Main Line Philadelphia, PA Historic Destinations

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In 1776 the capital city of the American colonists was Philadelphia. Throughout the Main Line area George Washington and American patriots engaged in battles with the British. Washington lost to the redcoats at Brandywine Creek on September 11, 1977. On September 14, Washington's Army crossed the Schuylkill at Belmont Hills and made camp behind Merion Friends Meetinghouse. On September 16, near the site of present day Immaculata College, the "Battle of the Clouds", named for the north-easterner that disabled guns and spoiled ammunition, was literally a wash out. On September 20, General Wayne along with men, on a mission apart from the main army, was ambushed at the Paoli Massacre. On October 4, Washington lost again at the Battle of Germantown. The British occupied Philadelphia. Local residents were caught in between the two armies and the Main Line became a no man's land that neither side controlled. Patriots accused the peace loving Quakers of being Tories, although quietly they favored the patriots. Washington's men camped at Whitemarsh in November to December 1777. On December 19, 1777 Washington and his army set up a winter encampment at Valley Forge. The troops built cabins and many of the officers found accommodations in the nearby farmhouses. Today, at Valley Forge National Historic Park you can see Knox's , Maxwell's, Sterling's and Lafayette's Quarters that are located within Tredyffrin Township.

Valley Forge National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)
Valley Forge History & Culture

Myrtle Ave. and Warwick Rd
Havertown, PA 19083
610 446-4958
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The Grange Estate is a historic mansion in Haverford. Built in 1700 and expanded several times through the 1850s, it was purchased by Haverford Township in 1974. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The home was owned by patriot John Ross during the late 18th century, who gave his country estate its current name after the home of Lafayette. Ross's home was frequented by several notable historic figures including George Washington and Lafayette.

The mansion is now maintained as a museum and community center. Regular tours are available from April to October and during the December holidays. Admission: Adults $2, Children up to 12 year old $1.

500 Harriton Rd.
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
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In 1704, Rowland Ellis, a Welsh Quaker built the present day Harriton House and called it Bryn Mawr, meaning "high hill" in Welsh. In 1719, Maryland tobacco planter Richard Harrison purchased the estate and renamed the house. Charles Thomson, Secretary to the Continental Congresses from 1774 through1789, was Harriton's most famous occupant. Thomson came to Harriton by his marriage to Harrison's daughter Hannah.

Harriton was a large plantation of nearly 700 acres in the 18th century. Today, Harriton House sits on 20 acres of the original estate. The stone structure is the remains of a large stone barn. The barn structure is now an Education and Administrative Center supporting Harriton House. Take a stroll behind the barn structure to visit the horse and sheep that reside on the property. You can enjoy the property daily and Harriton House with its fine collections is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.

Lower Merion Historical Society

Karakung Drive, Powder Mill Valley Park
Haverford Township
Delaware County, Pennsylvania
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This Historic Home of Israel Whelen built in early 1800 in Powder Mill Valley along Cobbs Creek was part of the manufacturing mill that was the second largest producer of quality black gunpowder in the U.S. Whelen's home, Nitre Hall, is the only building remaining from the industrial era of the valley. On the National Register of Historic Places, the buildings are open to the public from May through October. There is a nominal admission charge.

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This log cabin also located on Karakung Drive in Haverford Township is typical of the style of log cabins built by early settlers in America. Henry Lawrence, son of David and Elinor Lawrence built this house sometime after acquiring 209 acres along Darby Creek in 1709. Part of the Three Generation House which included a 2 1/2 story addition built around 1730 and a summer kitchen added later, remained in the Lawrence family until 1942, and was rescued by Haverford Township Historical Society in 1961 and moved to its current location.

Haverford Historical Society

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The Battle of Paoli, also known as the Battle of Paoli Tavern or the Paoli Massacre was a battle in the Philadelphia campaign of the American Revolutionary War. The battle was fought on September 21, 1777 in the area surrounding present-day Malvern. On the night of September 20, British forces led a surprise attack and routed an entire American division that was under the command of Brigadier General Anthony Wayne.

In 1817, on the 40th anniversary of the attack, a monument was placed on the grave and a stone wall was constructed to protect it. This monument is the second oldest Revolutionary War battle monument in America.

Memorials honoring local residents who served in the World Wars are found at the Paoli Battlefield. The Paoli Battlefield is a pristine park honoring American patriots.

Paoli Battlefield - Paoli Massacre
British Battles

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Mill Creek is the largest waterway running through Lower Merion Township. For over 200 years the mill industry supplied local residents and Philadelphians with grain, paper, guns and gun powder, lumber, metal, woolen fabrics, candles and lamp wicks. By the 1850's many of the mills closed or converted to textiles due to advances in technologies. Storms and floods devastated the mills and the flood of 1893 brought the final destruction to most of the mills along the creek.

Along the creek at Rolling Hill Park you can observe ruins of structures that once housed tenement workers of Deringer's Mill. The Nippes Rifle Manufacturing Mill site is now part of Rolling Hill Park. At the intersection of Old Gulph and Mill Creek Roads stands the 1690 house, assumed to be the home of millwright John Roberts.

2049 Waynesborough Road
Paoli, PA 19301
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Waynesborough, home to Revolutionary War hero, Major General Anthony Wayne is a magnificent Georgian style country manor just five miles from Valley Forge. The Waynesborough property was continuously owned by seven generations of the Wayne family from 1724-1965. The house was built in three sections using native stone quarried on the property. Architectural elements and decorative arts from the Colonial, Federal, Victorian and Colonial Revival periods are shown throughout the house.

A refurbished 19th century Carriage House with a tented area is available for events. Waynesborough is located in Paoli. Guided tours are available from mid March through mid December, Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.

Paoli, PA 19301
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Wharton Esherick (1887-1970) was among a few leading artists who created the American sculptural style early in the 20th century. Working primarily in wood, he extended his sculptural forms to furniture, furnishings and interiors. Considered to be the most influential designer of the century, his works are now in major American museums as well as private collections.

His Studio, which took Esherick 40 years to build, reflects the artist's changing styles from organic to expressionist to the lyrical free forms for which he is best known. The building has been preserved to reflect how it was when he lived and worked there. More thatn 200 of his works are on display and you can touch and examine them since that are not behind glass exhibition cases.

One hour guided tours are available Saturday (10AM-5PM), Sunday (1-5PM) and Monday-Friday (10AM-4PM for groups only.) The Studio is closed January, February and major holidays. Admission: $10; Children under 12: $5.

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