A cave from William Penn’s time

Julie Stapleton Carroll
Favorite Spot: Hermit’s Cave
Neighborhood: Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill

I Am: A mom and wife, passionate about my community, history and quality education, and run a small non-profit
Years in Philly: 19
Current Home: Germantown

A photo posted by @jawnsie215 on

My Love Note

Dear Johann Kelpius,

I love your cave. Partly because no one knows about it….partly because it’s tucked away in my favorite park in the world, but mainly because it’s mysterious.

Long before Y2K was going to doom the world (three hundred years before, in fact), you came with your band of monks in 1693. You came at the invitation of William Penn to escape hedonist Europe and meditate in the quiet woods of the Wissahickon while waiting for the world to end. Your calculations suggested that 1694 was the year that the Apocalypse would begin. They called you a hermit and you lived in the woods with your fellow monks.

I can only dream of what Philadephia and Germantown were like then. In those days the Lenape lived next door to the German settlers, the monks in the woods shared telescopes with the Swedes. Germantown boasts a rag tag feel even today.

The world did not end as you predicted. Your cave has survived where your order has not. Your cave remains a quiet, meditative space and a hidden jewel waiting to be discovered.

May many more find solace in your walls.


A photo posted by Coryn (@wolk.it.out) on

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy Leave a comment

Add a Comment