By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Chain of Colonial Houses
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chain of Colonial Houses" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

                        CHAIN OF COLONIAL HOUSES

                             FAIRMOUNT PARK

                              PUBLISHED BY


                           HONORARY PRESIDENT
                        MRS. RUDOLPH BLANKENBURG

                      MRS. FRANK THORNE PATTERSON

                      MRS. H. S. PRENTISS NICHOLS
                        MRS. HENRY BRINTON COXE
                          MRS. EDGAR W. BAIRD
                      MISS MARGARETTA S. HINCHMAN

                        CORRESPONDING SECRETARY
                         Mrs. Herbert L. Clark

                          RECORDING SECRETARY
                        Mrs. H. Norris Harrison

                          Mrs. Edward Browning

                          Mrs. Lewis Audenried
                        Mrs. Rudolph Blankenburg
                         Mrs. William T. Carter
                          Mrs. E. Bissell Clay
                          Mrs. S. Grey Dayton
                          Mrs. William A. Dick
                         Mrs. Fitz-Eugene Dixon
                           Mrs. Russell Duane
                            Miss Louisa Eyre
                       Mrs. Stanley G. Flagg, Jr.
                         Mrs. George H. Frazier
                          Mrs. Henry C. Gibson
                        Mrs. F. Woodson Hancock
                       Mrs. Charles Wolcott Henry
                           Mrs. John S. Jenks
                         Mrs. Charles F. Judson
                          Mrs. Robert R. Logan
                          Mrs. W. Logan MacCoy
                          Mrs. John C. Martin
                         Mrs. Sydney E. Martin
                         Mrs. John D. McIlhenny
                        Mrs. Richard Waln Meirs
                          Mrs. Thornton Oakley
                        Mrs. Henry Norris Platt
                          Mrs. Eli Kirk Price
                           Mrs. Logan Rhoads
                         Mrs. C. Shillard-Smith
                       Miss Jessie Willcox Smith
                          Mrs. John B. Stetson
                        Mrs. W. Standley Stokes
                        Mrs. William H. Walbaum
                       Mrs. P. A. B. Widener, 2nd
                         Mrs. C. Stewart Wurts

                            HONORARY MEMBERS
                         Mrs. Hampton L. Carson
                          Miss Margaret Clyde
                          Mrs. Henry S. Grove
                          Mrs. Arthur V. Meigs
                       Mrs. Edward T. Stotesbury
                          Mrs. M. Hampton Todd
                       Mrs. Percival Roberts, Jr.


Philadelphia was the most important city in the colonies and the home of
many leaders of thought and action in the days which saw the birth of
the American nation. We are fortunate in having preserved for us the few
historic landmarks in Fairmount Park, which have been restored through
the leadership of the Pennsylvania Museum of Art and cooperative
institutions and by the generosity of Philadelphians. This book contains
pictures and sketches of eight old colonial houses, several of which
date back to the middle of the eighteenth century.

Of the houses described, Cedar Grove, Belmont, The Cliffs, Woodford and
Mount Pleasant antedate the Revolution, and are examples of early
Georgian and mid-Georgian styles. The simple stone cottages which stand
on the grounds at Belmont, Woodford and Strawberry antedate in style the
mansion-houses there. Even the oldest portion of Cedar Grove, 1721,
already shows a front of squared masonry, while the oldest part of
Woodford has on the end the glazed headers which characterize the
earliest brick buildings of the colony. The later houses are generally
covered with stucco.

By the middle of the century there were bold classic doorways, as at
Belmont, Woodford (then enlarged) and Mount Pleasant. Rich ornamented
ceilings from about 1760 are found at Belmont; the principal rooms at
Woodford and Mount Pleasant are adorned with elaborate carving in the
Chippendale style. After the Revolution the more slender proportions of
the Adam style were adopted, in the later part of Cedar Grove and at
Lemon Hill, Sweetbrier and Strawberry. The wings at Strawberry show the
severe classic detail of the Greek Revival.

