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Hike to Historic RittenhouseTown!

August 15, 2011

Guess who was named as one of the best US Hiking Cities by National Geographic? Philadelphia! Their highlight is the famous Wissahickon Gorge. The Gorge is over 1,800 acres of trails and is home to the lush waters of the Wissahickon Creek. Other than hiking, those visiting the Wissahickon can take part in biking, walking, horseback riding, and fishing. Another activity that those visiting the Wissahickon can partake in is a stroll through Historic RittenhouseTown!

Located right off of Wissahickon Avenue along the Wissahickon and Monoshone Creeks, Historic RittenhouseTown is a beautiful place to visit while touring Philadelphia. It is home to the first paper mill in British North America, built by William Rittenhouse and his son, Nicholas. As an industrial center, it attracted the building of a second mill, homestead and bake house. For the next 200 years, while eight generations of Rittenhouse family members continued to live and work all along the Monoshone and Wissahickon Creeks, the focus of the community remained this intimate cluster of buildings enclosing both public and private space.

From the early 18th century, Rittenhouse Street linked the early settlements in Germantown with RittenhouseTown and brought a constant stream of people, horses and wagons into the community past the Homestead on their way to the mill across the Monoshone Creek. Weavers transformed flax grown in Germantown into linen textiles and when the fabric was reduced to rags it was brought to RittenhouseTown to be made into paper.  Paper produced at the Rittenhouse mill was sold to printers in nearby Germantown, Philadelphia and New York for use in Bibles and newspapers.

As you hike through a forest that will bring you back in time, it only makes sense to stop by a historical site that brings the past to life! Learn more about visiting Historic RittenhouseTown here!

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