Explore the Wissahickon’s Hidden History

Education // November 28, 2017

Devil’s Pool (ca. 1900)

The conservation easement program of Friends of the Wissahickon and the Chestnut Hill Conservancy (FOW) was created in 1990 to proactively address stormwater runoff in the lower Wissahickon watershed, promote natural drainage, and protect the area’s significant privately-owned green spaces from development. This program to protect the vast network of adjacent, privately-held land is essential to the health of the Wissahickon and Philadelphia’s water supply and complements FOW’s 93-year old mission “to conserve the natural beauty and wildness of the Wissahickon.” It is in this spirit of cooperation and collaboration that the boards and staff of Friends of the Wissahickon and the Chestnut Hill Conservancy proudly present their exhibit of enlarged historic photos, Hidden Histories of the Wissahickon, which will be on display at FOW’s office early 2018. Presented here are a few images from the exhibit with abbreviated captions. For the full history of these and other intriguing Wissahickon landmarks, you’ll have to visit the exhibit!

Except where otherwise noted, this exhibit is illustrated with historic images gleaned from the Friends of the Wissahickon Collection in the Archives of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy, and it documents some of the more “hidden” aspects of the Wissahickon Valley’s history. For centuries, Wissahickon Valley Park has been a place of exploration, discovery, and mystery. We examine just a few of these hidden histories in this exhibition and encourage everyone to explore the park after your visit to the exhibit and experience all the history and nature this National Natural Landmark has to offer.

You can enjoy copies of these historic images of the Wissahickon all year long when you order FOW’s 2018 Calendar. These popular calendars are FREE to FOW members at the basic level and above. Become an FOW Member here!


Alex Bartlett, CHC Archivist

Giulia Morrone, FOW Development and Outreach Coordinator

Ruffian Tittmann, FOW Deputy Director