History | The Levering Family | Industrial Revolution | 21st Century
Roxborough’s past, present, and future focuses on the themes of community and entrepreneurialism.
In 1690 William Penn divided 11 tracks of land between the Schuylkill River, Germantown border
and Montgomery County. This land was sold at auction and was divided into smaller tracts of land for
farming and settlement.
While Roxborough is only nine miles northwest of Center City Philadelphia in the 18th century there
were significant differences in the economic and social attitudes of the two regions. Roxborough was
isolated from Philadelphia due to geographic obstacles. The Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek
served as land barriers and the steep hills and unpaved roads made 18th century modes of transportation
The second differential to the City of Philadelphia was that the earliest settlers that lived in Roxborough
wanted to live a communal and self-determining way of life. Many of the residents in Center City
Philadelphia were Tories and had allegiances to Britain and believed in the British economic system.
The Roxborough people were determined to promote sustainable communal and commercial lifestyles.
Many of the crops as well as other goods and services were traded amongst the Roxborough community
as well as to locations in Lancaster and Harrisburg.