Step into the rich history of Montgomery County as you tour the homes that housed key figures in our fight for independence. Explore and experience the county’s heritage and 18th century architecture first-hand. From Peter Wentz Farmstead to Washington’s Headquarters, check out the places that define Montgomery County’s role in the revolution.
Built in 1722, the manor house at Graeme Park became a spot of interest during the American Revolution. The manor was home to Henry Fergusson, a British loyalist, and his wife Elizabeth Graeme, whom he used to pass messages to the Continental Army, including one to George Washington asking for his surrender. Graeme Park was confiscated by the Americans in 1778.
Serving 15 years as Secretary of the Continental and Confederation Congresses, Charles Thomson found his home in the Harriton House for 35 years. Today, surrounded by a spacious park with gardens and a stream, the Harriton House has been restored to reflect Thomson’s years in the home.
Located adjacent to Fort Washington State Park is Hope Lodge, a historic estate that witnessed the Continental Army's encampment. The home, open for public tours on select Sundays in summer and fall, is home to the annual Whitemarsh Encampment Re-enactment, held annually the first weekend in November to commemorate Washington's encampment that began November 2, 1777.
OLD GUARD HOUSE INN
The Old Guard House Inn in nearby Gladwyne dates to the 1790s, just after the Revolution. The tavern rose to prominence under its second owner, John Rawlins, who was a captain of the volunteer rifle company during the War of 1812. Today, the restaurant serves classic Continental and German cuisine in the rustic setting.
Just down the road from Woodside Lodge is Pennypacker Mills, a historic site that traces its history to the early 18th Century. Before and afterthe Battle of Germanown, the adjacent property was an encampment site for the Continental Army. The Pennypacker Mansion, which was expanded in 1901, was home to former Pennsylvania Governor Samuel Pennypacker and is now a museum showcasing early 20th Century life. Forty-five minute guided tours are available between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Satruday at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. on Sundays.
PETER WENTZ FARMSTEAD
One of two historic homes in Montgomery County that claim George Washington as a temporary resident, Peter Wentz Farmstead was site of the Continental Army's encampment immediately before and after the Battle of Germantown. The site continued to operate as a private farm until it was purchased by the county in 1969 and turned into a historic site that tells the history of early American farm life. The property offers tours and special programming throughout the year.
The manor was the former home of the Potts family, a family of successful ironmasters who owned Mount Joy Forge, also known as Valley Forge. The Potts' son was a patriot providing ammunition to the Continental Army. Eventually his mansion became Washington's Headquarters. Pottsgrove Manor is open until 4 p.m. every day (except Mondays), with the last guided tour leaving at 3 p.m.
During his time in Valley Forge, George Washington set up his headquarters in a small two-story stone building. The building could be considered the "Pentagon" of its time, as it is was the place where Washington and his highest-ranking officers worked and lived during the encampment.
Washington's Headquarters is now one of the most-visited areas of the park, open weekends during the winter months, and every day starting mid-March!