The Fairmount Water Works

If you haven’t yet been to the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, it’s worth a trip. You’ll get a fascinating look at a Water Works that:

  • Set the pace for over 30 other U.S. cities.
  • Got rave reviews from writers like Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.
  • Was the second most-popular tourist destination in the country in the mid-19th century.

Philadelphia’s search for clean water was spurred by a deadly yellow fever epidemic in 1793 that killed over 4,000 residents.

The city responded with a bold, state-of-the-art solution – though one somewhat off the mark. (Not until about 1900, did scientists learn that mosquitoes spread the disease, not dirty water.)