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East Falls and Manayunk

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Industrial neighborhoods formed where water flow could power mills and in turn were later supplanted by steam and electric power. East Falls became the site of two immense mill complexes, John Dobson's vast conglomeration of rubble stone cloth mills at Ridge Avenue and farther north that still partially survive as the Chelsea Apartments at 4041 Ridge Avenue below the Roosevelt Boulevard twin bridges, and Powers and Weightman's long-demolished pharmaceutical mills that stood to the north of Ridge Avenue. Something of the wealth of the community is evident in the handsome 1930s row houses that line the 3400 and 3500 blocks of Midvale Avenue and the English half-timbered houses in neighboring Warden Drive and Hermit Street.

Manayunk had its origins in the early nineteenth century as an industrial community taking advantage of the water power at the falls of the Schuylkill to power mills. They quickly supported immigrant populations, many of whom came from Ireland.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas

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