Kingsessing gets its name from the Indian word Chincessing, meaning "bog meadow" or "place of the big shells." This name was applied by the Dutch and the Swedes to the whole region along the west bank of the lower Schuylkill River. First officially mentioned in 1667, Kingsessing was the first village within the territory of Philadelphia.
The township of Kingsessing became a part of Philadelphia in 1854. At that time, the Belmont Cricket Club Playing Field occupied the land on which the library and recreation center now sit.
Kingsessing Branch opened on November 29, 1919, the 22nd library in Philadelphia to be constructed with Carnegie funds. The library was renovated in 1999 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet service to every library.
While you're in the neighborhood, you can visit Bartram's Garden at 54th and Lindbergh Boulevard. Established by John Bartram in 1730, it’s now the oldest botanical garden in the country. Also of interest is the Satterlee Military Hospital at 45th and Baltimore Avenue. Built before the Civil War, it was once the largest military hospital in the world.