Saturday, July 5, 2008


Among [Johannes Kelpius'] legacies was the naming of Roxborough. Kelpius called his cave [pictured -Corey]"The Burrow of Rocks" because foxes often burrowed into the rocky cellar. The name was eventually formalized into "Rocks Burrow" when he used the term in a letter dated May 25, 1706. Eventually "Rocks Burrow" was changed to the spelling we use today, Roxborough, and that is how the section of Philadelphia known as Roxborough got its' name.

A fable, most likely. But it speaks to the role stone has played in shaping the Roxborough experience. Stone has dictated where and how and with what denizens of "the borough" can build. And this is true whether those denizens are modern day developers, intrepid colonials, or pre-Columbian Native Amercans mostly effaced from history.

Roxborough and the Wissahickon Valley are an urban Philadelphia site. Very little has been left undisturbed, although the setting is bucolic thanks to the mid-19th century decisions that helped protect these sites from development. Finding undisturbed colonial or precolonial relics is a minor miracle. And that's what this blog will be looking for...and maybe...will find: miracles of stone and time.

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