Free Library of Philadelphia
1.  Where did George Washington spend his first night as President?
He spent it in Frankford, now a neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Source: WPEN radio trivia, 7/1/85
2.  Which queen was Queen Village in Philadelphia named after?
It was named after Queen Christina of Sweden.

Source: WPEN radio trivia, 5/85
3.  What is the Strawberry Mansion for which this neighborhood of Philadelphia is named?
It is a large federal house built in 1798 by William Lewis. Later Joseph Hemphill added two neoclassical wings. And yes, strawberries were grown there. It is now part of Fairmount Park.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.77, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f
4.  What is a Swampoodle?

Swampoodle is the neighborhood name for the area where there is a junction of three railroad lines at Lehigh Avenue and 22nd Street, before 1926. Someone from this neighborhood is considered to be a Swampoodle.

Source: Philadelphia Almanac and Citizens' Manual, 1995, p.168, Kenneth Finkel, 974.811 P53AA 1995

5.  Where were, and what caused the Falls of the Schuylkill?
The Falls of the Schuylkill were caused by large rocks which broke up the Schuylkill River at what is now the Philadelphia neighborhood of East Falls. The Falls disappeared from view in 1821 with the construction of the Fairmount Dam down river.

Source: Lane and Cresswell. Prints of Philadelphia. 1990, p.29
6.  Where did Europeans first settle in Philadelphia?
The Swedes, who settled this area before Penn started his colony, settled in what they called Wiccaco, making it the oldest part of Philadelphia. Today, we think of it as Southwark in South Philadelphia.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p. 295
7.  What was the "Society" for which Society Hill is named?
Society Hill, a Philadelphian neighborhood which stretches from Front to 7th, and Walnut to South Streets, is named after The Free Society of Traders, whose parade ground was at 4th and Pine Streets.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.295
8.  What is the meaning of the name Manayunk, a neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia?

Manayunk was the Native American name for the Schuylkill River and for the lands along the river. The pronunciation of the word sounds similar to the Native American word meaning "where we go to drink".

Source: Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania, 1977, p.104, George Patterson Donehoo, 974.8 D716I

9.  What is the origin of the place name, Roxborough, a part of Northwest Philadelphia?
Our earliest example of its use is in a letter dated 1694 by Johannes Kelpius, which describes his location as where "foxes burrow in the rocks." By 1706 this area was commonly called Roxborough.

Source: Bulletin Almanac and Yearbook, 1976, p.298, 917.481 B87 1976
10.  What is the oldest house in Germantown?

The original portion of the house known as the Wyck Mansion was built beginning in 1690, and it is the oldest structure in Germantown. It is located at 6026 Germantown Avenue on the southwest corner of Walnut Lane. In 1824 William Strickland was hired to remodel the house.

Source: An Architectural Guidebook to Philadelphia, 1999, p.162, Francis Morrone, 720.9748 M834A

11.  Where in Germantown, now part of Philadephia, did George Washington live?
He stayed at the Deshler-Morris House at 5442 Germantown Avenue. It was built in 1772; Washington lived there in 1793 and 1798. It was bought by Samuel Morris in 1834, and remained in that family untill 1948, when it became a National Historic Site.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac,1976, p.413
12.  What part of Philadelphia is most associated with the Mummers?

The Mummers tradition in Philadelphia was most likely started by the Swedes in the section of South Philadelphia known as "The Neck". This is supported by some evidence of early Mummers visiting from house to house, and the celebratory shooting of guns in association with these visits.

Source: Oh! Dem Golden Slippers, 1970, p.13, Charles E. Welch, 394.5 P53W

13.  In Philadelphia, what is a Two-Streeter?
It is an inhabitant of South Philadelphia who lives within an area with Front Street in the East, 4th Street in the West, South or Christian Streets in the North, and Snyder or Oregon in the South. Two Street is not referred to as Second Street.

Source: Philadelphia Inq., 12/30/1973
14.  When was Chinatown in Philadelphia first settled by Chinese Americans?
Chinatown, which runs from Vine to Arch between 9th and 11th Streets, was occupied after 1870 by Chinese Americans who'd initially immigrated to America to build this nation's railroads.

Source: Philadelphia Inq., 06/06/1982
15.  What is the origin of the name for Mount Airy in Northwest Philadelphia?

Mount Airy takes its name from the pre-Revolutionary War country estate of Chief Justice William Allen.

