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An Introduction to the History of Roxborough, PA

The medical malpractice lawyers in Roxborough, PA, at Justice Guardians would like to offer this deeper look into the community's history.


The neighborhood of Roxborough is located in the Northwest section of Philadelphia in the 21st Ward, in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. The Schuylkill River and the Schuylkill Expressway both travel along the town's western edge. Manayunk and East Falls are to the south of the community, while Lafayette Hill and Gladwyne are to its north. 


The Manatawny, now Ridge Avenue, was an early Native American trail that was crucial for developing farms and plantations within the area. During the early years, the community was known as Manatawna. Swedish settler Peter Rambo was appointed by The Court of Upland in England to be in charge of the Manatawny road. The road's name was changed to Ridge Road in 1690. This is most likely because it follows the ridge between the Wissahickon and the Schuylkill valleys. The area was also renamed after Roxburghshire, Scotland, the family home of Andrew Robeson. Robeson was one of the earliest settlers within the community. By 1707, the name changed to just Roxborough and was first mentioned as a township in the 1706 Road Docket.

Most of the community was once part of the greater township, but the present-day area was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia in 1854. During this time, the neighborhood was home to some of the area's wealthiest, such as the owners of the Manayunk mills. This revenue from these textile mills allowed the community to build schools, parks. Additionally, the community was home to a large Victorian manor, The Roxborough Home for Women.

Historical Landmarks

The Valley Green Hill was purchased by the Livezey family, operators of a large grist mill downstream, in 1791. The hotel was built in 1850 while construction on the Wissahickon Turnpike, or Lincoln Drive, was being completed. This major roadway brought many visitors and guests to the hotel. After many years of different ownership and renovations, it is the oldest roadhouse within the city. 

Ridge Avenue was once a Native American trail called the Manatawny. By 1730 the road was considered the "The Great Road from Philadelphia to Reading," allowing many passenger stagecoaches to travel through the area. In 1777, soldiers traveled the roadway to the Battle of Germantown during the American Revolution. 

There are 108 contributing buildings and 23 sites within the Upper Roxborough Historic District. Some of these include:

  • Shawmont Railroad Station (1834)
  • Miquon Station (1910)
  • Riverside Paper Mills (c. 1720-1730)
  • Hagy's Mill ruin
  • St. Mary's Church
  • "Fairview" (c. 1856)


The community is home to 14,131 residents that make up 5,683 households. Within the population are the following:

  • 83.7% White
  • 4.7% Hispanic or Latino
  • 7.3% Black or African American
  • 2.2% Asian
  • 1.8% Two or More Mixed Races
  • 0.3% Other Races

The median income per household was $67,700. Some of the commonly held professions include:

  • 12.8% Sales and Related
  • 10.4% Administrative
  • 9.8% Management
  • 9.6% Business
  • 6.8% Food Service
  • 6.5% Education
  • 5.4% Entertainment

Keep reading to learn more about the greater area: Discover the Rich History of Chestnut Hill, PA 

Our Local Office

The Roxborough, PA, medical malpractice lawyers at Justice Guardians are committed to helping all victims of medical negligence seek justice. Call now for a free consultation with a member of our legal team.

Justice Guardians
352 Church Ln
Philadelphia, PA 19144
(445) 200-5285

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David Petrone
Date Published: November 23, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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