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The History of Olney, PA

olney slip and fall attorney near tacony creek park

This article is presented by the slip and fall attorneys in Olney, PA, who are excited to share detailed content about the local community.

History of Olney

Olney is a residential neighborhood in North Philadelphia along the northwest end of Tacony Creek Park. Before industrialization, the community was largely farmland settled by German Americans. Until the late 1800s-early 1900s, Olney was mainly home to wealthy people in business who could afford to live outside the city's boundaries.

Olney's development coincided with Philadelphia's northern expansion. As the city continued to attract workers, the Olney population expanded, and larger companies, including Heintz Manufacturing Company, built factories in the community. The industrial industry was prominent during these years, but the Olney commercial district was the leading force led by the Olney Businessmans' Association. As the commercial district thrived throughout the early 1900s, the population expanded. The Broad Street Subway station opened to transport commuters allowing the town to maintain its suburban charm while serving city workers.

From the early-mid 1900s, Olney became more established as community members advocated for opening a public library where Olney High School students could study, and residents could gather. In 1931, residents founded the Olney Symphony Orchestra and the Olney Times newspaper, which circulated until 2010.

The residential community continued to thrive but experienced a shift in demographics between 1960-1980 when Olney experienced "white flight." While European-Americans moved out, more African American and Korean- American residents moved in. The area became a predominately Korean-populated town by the mid-1980s allowing for many residents to refer to the area as "Koreatown."

Today, Olney is a largely African American community where residents enjoy a suburban lifestyle with several local amenities, including neighborhood parks, restaurants, and shops.

Tacony Creek Park

Tacony Creek Park is a prominent contribution to the town of Olney. The neighborhood park spans 300 acres and was originally hunting grounds for the land's original inhabitants, the Lenni Lenape Indians. The park was established in 1915 as parkland by the City of Philadelphia to preserve the creek's health. Today, the park features several running, walking, and biking trails that span the park's entire length.

Many Olney residents volunteer with the Tacony Creek Park Keeper organization. The organization diligently works to maintain the health of the environment and the Olney neighborhood. Since the park's founding, it has remained a site where community members join together to celebrate the neighborhood's progress and work to maintain a sustainable future.

Tasty Treats

After residents spend a long day enjoying the beauty of Tacony Creek Park, many will visit the several local restaurants within the area. Olney has long been a community of small businesses, and residents often frequent the town's local restaurants and shops to support local vendors. Within the center of the town, there are several popular noteworthy restaurants worth visiting including,

  • Guate Gualan Restaurant, a Guatemalen resturant
  • Cafe Liz, a Portugese restaurant
  • La Caleñita Bakery & Café

Continue with: A Brief History of West Oak Lane, PA

Our Local Office

Contact our Olney, PA, slip and fall attorneys if you have suffered from an accident at a local business. Our dedicated staff will work diligently to help you get the justice you deserve.

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6720 Old York Rd #102
Philadelphia, PA 19126
(267) 930-6969

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David Petrone
Date Published: July 22, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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