The number forty held special meaning in the mystical numerology of which Kelpius and his comrades were familiar. It must have seem divinely ordained when they were offered land which--as far as the accuracy of their measurements were concerned--lay exactly along the 40th paralell.
The beautiful, wild area bewteen Roxborough and Germantown known as the Wissahickon Valley, now lies entirely within the city limits of Philadelphia in Fairmount Park. Since Kelpius' time, the area has been logged, but the centuries have restored it to its wilderness state.
Unfortunately, development around the Wissahickon Valley has polluted the once clear waters of the creek for which it is named. The effects of urban runnoff will eventually cause the ruin of the ecosystem unless dramatic measures are taken. For information on the efforts to preserve the Wissahickon Valley, visit the web site of the Friends of the Wissahickon.
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