    [Illustration: SWEETBRIER, 1797               Shown on map as No. 1]


The first owner of Sweetbrier was Samuel Breck, who records in his notes
that he built his mansion in 1797, having “out-buildings of every kind
suitable for elegance and comfort. The prospect consists of the river,
animated by its great trade carried on in boats of about thirty tons,
drawn by horses; of a beautiful sloping lawn, terminating at that river,
now nearly four hundred yards wide opposite the portico; of side-screen
woods; of gardens, green-house, etc.—Sweetbrier is the name of my

The restoration was undertaken in 1918 by the Junior League of
Philadelphia, with the advice of the Museum, and the house now serves as
the headquarters for the Junior League.

On entering, the visitor will be impressed with the simplicity of the
architecture and the delicacy of the ornament. Of a later date than that
of Mount Pleasant, the style is more classic, varied by the relief
ornament of the mantels and the number of large graceful windows. The
large reception room contains four beautifully carved Heppelwhite side
chairs, a pair of mahogany card tables and a sofa of the same style.
Wedgwood vases, gilt torchères and a large Oriental rug represent
imported objects which the room might have exhibited in its original
state. A rare acquisition, a complete set of William Birch’s views of
Philadelphia, hang upon these walls and on the stair landing. At the
right of the fireplace stands a painted armchair with needlepoint back
and seat, and nearby is a tripod candlestand. These pieces formed a part
of the original furnishings of Sweetbrier, and have been lent by the
descendants of Samuel Breck. In a vitrine near the west door, a
miniature on ivory shows the youthful Samuel Breck.

    [Illustration: CEDAR GROVE, 1721-1795         Shown on map as No. 2]

                              CEDAR GROVE

Cedar Grove is an ancestral home of the Morris family. The house, which
stood for over two hundred years near Harrowgate station in Frankford,
in 1927 was removed stone by stone. It has been re-erected on Lansdowne
Drive near Memorial Hall, with its original contents, through the
generosity of Miss Lydia Thompson Morris. The land at Frankford was
bought in 1714 by Thomas Coates of High Street, the father of Elizabeth
Coates. In 1721 Elizabeth married Isaac Paschall, and it is from this
time that dates the oldest portion of the house. Isaac Paschall, a son
of Elizabeth, married Patience Mifflin in 1767. The house came to his
daughter Sarah, who married Isaac W. Morris in 1795.

Through the munificent gift of Miss Morris, Cedar Grove has retained its
heirlooms dating from 1720 to 1800. Within its walls may be seen
furniture from the simple William and Mary type to the elegant examples
of Heppelwhite and Sheraton.

One enters directly into the living room with the informality of
pre-Revolutionary times. The Chippendale sofa, upholstered in yellow
brocade, the pie-crust table and the six ball-and-claw foot chairs
combine easily with the earlier William and Mary highboy and lowboy.

In the dining room, the majority of pieces illustrate the formal
Heppelwhite style. The kitchen remains in a simple state, its large
fireplace adequately supplied with cranes and pots.

Passing upstairs one visits the several bedrooms, furnished mainly in
Heppelwhite style. The beds with their fluted posts and straight chintz
hangings illustrate the simplicity which followed Chippendale’s
exuberant curves. In the same style are mahogany chests of drawers with
bracket feet.

    [Illustration: BELMONT, 1755                  Shown on map as No. 3]


Belmont was the product of gradual growth. In the stone cottage Judge
Richard Peters, the most famous owner of the estate, was born on June
22, 1744. The adjoining brick structure, ultimately forming a south wing
of the mansion house, comes next in order of time, 1745. The present
main house, of brick and rubble, followed, probably about 1755, and,
somewhat later, the great stair tower. The style of their ornaments
indicates these were finished about 1760, and we know that by 1762 they
stood essentially complete, surrounded by well-developed gardens and

William Peters, the father of Richard, had come to America in 1739,
married Mary Breitnall, and acquired the property by deed of July 21,
1742. It had been from the beginning of the war in the tenancy of
Richard Peters, to whom it was finally conveyed in 1786, and was
occupied by him until his death in 1828. In 1927 it was restored by
Fritz Pflug, restaurateur, with the advice of the Museum.

It represents the early Georgian style of the middle of the eighteenth
century, a precursor of the rocaille ornament of the Chippendale period.
The massiveness of the carving and plaster ceiling ornaments harks back
to motifs common to the late seventeenth century of the Louis XIV style.

