Roxborough is a neighborhood in the Northwest section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is bordered to the southwest, along the Schuylkill River, by the area of Manayunk, along the northeast by the Wissahickon Creek section of Fairmount Park, and to the southeast by the neighborhood of East Falls. Beyond Roxborough to the northwest is Montgomery County. Roxborough’s ZIP code is 19128. Most of Roxborough is in Philadelphia’s 21st Ward.
The Native American trail called the Manatawny, now Ridge Avenue, was central to the well-organized development of farms and plantations within the area then known as Manatawna. The Court of Upland in England appointed local Swedish settler Peter Rambo to maintain the Manatawny road. In 1690, the road was renamed Ridge Road (it follows the crest of the ridge between the Wissahickon valley and the Schuylkill valley), and the area was renamed Roxburgh, likely named for Roxburghshire, Scotland, the ancestral home of Andrew Robeson, one of the earliest settlers of the area. By 1707, the name had been changed to Roxborough. Roxborough was first mentioned as a township in QS Road Docket II: 31 in 1706. In 1840, Manayunk was erected as a borough within the township, and on March 31, 1847, Manayunk was declared separate from the township.
Most of modern-day Roxborough was once part of Roxborough Township, which was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia, PA following the passage of the Act of Consolidation in 1854. At this time, Roxborough was the home of the area’s wealthiest, the owners of the Manayunk mills. These textile mills produced revenue that was spent building schools, parks, and a large Victorian manor for the area’s elderly women, The Roxborough Home for Women. Bed Bug Exterminator Philly
Since the 1950s, most of Philadelphia’s major television and FM radio stations have located their transmission towers in Roxborough because of its hilly terrain and high elevation. The tallest of these towers, the American Tower, stands approximately 1,250 feet (381m) tall. Public television station “MiND,” once called “WYBE,” was also formerly located in Upper Roxborough, close to neighboring Andorra.
Roxborough is well-connected to the Center City of Philadelphia, with multiple bus routes and bike lanes reaching the river and downtown area of Philadelphia. SEPTA’s Manayunk/Norristown Regional Rail line stops in the Wissahickon section of Roxborough, continues through Manayunk, and stops again at the Ivy Ridge station in Roxborough. Philadelphia University and St. Joseph’s University are nearby.
In 1706, a German philosopher Johannes Kelpius who lived in the woods not far from Robeson wrote about “foxes burrowing in rocks” in the area. A correlation between the phonetic spelling “Rocksburrow” that many resident Germans applied to the Township, and Kelpius’s “where foxes burrow” letter of 1706, convinced many that the township’s origins related to foxes.
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