The Story of Wissinoming, A Neighborhood in Philadelphia

Wissinoming, a quaint and historic neighborhood nestled in the Near Northeast section of Philadelphia, has a rich history and unique charm. With its unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities, it’s no wonder that Wissinoming has become such a beloved part of Philadelphia.

A Brief Overview

Wissinoming, a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has a rich and varied history. The neighborhood is located to the east of Mayfair, to the north of Bridesburg, and to the southwest of Frankford, with I-95 and the Delaware River bordering its eastern side. Notably, it was the location of the estate of Matthias Baldwin, a renowned locomotive builder.

The name “Wissinoming” traces its roots back to a Lenni Lenape term meaning “where the grapes grow”. This pays homage to the area’s natural abundance, particularly its vineyards.

Boundaries and Area

The physical boundaries of Wissinoming are quite distinct. Levick Street marks the northern edge, while Bridge Street delineates the south. Frankford Avenue serves as the western boundary, and the Delaware River, along with I-95, forms the eastern boundary.

The neighborhood is split into two main ZIP codes: 19124 and 19135, which helps to further define the area. However, boundaries can sometimes be more of a state of mind than a physical reality. If you feel a connection to Wissinoming, then it is your neighborhood, regardless of the exact lines on a map.


Wissinoming’s History

Wissinoming was once home to Wissinoming Creek, a significant waterway that was buried in the 1930s. The creek drained a watershed that included the main stream and another tributary, the Little Wissinoming Creek. This historical waterway played a significant role in shaping the landscape and ecology of the area.

Education in Wissinoming

Education plays a vital role in every community, and Wissinoming is no exception. The neighborhood houses two public elementary schools: James J. Sullivan Elementary School and Henry W. Lawton Elementary School. These schools serve as the educational foundation for the area’s young residents.

The neighborhood also houses Harding Middle School and Frankford High School. These institutions serve older students, providing a comprehensive and quality education that prepares them for future success.

Recreation and Parks

Wissinoming is not just an urban landscape; it also boasts an impressive green space. The neighborhood is home to Wissinoming Park, a large park that serves as a popular spot for recreational activities and relaxation.

In addition to the park, there are two playgrounds: Moss Playground and American Legion, which are great spots for children to play and families to gather.

The Local Community

Wissinoming is not just a place; it is also a community of people. The neighborhood is home to a diverse population, each bringing their unique perspectives and contributions to the area. The richness of the community is reflected in the public-spirited people who have donated materials to local historical societies and libraries, preserving the neighborhood’s history for future generations.

The Wissinoming Historical Society

Founded in the Fall of 1991 by a small group of local citizens, the Wissinoming Historical Society serves as an important institution for preserving and sharing the neighborhood’s heritage. While currently inactive, the society’s contributions to the community continue to be felt.

The Meaning of “Wissinoming”

The name “Wissinoming” holds historical significance. It is likely derived from Native-American words such as Quissinuminck or Wissachgaman, both of which are associated with grape cultivation. This association with grapes pays homage to the area’s natural bounty and agricultural past.

Photo Collections

For those interested in the visual history of Wissinoming, several photo collections are available. The Temple University Libraries’ website features Wissinoming-related photographs on their Digital Diamond web site.

Wissinoming, with its rich history, diverse community, and vital institutions, is more than just a neighborhood in Philadelphia. It’s a testament to the city’s past and a beacon for its future. Whether you’re a resident, a visitor, or simply a history enthusiast, Wissinoming offers a unique glimpse into the heart of Philadelphia.