Manayunk is a neighborhood in the northwestern section of the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. Located on the banks of the Schuylkill River, it contains the first canal begun in the United States (although not the first completed due to budget problems). The area’s name comes from the language of the Lenape Indians (later called the Delaware Indians by Europeans). In 1686-dated papers between William Penn and the Lenape, the Lenape referred to the Schuylkill River as “Manaiung”, their word for “river”, which literally translates as “place to drink”; the word was later altered and adopted as the town’s name.
Although historically an Irish Catholic working class community, in recent years the neighborhood has been substantially gentrified. While there is still a working class population within the neighborhood, the population has shifted to younger upper middle class professionals and families. Additionally, the nightlife in Manayunk draws visitors from all over the Delaware Valley, as well as some international visitors.
Two U.S. Navy ships were named USS Manayunk. The first was the monitor USS Manayunk (1864) which was constructed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for use in the American Civil War, but was commissioned too late to serve in that action. She was later pulled out of reserve and renamed USS Ajax (1864), and saw action in the Spanish-American War. The second ship to be named Manayunk was the World War II net laying ship USS Manayunk (AN-81), built in Portland, Oregon, which, like the first USS Manayunk, was built late in the war, but did operate in the Pacific Ocean in the Mariana Islands, primarily in the Saipan-Tinian area, laying and maintaining nets and moorings until the spring of 1946.