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Our History

Mural of industrial workers in Phoenixville PA

The area that became Phoenixville was first settled in the 1730’s by the French and was originally named Manavon. It was another century before it achieved incorporation as a borough. The city became increasingly prosperous and important in the 20th century thanks to the iron industry: it was the site of the nation’s very first nail factory.

There were also mills producing many other goods, ranging from matches to silk garments. This was also the heyday of Etruscan majolica pottery production – these pieces are now very much sought after by collectors. In recent years, the emphasis has shifted toward celebrating Phoenixville’s long history while focusing on an even brighter future.

If you would like to gain an in-depth and fascinating understanding of the vibrant history of Phoenixville, The Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area is the perfect reference source. Their knowledge, documentation, and artifacts cover items and topics like architecture, photos, iron works, old newspapers and newsletters, past leaders and historical figures, and so much more. They also have a museum that is perfect for familiarizing yourself with our great city’s past.