The contents of the older part of the house are copies of mid-eighteenth
century Philadelphia furniture. In the parlour opposite the fireplace
stands a replica of the sofa owned by Washington during his residence in
Philadelphia. Above it is to be seen a portrait of William Peters, the
builder of Belmont. The ceiling is considered the earliest ornamental
plaster work in an American house.

    [Illustration: STRAWBERRY, 1798               Shown on map as No. 4]


Strawberry’s first owner, in 1798, was Judge Lewis, a notable lawyer and
a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly.

The original house was of the then new American style with certain light
touches reminiscent of the Adam period, the entrance hall having four
niches and gouged mouldings. The wings in the taste of the Greek Revival
were added about 1825 by the second owner Judge Joseph Hemphill, a close
friend of Jefferson and an ardent democrat. Lafayette was among the many
distinguished guests entertained at Strawberry during the second period
of the house.

Strawberry has been restored by the Committee of 1926, a group of women
who were instrumental in building High Street at the Sesquicentennial

The furniture at Strawberry is of the late eighteenth and first quarter
of the nineteenth centuries. In the parlour a fine Sheraton sofa and
four chairs are noteworthy, as is the piano made in Philadelphia by
Charles Albrecht in 1785. Across the hall, the library is consistently
furnished in the Empire style. A fine writing desk with rounded ends, a
Regency suite of black settee and armchairs with X-shaped supports and
four gilt chairs are noteworthy pieces.

Beyond is the Music Room, its windows and mantel forming the decorative
features of the room. Upstairs are two late eighteenth century rooms.
One shows a fine Heppelwhite sideboard and a set of Sheraton chairs, the
other a carved four-post bed, “Beau-Brummel” toilet chest and Sheraton
chairs. Beyond is a small Empire bedroom.

In the opposite wing the Banquet Room is carried out in the same manner,
the star-sprinkled walls, crystal and bronze chandelier and imperial
yellow silk draperies having the formality of the First Empire.

    [Illustration:                 ROUTES TO
                          OLD HOUSES IN FAIRMOUNT PARK
                                  PUBLISHED BY
                            The Pennsylvania Museum]


    [Illustration: WOODFORD, 1756                 Shown on map as No. 5]


Woodford has long been distinguished for its stately proportions, tawny
yellow brickwork and many-paned windows, behind a screen of beautiful
walnut trees. It has lately been opened to the public by Daniel T. V.
Huntoon, Trustee of the estate of the late Naomi Wood. Her bequest of
her collection together with an endowment fund, has been the means of
accomplishing this restoration.

The early history of Woodford is not definitely known, as there were
nine changes of ownership from 1693, when the original grant of land was
made by William Penn, to 1800.

On entering the house the visitor finds the hall distinguished by a
panelled wainscot, fluted pilasters and six doors. To the left is the
parlour, one of the handsomest rooms of the period in America.

Amongst the furniture, which is American throughout, are a rare
Chippendale sofa and wing chair, a fine example of the transitional
style of armchair, a small writing desk of about 1690, and a
Philadelphia tripod tea-table.

The lighting fixtures are rare examples of authentic metalwork, the
brass chandelier having come from England about 1725. A pair of George
II gilt bronze wall sconces between the windows came from Hornby Castle
in Yorkshire.

Across the hall, the dining room is a counterpart of the parlour save
for the chimneypiece and furniture. On leaving the dining room, the
staircase is evident for the first time, as it occupies the wing added
upon the completion of the house in 1756. Above the stairs are two large
rooms and a smaller room. Over the parlour is the master’s bedroom, now
restored as a sitting room. Some pieces of furniture in this room go
back to 1700. In the bedroom upon the walnut highboy are old bandboxes
covered with stencilled papers.

