The roots of our community
Located just three miles west of Valley Forge National Historic Park, in scenic southeastern Pennsylvania, Phoenixville Area School District (PASD) serves the 32,000 residents of Phoenixville Borough, Schuylkill Township, and East Pikeland Township.
Founded in the 1730s and incorporated as a borough in 1849, Phoenixville claims a rich history dating back to the 1600’s when the Lenape Indians fished and farmed along the Schuylkill River not far from present-day Bridge Street. The land that eventually became Phoenixville originated as the Manavon tract, so named by its owner, David Lloyd after his birthplace in England.
The new village suffered random Indian attacks during the French and Indian War. In 1777, 14,000 British and Hessian troops occupied the town. During the same period an important powder mill was constructed onthe banks of French Creek to supply Washington’s troops with badly needed ammunition. The remains of the mill have been preserved and can be seen todaynext to Rapp’s Dam Bridge in nearby East Pikeland Township. These and many other events contributed to the area’s Colonial history.
Following the Revolutionary War, John and Benjamin Longstreth constructed a small mill and began producing nails. By 1830, Phoenix Iron Works grew into the largest nail producing factory in the United States. The mill continued to expand and by the 1860’s the company gained national and international acclaim with the inventions of the Griffen Gun, used by Union troops during the Civil War and the Phoenix Column, which revolutionized building, bridge, and railway design.
Our community today
The success of Phoenix Iron Company was instrumental in helping the area grow and prosper through the first half of the 20th century. However, in 1976 Phoenix Steel closed and Phoenixville witnessed some challenging economic times.
But the roots of a strong, vibrant community were already firmly established. Like the mythical Phoenix, the town rose from the ashes and today boasts a revitalized downtown with a vibrant and diversified population, and businesses that continue to inject new life, art, entertainment, dining, and much more into the area.
The Phoenixville Historic District is a National Register of Historic Places. The surrounding townships also boast numerous historic distinctions that add to the character of the area.
In 2013, Phoenixville ranked third in Best Towns in Pennsylvania for Young Families. The study surveyed 90 Pennsylvania towns with populations of more than 10,000 and measured housing costs and affordability, whether the town was growing and prospering, and the quality of the public school system. In all categories Phoenixville outscored virtually every other Pennsylvania town measured.
One of the town’s most valuable assets, however, can’t be measured. It’s our strong sense of community. Long-time residents and new neighbors alike recognize and value Phoenixville as a quintessential small American town with a close-knit, know-your-neighbors atmosphere.
The pride we take in our community and the consideration we have for our neighbors is also reflected in the individualized educating approach we take with each and every student at Phoenixville Area School District from the first day of kindergarten to the final day of high school.