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An Early History of Manayunk, PA

manayunk personal injury lawyer near pretzel park

The following article is brought to you by the lawyers of personal injury from Manayunk. Our legal team hopes to encourage residents and visitors to learn more about the history of the neighborhood.

History of Manayunk

Manayunk is a neighborhood in Lower Northwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Situated adjacent to the neighborhoods of Wissahickon and Roxborough and the banks of the Schuylkill River, its name is derived from the Lenape Indian's word "Manaiung," which is translated as "place to drink."

The history of the area dates back to a land purchase made by William Penn in 1685 and 1686, who then transferred it to the family of Wigard Levering. In 1716, a large part of the land was sold to Levering's son, Jacob. He proceeded to build the first house in the area that would become Manayunk. By 1810, the growing town was referred to as Flat Rock because of a flat looking rock lying on the lower side of a bridge known as Flat Rock Bridge.

During the 19th century, a dam, canal and locks were constructed by the Schuylkill Navigation Company in Manayunk. In 1819, Capt. John Towers opened the first mill in the area that utilized the canal's water power. Soon, Manayunk became an important manufacturing village. By the 1830s, it also had a large textile industry built by Joseph Ripka. The town's name was changed to Manayunk after inhabitants became dissatisfied with "Flat Rock." On June 11, 1840, the borough of Manayunk was incorporated.  Fourteen years later, it was annexed by the City of Philadelphia.

Today, Manayunk is a small neighborhood with two- and three-story townhomes, hilly streets and cobblestone paving. As demand for housing increased in the area, empty storefronts, mom-and-pop shops, former mills, and closed soap and paper factories were renovated and replaced with loft apartments, condominium towers and upscale shops. Manayunk is now a popular place of residence for college students and younger, upper-middle-class professionals and families.  The nightlife on Main Street in the neighborhood has also drawn visitors from everywhere.

Read more: Historical Aspects of Morton, PA

James Dobson Elementary School

James Dobson Elementary School is a historic school in Manayunk. Designed by architect Irwin T. Catharine, it was built in 1929 and 1930. The three-story, five-bay, brick building is of the Late Gothic Revival style. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on November 18, 1988.

The public elementary school is part of the Philadelphia City School District and has a population of 249 students. Offering classes from Kindergarten through 8th grade, it has a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. 57% of its students are at least proficient in reading, and 32% are in math. The school has a Niche overall grade of a C and a 4 out of 10 rating on GreatSchools.

Pretzel Park

Pretzel Park is a neighborhood park that is part of the Fairmount Park system. Established in 1929, it was originally named Manayunk Park. However, residents in the area have always known and referred to the park as Pretzel Park because of its pretzel-shaped sidewalks. In 2004, it was officially renamed Pretzel Park. On November 28, 2005, a 6-feet tall pretzel sculpture was installed in the park.

Today, Pretzel Park offers a recreation space for residents and visitors. Providing a large open space and shaded areas, there are also many park benches, a playground, and a dog park for you to utilize. Every Saturday, the park also hosts its weekly farmers' market where local vendors can come and sell their products.

Our Local Office

If you or someone you know has been suffering from injuries incurred due to another's negligence, contact our Manayunk personal injury attorneys. We will help you secure the compensation you are warranted. Call our local office today to schedule your case evaluation.

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Philadelphia, PA 19144
(445) 200-5285

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David Petrone
Date Published: October 30, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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