    [Illustration: MOUNT PLEASANT, 1761           Shown on map as No. 6]

                             MOUNT PLEASANT

The mansion built in 1761 by John Macpherson was sold on March 27, 1779,
to Benedict Arnold. Keeping a life interest himself, he settled it, as
his marriage gift, on his beautiful bride, the heiress Peggy Shippen,
daughter of Edward Shippen. Benedict Arnold never occupied it. Later his
life interest was confiscated and the mansion was sold in 1781. Edward
Shippen ultimately consolidated the entire ownership in his family by
purchase in 1784. Meanwhile the house had had another distinguished
tenant, if not occupant, in Major General Baron von Steuben. Later it
was sold to General Jonathan Williams, in whose family it remained until
1853. In 1926 it was restored through the generosity of the late Charles
H. Ludington.

The atmosphere of a Revolutionary house has been created by finishing
the rooms with Chippendale furniture, contemporary portraits, and small
objects of foreign importation.

The entrance is simply furnished with a Georgian mirror and table. In
the large and formal parlour at the right stands a very handsome
secretary bookcase originally made in the City. Fitting companions to
this piece, a beautifully carved highboy, tripod table and chairs in the
Philadelphia Chippendale style, give the room an air of elegance. On the
stair landing stands a tall clock bearing the name of “David
Rittenhouse,” the most famous clockmaker in America.

On the second floor, two bedrooms are attractively furnished with
four-post beds and hung, to match the windows, with appropriate India
prints and eighteenth century Chintz. Pieces by Philadelphia
cabinetmakers bear evidence to the excellent qualities of their
workmanship. Other noteworthy pieces are two fine wing chairs, a
block-front desk and a pair of ladder-back chairs.

    [Illustration: THE CLIFFS, 1741               Shown on map as No. 7]

                               THE CLIFFS

The Cliffs stands above the East River Drive, commanding a splendid view
down the Schuylkill to the south toward Lemon Hill, and to the north
past Mount Pleasant. The house, a compact structure of stuccoed rubble,
was built by Samuel Rowland Fisher in 1741 and, unlike several other of
the park houses in the Museum group, remained in the ownership of one
family until taken over by the Park Commission in 1868. It had, however,
been leased from time to time, as a letter dated 1789 bears witness,
written by Sarah Bache to Benjamin Franklin, her father, who was then in
France. It relates that she had just moved to “this small, charming
house which the French minister (who is delivering letter) will describe
in detail.”

There is considerable panelling of a simple kind throughout the house,
chiefly occurring on the chimney wall of the rooms, the remaining walls
being plastered and wainscoted. The parlour, opening directly from the
outside, is a dignified room having exposures on two sides and a
panelled chimney wall on the third.

The Cliffs is not usually open to the public. Mr. and Mrs. Erling H.
Pedersen, the occupants, have gathered many old pieces of American
furniture suitable to the house. Particularly notable is a slant-top
walnut desk, a small Chippendale sofa and a pair of ladder-back side
chairs. Beyond is the dining room, one stair leading down into the old
kitchen with its great fireplace and beamed ceiling, the other leading
up to two pleasant chambers, furnished with four-post beds and early
walnut chests of drawers.

    [Illustration: LEMON HILL, 1798               Shown on map as No. 8]

                               LEMON HILL

Lemon Hill was built in 1798 on the site of the Robert Morris country
house called “The Hills.” Here he had his famous green houses with the
first lemon trees in Philadelphia, which ultimately gave their name to
the estate.

On Morris’ insolvency it was purchased by Henry Pratt, an opulent
merchant, who built the present house. The oval drawing room was of the
type then popular among the leaders of the government and society, found
also in the White House in Washington and in the homes of Alexander
Hamilton and General Henry Knox. The drawing room on the first floor and
dining room on the floor below are the principal rooms of the house, the
long windows on the south side giving a prospect of the river and being
balanced on the opposite wall by a pair of fireplaces. The curved
mahogany doors in these rooms are rich accents of colour against the
blue woodwork and buff walls. In the library is one of the most delicate
and beautiful of the early marble mantelpieces, with the legend of Leda.

