together, we’re making it friendlier, cleaner, safer, more diverse, more prosperous, more creative, and more beautiful than ever.

Photo: Roxborough map

Poster of key milestones throughout Roxborough’s history.

Photo: front

Visit the Historical Society

Dive deeper into our history through stories and archives curated by the Roxborough Manayunk Wissahickon Historical Society.

Photo: artislife 5 30 15 0340

Read About Roxborough's Architecture

Joseph Minardi's Historic Architecture In Philadelphia series provides a photographic story of Roxborough's architectural history.

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