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The Origins Of Historic
East Falls, Pennsylvania

 

East Falls was originally settled by the Lenni Lenape, a Native American tribe. In 1732 Fort St. David was established as a fishery and the area became popular for this purpose. As the area became industrialized by mills and other enterprises, employee homes developed into a neighborhood of row houses. East Falls is well known for its prominent residents (including actress Grace Kelly) and history of rowing on the Schuylkill River.

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14,807

Proud Local Residents

1,455

Square Miles of Scenic Land

300+

Years of Vibrant History

Four

Nationally-Registered Historic Landmarks

  • A Short History of East Falls, PA

A town shaped by the cross-waters …

The history of East Falls has been shaped by the confluence of the Schuylkill River and the Wissahickon Creek. These waters were fished by the Lenni Lenape before the arrival of European settlers. ln the early 18th century, they powered mills for the manufacture of cotton, glass and textiles. ln the late 1900s, breweries were built to take advantage of the presence of pure spring water in the area.

Because of its natural beauty, the region was used for recreation, boasting many hotels, taverns and inns. People traveled by boat from the City to East Falls to enjoy catfish and waffle dinners at inns along the river’s banks.

A community as resilient as it is rich in history …

When the Fairmount Dam was built downriver in 1822, the river’s water level rose, the falls disappeared, and industry supported by the rapidly flowing river vanished. East Falls, however, survived as a residential community with a closely- knit social structure, whch it maintains to this day.

Many families have lived in “the Falls” for several generations. The Historical Society of East Falls, founded on April 4, 2004, seeks to connect all residents of East Falls with their community’s rich history.