1600 - Charles Pickering Seeks His Fortune

“In the late 1600s, not long after Philadelphia had been settled, Charles Pickering, an Englishman who crossed the Atlantic with William Penn, came up the Schuylkill River in search of treasure in Chester County. Upon arriving in the stream which now bears his name, Pickering discovered what he believed to be “traces of silver.” Thinking he could make a fortune on this finding, he returned to Philadelphia and purchased a land grant from William Penn for several thousand acres. Pickering returned to the area with a friend named Tinker who had mining experience. Together they dug a cave in the side of a hill, made a roof and laid a stone floor, and began mining the metal. This cave would become the first dwelling built by a European settler in our area. Not long after his venture, Charles Pickering died and his land, which consisted of 5,386 acres known as the Pickering Tract and Mine Hole Tract, was divided between 16 of his friends. The naming of the earliest neighborhoods derived from Pickering, including Charlestown, which originally included present-day Charlestown and Schuylkill Townships, and the Borough of Phoenixville.”

Source: https://phoenixvillechamber.org/discover-phoenixville/history-of-phoenixville/