Ridge Ave Roxborough Historic District

Native Americans


Prior to the European  settlement, Native Americans from the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Nation  inhabited the area that the settlers named Roxborough. A Native American  trail predating William Penn and his establishment of Pennsylvania,  known as the Perkiomen Path, ran along the line of what is today Ridge  Avenue. The Perkiomen Path connected the area around the confluence of  the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers where Penn later established Philadelphia with the Native American village at Manatawny, now  Pottstown, and lands farther to the west. Like Ridge Avenue, the trail  ran up from the Falls of the Schuylkill, along the ridge rising between  the valleys of the Schuylkill River and the Wissahickon Creek, and into  what is now Montgomery County. 2


Through his surveyor Thomas  Holme, William Penn purchased the land between the Schuylkill River and Pennypack Creek, including the area that would become Roxborough, from a  group of Lenni Lenape leaders in July 1684 (Figure 4). Although Swedes  and other Europeans had settled in the Delaware Valley in the mid  seventeenth century, it does not appear that any Europeans had  established permanent settlements in the Roxborough area prior to the 1684 purchase.


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This information has been posted by RMWHS with the permission of the Philadelphia Historical Commission.


2 Paul A. W.  Wallace, Indian Paths of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg: Pennsylvania  Historical and Museum Commission, 1965; reprinted, 1998), p. 127-128.