About The Perkiomen Valley, Pennsylvania
The Perkiomen Valley is located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and is home to the beautiful Perkiomen Creek, a scenic waterway which runs through the entire region, outletting at the Schuylkill River. Schuylkill, pronounced SKOO-kill, is a Dutch word meaning Hidden River.
Steep slopes, woodland and stream corridors comprise two-thirds of the valley’s landscape, where the area’s dominant natural feature - black granite fields and boulder outcroppings - provide tremendous beauty to the residents of the region. The other third of the area primarily consists of rolling hills and farmland. The valley is a very wet place, where even the word Perkiomen, is thought to be from the original Lenape term Pakihm Unk (pronounced for Pah Keym Unk), meaning "the place where the cranberries grow.”
The Hall & Oates song, Perkiomen, was written about the area’s abundant natural beauty and its tranquil mossy-fern covered charm. The fog in the area, which commonly rises from the river after a warm winter storm, is unreal in its beauty.
First settled by the Lenape Indians and later by German settlers in 1682, their relationship was largely a peaceful relationship until the Revolutionary War. The Great Road to Philadelphia, now known as Route 29, was built in 1735 and it acted as a trade thoroughfare for the region, spanning all the way down from the Poconos to Philadelphia proper. Route 29 is still operable as a scenic byway today.
Due to the plentiful water sources of the region, copper mining, millwork, and ice harvesting were the primary industries of the area in its early days. Then, in 1868, the construction of the railroad opened up the area to vacationers from nearby Philadelphia.
From then onward, the Perkiomen Valley acted as the area’s premier mountain vacation area for those seeking solitude, a quiet, relaxing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. By the 1920's, the Perkiomen Valley was home to many roaring summer retreats, think: like Dirty Dancing in the Catskills, where many came to (and still do) spend their vacations.
Today, the Perkiomen Valley is home to the original estate of John James Audubon, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the longest continuously-running outdoor musical festival of its kind in North America, and many a bald eagle, deer, mink, and fox.
Antique shops, Victorian homes, covered bridges, and river cottages dot the very scenic landscape. The Perkiomen Valley is located 19 miles due Southeast from Oley, the original home of Anna Jung, also known as Mountain Mary, Pennsylvania's first known German-born folk-healer and medicine woman.
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