Called the most historic street in America, Germantown Avenue follows the path of an ancient Lenni Lenape trail. This historic route links Germantown, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill, the three neighborhoods of the city of Philadelphia that make up the old German Township. From the first protest against slavery in North America, to the battle of Germantown in 1777, to the service of its two military hospitals during the Civil War, Germantown has been the site of some of history's most significant events. Many rarely seen images from the archives of the Germantown Historical Society are in Germantown, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill. Covering the period from Colonial times to the twentieth century, these images tell in sharp detail the story of the region founded by German-speaking settlers in 1683. From these beginnings, Germantown evolved into a prosperous industrial center by the mid nineteenth century. It also became home to wealthy businessmen who built elaborate Victorian villas and gardens. Germantown was home to one of the nation's first commuter railroads and to many factories and textile mills. Immigrants from all parts of Europe were attracted to Germantown. These faces, events, and places are what make Germantown, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill an indispensable keepsake.
Author Bio: A respected writer and local historian, Judith Callard is currently the editor of the Germantown Crier, the magazine of the Germantown Historical Society. She has written articles for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Germantown Courier. She has gone to exhaustive lengths to assemble the perfect collection of images which, along with her well-researched narrative, make Germantown, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill an important and timeless work.
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