Last week, Lesley, Ashley and I and our plus-1s, Aster and Eric, embarked on a trip through Philadelphia to follow the underground Wingohocking Creek. Drew Brown and Adam Levine led us on a magical mystery tour around Awbury Arboretum following the creek bed. The tour is magical and mysterious because you need X-ray goggles to see that the road you’re on is actually a stream bed. Each of our stops identified an important piece of the Wingohocking Creek from the drainage divide between the Wingohocking and the Wissahickon (I love the names, don’t you?), the highest point of our main creek, the site of possibly the only above-ground section, an old now-closed mill on the creek, the confluence with Honey Run, the Belfield estate where a spring may once have been, the ghost town of Logan where 1,000 homes built on unstable coal ash have been demolished, to the Wingohocking Creek sewer’s largest outfall and the creek’s confluence with Tacony Creek.
On an unseasonably cold day for March—normal for the usual cold of January—the twenty or so of us would reluctantly unload the bus and huddle while Drew explained the site before our ears could freeze. The information he and Adam gave was incredibly fascinating and absolutely hysterical when they would differ slightly and attempt to correct one another. Drew and Adam offer a great way to spend a Saturday morning: they combine the best of both worlds as well-informed tour guides plus stand-up (and sometimes fall-over on the bumpy bus ride) comedians. We all enjoyed the tour for its history, scenery, and hilarity.
Drew Brown works for the Philadelphia Water Department, as does Adam Levine, who is also a knowledgeable historian of the creek and sewer system. The Wyck House and Wyck Organization sponsored the tour. For more information, please visit the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, Awbury Arboretum, LaSalle for information on Belfield, and the Wyck Organization.