2000 Belmont Mansion Dr., 215/878-8844
HOURS: Tues.–Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.,
weekends in winter noon–5 p.m.
COST: $7 adult, $5 student, senior, child, free under 6
Built in the late 18th century, Belmont Mansion is one of the finest examples of palladian architecture in the United States standing today, with an original decorative plaster ceiling that is considered one of the oldest in America.
The land was bought in 1742 by William Peters, an English lawyer and land agent for the William Penn family. He designed the mansion and formal gardens, and later passed it on to his son, Richard.
In the turbulent times of the Revolution, Richard served as Secretary of the Board of War for the Revolutionary Army and Pennsylvania Delegate to Congress under the Articles of Confederation. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison all stayed at the house at times.
After the Revolution, Richard became Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, Pennsylvania State Senator, and Judge of the United States District Court, and an environmental scientist and prominent abolitionist.
In 2007 after a long restoration project, the American Women’s Heritage Society opened the house as an interpretive and educational center and Underground Railroad Museum. On a tour, you’ll learn about the role of the home and its owners and slaves in history and in the abolitionist movement.