Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

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Phoenixville is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States, 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Philadelphia, at the junction of French Creek with the Schuylkill River. The population was 14,788 at the 2000 census.



Originally called Manavon, Phoenixville was settled in 1732 and incorporated as a borough in 1849. In its industrial heyday early in the twentieth century, it was an important manufacturing center and it was the site of great iron and steel mills such as the Phoenix Iron Works, boiler works, silk mill, underwear and hosiery factories, a match factory, and the famous (and now highly collectible) Etruscan majolica pottery. Like so many American towns and cities, Phoenixville owes its growth to its waterways. It is not only situated on the broad Schuylkill River, an historic thoroughfare to Native Americans and early settlers alike, but it is bisected by the fast-flowing French Creek, which was quickly harnessed for water power.

Much of this history was recognized by the creation of the Phoenixville Historic District, the largest National Register of Historic Places site in Chester County.


Phoenixville is home to the Colonial Theatre, opened in 1903. In 1958, the theatre, along with some other parts of the borough, was featured in the motion picture The Blob. Beginning in 2000, Phoenixville has celebrated this with the annual Blobfest.[2] Festivities include a reenactment of the scene featuring the Colonial. The Colonial runs special programs each weekend, and an ongoing series of movies and events for children.

The Valley Forge Christian College, located in neighboring Schuylkill and Charlestown Townships, is a part of this community, using the land belonging to the former Valley Forge General Hospital. The hospital was built in 1942 to accommodate the wounded of World War II. It was scheduled to be closed around 1949, but remained open until after the Vietnam War, closing in 1975.

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