Schuylkill River Trail
The hustle of traffic is all gone, I can hear the leaves falling all around me, the forest is alive with activity and color, it's a beautiful trail in Philly.
The Schuylkill River Bridge nearly met its demise in the 19 century. Once home to the Delaware Indians who called it Manaiunk meaning "Rushing and Roaring Waters."
The Native Americans known as the Lenni-Lenape inhabited this region they called Lenapehoking; Southern New York all the way through Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey down to Delaware. “Lenni” means “genuine” or “pure” or “real” or “original”; “Lenape” — properly pronounced “Leh-NAH-pay” — means “Indian” or “man
Do you remember tales of Valley Forge, it's just up the river a bit. Just imagine, a generation of people who sacrificed and perseverance through the Revolutionary War, pulling together, and overcame adversity during extraordinary times!
The First Bridge: Our Nation's Founding Father, in 1776 General George Washington, ordered the building of a bridge connecting Philadelphia to the West over the Schuylkill River.
The Continental Army was in peril, after a series of devastating battles, losses mounting, morale and all-time low, General Putnam gave the order to impede the advance of the British; destroying the bridge, after the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777.
The Second Bridge: The following year, Sir William Howe, directed Captain John Montressor to erect a second bridge, but the hastily built span was ruined by, "Rushing and Roaring Waters."
The Third Bridge: Captain John Montressor and his troops collected the debris and constructed a third bridge, which remained after the British departed the area.
After the wars end, an English traveler Henry Wansey visited the United States in 1794; his description of the third bridge, in An "Excursion to the United States of America" published two years later:
"[two iron chains] strained across the river parallel to each other, about six feet distance; on it are placed flat planks, fastened to each chain; and in this the horses and carriages pass over. As the horses stepped on the boards they sank under the pressure and the water rose between them; no railing on either side, it really looked very frightful and dangerous."
The chains are gone, but the memories live on.
Schuylkill River Trail