Think you’re a Yunker and know your neighborhood? See how many of these Manayunk facts surprise you.
1 – Marchiano’s Bakery has some famous clientele – including Frank Sinatra, The Temptations, The Four Tops, and even Alyson Hannigan of How I Met Your Mother fame. Check out the photographs of numerous celebrity patrons hanging behind their counter next time you’re in.
2 – Manayunk was once it’s very own city, for 14 years starting in 1840…but in 1854, it was merged back into Philadelphia, but has still retained it’s individuality.
3 – A scene in M Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable was filmed in Manayunk, with Bruce Willis in Pretzel Park, shown with St. Josaphat’s Church as a backdrop.
4 – That Loring Construction Building on Main Street? It was the Empress theater, opened in 1914 as a mixed-use vaudeville/motion picture theater that seated 1,500 people and was rumored to house the acts of the 3 Stooges.
5 – The Manayunk Canal was the first canal ever begun in the United States, and was entirely hand-dug. And the “towpath”, as the locals refer to the Manayunk section of the Schuylkill River Trail? It’s named for the mules that towed boats along the canal…before the invention of automobiles.
6 – Cresson St was the original commercial district in Manayunk. Main St was the offices of the bankers and mill owners.
7 – While the industrial era of Manayunk as the “Manchester of America” is long past, there is one champion – GJ Littlewood and Sons Textile Mill, which has been in operation continuously for over 130 years. In their 5th generation of ownership and still going strong, they have even been commemorated with a dedicated mural here in Manayunk.
8 – The rest of those Murals lining Main St? The subject of each is either a current or former Manayunk resident, or someone who was influential on Manayunk’s development.
9 – Many of the streets in Manayunk are named after the original settlers over 300 years ago. William Levering was among the first of 3 purchasers in the 1700s, with Leverington and Levering named after his family. Jacob st was named after his son, Jacob Levering. Tower St was named after Captain Tower, who founded the first hotel in Manayunk.
10 – Famed author Edgar Allen Poe loved fishing in Manayunk, and was quoted as calling it “one of the real Edens of the land”, and “the most beautiful”.
So if you’re a Yunker, this gives you even more reason to love your Philadelphia neighborhood. And if you’ve never been, we hope this gives you reason to visit this historical gem.
What Is Chew Philly Food Tours? We offer food tours of the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia, featuring the best local eats paired with historical and cultural facts on Philly’s most delicious neighborhood. Learn more history, and taste Manayunk’s best food on our Philadelphia Tour.