Source: Mermaids, Monastaries, Cherokees, and Custer: The Stories Behind Philadelphia Street Names, 1990, p.161, Robert I. Alotta, 917.4811 AL73M

16.  What is the origin of the place-name Olney, the neighborhood in North Philadelphia?
Alexander Wilson who settled in the area in 1835 was originally from Olney in England. His home was at what is now Olney and Westford Streets.

Source: Philadelphia Inq., 12/19/2000
17.  What is the history of the Tacony area of Philadelphia?

In 1683 Henry Waldy was made postmaster for the area by William Penn. Until 1872 the Tacony area had a reputation as being a river vacation spot. The area became industrial after the Civil War when Henry Disston purchased land for a factory and community of workers. Between 1872 and 1906 Tacony grew to a community of 12,000 which was directly related to the growth of the Keystone Saw Works.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.8:3, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o

18.  What is Northern Liberties in Philadelphia, and how did it get its name?

The word "Liberties" refers to a land policy of William Penn common in Britain and the British colonies. This policy worked as follows: the first purchasers of large tracts of land received a bonus of two percent of the acreage in Philadelphia. However, the city bounds were fixed at 1280 acres, so it was necessary to make grants for free, or liberty lands, in the surrounding county. Presently we think of Northern Liberties as the land north of Vine Street to Girard Avenue, and from 6th Street to the Delaware River.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.9:3, 9:8, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o

19.  What are the boundaries of Center City, Philadelphia?

The boundaries of Center City are the Delaware River to the east, the Schuylkill River to the west, and from South to Vine Streets. These were the original boundaries for Philadelphia before the Consolidation Act of 1854.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.6:3, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o

20.  What are the boundaries of Manayunk, a neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia?

It is roughly bounded by Ridge Avenue and the mouth of Wissahickon Creek on the south, Pechin Street on the east, Fountain Street on the north and the Schuylkill River on the west.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.7:3, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o

21.  What are the boundaries of Fishtown, a neighborhood in Philadelphia?

Fishtown was originally part of Kensington it has evolved into its own distinct working class neighborhood. It is bounded by Frankford Avenue on the west, Norris Street on the northeast, and the Delaware River on the south and east.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.4:3, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o

22.  What are the boundaries of Kensington, a neighborhood of Philadelphia?

Kensington is an upside down "L" around Fishtown. It is bounded by Erie Avenue on the north, 6th Street and Germantown Avenue on the west, Girard Avenue on the south, and Frankford Avenue, Norris Street, and Aramingo Avenue on the east.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.5:3, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o

23.  What are the boundaries to the Far Northeast, a neighborhood in Philadelphia?
It is the most northeastern part of Philadelphia bordered by the Pennypack and Poquessing Creeks, and the Delaware River. Before the 1854 Consolidation Act, this area consisted of the Townships of Lower Dublin, Moreland, Delaware and Byberry. The Consolidation Act of 1854 is when the city and the county of Philadelphia became what we know today.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.13:3, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o
24.  What is the early history of Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia?
At first called Southwest Square, it was used for hunting pigeons and for grazing cattle and pigs. During the Civil War it was a parade ground for the military.

Source: Rivinus, Marion Willis Martin. The Story of Rittenhouse Square, 1682-1951. Philadelphia: S. A. Wilson Co., 1951. 917.481 R526S
25.  What is the origin of the name Wissahickon?
It is thought to be a corruption of one of two possible Lenni Lenape terms: Wissauchsickan, meaning yellow stream, or Wisamican, meaning catfish stream.

Source: Donehoo, Dr. George. A History of the Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg: Telegraph Press, 1928. p. 257 974.8 D716I
26.  When was the first recorded regatta on the Schuylkill River?

The Schuylkill, which is one of the most famous sculling areas in the United States today, staged its first regatta in 1835.

Source: Fairbairn, G. Don. Philadelphia; the Fabulous City of Firsts. Wyncote, PA: Kirsh Publishing Co., 1976. p. 104 974.81 F15P

27.  What is the oldest Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia?
Mikveh Israel Cemetery, at Spruce near 8th Street, began as the burying ground for the family of Nathan Levy in 1738. This family donated it to the Congregation Mikveh Israel in 1765. Haym Soloman, who helped financed the Revolution is buried here.

Source: Friedman, Murray. Jewish Life in Philadelphia, 1830-1940. Philadelphia: Ishi Publications, 1983. 974.811 J556L
28.  Where in Philadelphia is there a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust?
The Monument to the Six Million Jewish Martyrs is a statue by Nathan Rapoport located at 16th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It was presented to Philadelphia by the Federation of Jewish Agencies in 1964.

Source: Fairmount Park Art Association. Sculpture of a City. New York: Walker, 1974. p. 338. 730.973 F166S