PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY
Valley Forge & Montgomery County

Given Montgomery County's rich cultural and historical background, it's no wonder that presidents throughout the ages have traveled here to tap into its spirit and vitality. This Presidents' Day weekend, walk with your family in the footsteps of the First Families.

VALLEY FORGE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
George Washington, 1777-78
1400 N. Outer Line Dr
King of Prussia, PA

Valley Forge Visitor Center

General George Washington and his staff took up residence during the 1777-1778 winter encampment at Valley Forge, settling in the Isaac Potts House that is now Washington's Headquarters. When visiting Valley Forge National Historical Park for the all-day Presidents' Day programming (February 15), swing by the headquarters for a tour. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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PETER WENTZ FARMSTEAD
George Washington, 1777
Shearer Rd
Worcester, PA

Peter Wentz Farmstead

General Washington used Peter Wentz Farmstead as a headquarters during the fall of 1777, before and after the Battle of Germantown. Records of Washington's stay indicate his ongoing enjoyment of "butter pie," a meatless English dish made of onions and potatoes, as well as his continual reimbursement to the Wentzes for its cost. The Farmstead is closed Mondays (including Presidents' Day) but is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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PENNYPACKER MILLS
George Washington, 1777
5 Haldeman Rd
Schwenksville, PA

pennypackermillssmall

The Pennypacker estate (now Pennypacker Mills) was a headquarters and hospital location for Washington in September 1777, housing 8,000 army personnel and 3,000 state militia members. A first-hand account of the stay included this observation on Continental Army's dwindling supplies: "...before dark on the first day of camp every fence on Samuel Pennybacker's [sic] place had disappeared." The site's Saturday-Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., respectively.

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SKIPPACK VILLAGE
George Washington, 1777
Skippack Pk
Skippack, PA

Skippack Days

Skippack played a crucial role in the quest for independence; seven times, General Washington and the Continental Army camped there, passing through in September and October 1777 (pre- and post-Battle of Germantown), eventually encamping near the Towamencin Mennonite meetinghouse on Forty Foot Road. Skippack Village is now a quaint shopping destination with plenty of walkable shops, but its historic underpinnings are still evident.

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PHILANDER CHASE KNOX ESTATE
Theodore Roosevelt
151 Liberty Ln
Malvern, PA

knox estate

Theodore Roosevelt had a stay at the Philander Chase Knox Estate in Valley Forge when his friend and colleague, Senator Philander Chase Knox, hosted a wedding ceremony for his daughter. The property - lovingly restored - is now one of the most unique event spaces in Montgomery County.

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FREEDOMS FOUNDATION AT VALLEY FORGE
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1949
1601 Valley Forge Rd
Phoenixville, PA

Medal of Honor

Founded with the active support of (then) General Dwight D. Eisenhower, The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge has been an institution since 1949, four years before he became President. The Freedoms Foundation focuses primarily on educational programs, but the public can walk the Medal of Honor Grove. This patriotic pathway celebrates each Congressional Medal of Honor winner, including President Theodore Roosevelt, who got his posthumously. It is free and open year-round from dawn until dusk.

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BRYN ATHYN HISTORIC DISTRICT
Dwight David Eisenhower, 1950s and 1960s
1001 Cathedral Rd
Bryn Athyn, PA

Bryn Athyn Cathedral

The Pitcairn Family, integral to the entire Bryn Athyn Historic District, were first supporters of and then friends with the Eisenhowers, backing Ike for President as far back as 1951 (he was elected in 1953). In thanks for that support, Eisenhower, accompanied by his wife Mamie, visited the Pitcairns at Glencairn. In addition, as a Christmas gift, the family sent an ornate nativity to the White House, which became a beloved seasonal fixture through 1961.

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CHELTENHAM SHOPPING CENTER & ROOSEVELT FIELD
John F. Kennedy, 1960

As a candidate for the 1960 election, Senator John F. Kennedy spoke at the now-defunct Cheltenham Shopping Center, using the October 29 timeframe to woo undecided voters for November 8, a mere ten days later. Later, on the same stump, he rode his motorcade through Bridgeport and spoke at Roosevelt Field, former home of Norristown's high school football team.

VALLEY FORGE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
Gerald Ford, 1976
1400 N. Outer Line Dr
King of Prussia, PA

Valley Forge Visitor Center

President Gerald R. Ford celebrated America's bicentennial at the Park on July 4, 1976. While there, he signed legislation that changed the classification of the grounds from a state-administered site to a National Historical Park. This distinction is being celebrated throughout 2016 (the 40th anniversary), along with the #FindYourPark initiative that honors the NPS centennial.  

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BYERS' CHOICE CHRISTMAS MUSEUM
George W. Bush, 2004
4355 County Line Rd
Chalfont, PA

Byers' Choice Carolers

During his presidency, George W. Bush visited our region twice in September 2004. On the 9th, he spoke at Byers' Choice in Chalfont. 

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VALLEY FORGE CASINO RESORT
1160 First Ave
King of Prussia, PA

Casino-at-twilight

President George W. Bush's second stop in 2004 came on September 22nd. That day, he participated in a "Focus in Education" presentation at the (then) Valley Forge Convention Center, in what is now the Valley Forge Casino Resort.

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K'NEX FACTORY
Barack Obama, 2012
Hatfield, PA

Although not open for touring, the K'NEX Factory in Hatfield was a visitation stop for President Barack Obama in November 2012. While there, the President and his staff saw a colorful display of K'NEX toys, including an American flag of 49,000 K'NEX pieces.

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MORE MONTCO HISTORY

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