Mr. and Mrs. Fiske Kimball, who occupy the house, have furnished it with
appropriate pieces of the late eighteenth century in the Heppelwhite and
Sheraton style. In the drawing room is a handsome suite of white and
gold furniture in the Louis XVI style, including a settee and twelve
armchairs. They were made in Philadelphia about 1800 for Edward Burd.
The hangings are of a classic pattern in blue and silver, and over the
mantels are a pair of colourful landscapes in the manner of Hubert

                         BUS AND TROLLEY ROUTES

                      ROUTE A—ROOSEVELT BOULEVARD

_Southbound:_ From Frankford ave. and Pratt st., on Pratt st., Roosevelt
blvd., Hunting Park ave., 29th st., Chalmers ave., Lehigh ave., 33rd
st., Sedgeley Drive, Lemon Hill Drive, Fairmount ave., Pennsylvania
ave., 23rd st., Parkway, Race st., Broad st., to Broad and Filbert sts.

_Northbound:_ From Broad and Filbert sts., on Filbert st., Parkway, 23rd
st., Pennsylvania ave., Fairmount ave., Lemon Hill Drive, Sedgeley
Drive, 33rd st., Lehigh ave., Chalmers ave., 29th st., Hunting Park
ave., Roosevelt blvd., Pratt st., to Frankford ave. and Pratt st.


_Southbound:_ From 32nd st. and Ridge ave., on 32nd st., Columbia ave.,
19th st., Poplar st., 18th st., Brown st., 22nd st., Arch st., 4th st.,
Ritner st., to 5th and Ritner sts.

_Northbound:_ From 5th and Ritner sts., on 5th st., Arch st., 23rd st.,
Aspen st., 27th st., Poplar st., 29th st., Columbia ave., 31st st., York
st., 32nd st., to 32nd st. and Ridge ave.

                           ROUTE 61—MANAYUNK

_Southbound:_ From Main st. and Leverington ave. (Manayunk), on Main
st., Ridge ave., 15th st., Wallace st., 10th st., to 9th and Spruce sts.

_Northbound:_ From 9th and Spruce sts., on 9th st., Spring Garden st.,
8th st., Fairmount ave., Ridge ave., Main st., to Main st. and
Leverington ave.

                          ROUTE 54—LEHIGH AVE.

_Eastbound:_ From 34th and Huntingdon sts., on Huntingdon st., Ridge
ave., Lehigh ave., Kensington ave., Somerset st., Edgemont st., Cambria
st., to Richmond and Cambria sts.

_Westbound:_ From Richmond and Cambria sts., on Richmond st., Somerset
st., Kensington ave., Lehigh ave, 34th st., to 34th and Huntingdon sts.

                    ROUTE 39—DAUPHIN AND SUSQUEHANNA

_Eastbound:_ From 33rd and Dauphin sts., on Dauphin st., Front st.,
Kensington ave., Cumberland st., to Richmond and Cumberland sts.

_Westbound:_ From Richmond and Cumberland sts., on Richmond st.,
Huntingdon st., Kensington ave., Front st., Susquehanna ave., 21st st.,
York st., 33rd st., to 33rd and Dauphin sts.


_Eastbound:_ From 33rd and Dauphin sts., on Dauphin st., Front st.,
Norris st., Susquehanna ave., Richmond st., to Richmond and Norris sts.

_Westbound:_ From Richmond and Norris sts., on Norris st., Susquehanna
ave., 21st st., York st., 33rd st., to 33rd and Dauphin sts.


_Southbound:_ From 33rd and Dauphin sts., on Dauphin st., 29th st.,
Poplar st., 28th st., Brown st., 22nd st., Snyder ave., to 23rd st. and
Snyder ave.

_Northbound:_ From 23rd st. and Snyder ave., on 23rd st., Aspen st.,
27th st., Poplar st., 29th st., York st., 33rd st., to 33rd and Dauphin

                     ROUTE 70—FIFTY-SECOND ST.—BALA

_Southbound:_ From City Line (Bala), on 54th st., Jefferson st., 52nd
st., Baltimore ave., 49th st., Saybrook ave., Hanson st., Paschall ave.,
to 49th st. and Paschall ave.

_Northbound:_ From 49th st. and Paschall ave., on 49th st., Baltimore
ave., 52nd st., Jefferson st., 54th st., to City Line.

                      ROUTE 38A—52ND ST. EXTENSION

_Eastbound:_ From 52nd and Jefferson sts., on 52nd st., Parkside ave.,
to 40th st. and Parkside ave.

_Westbound:_ From 40th st. and Parkside ave., on Parkside ave., 52nd
st., to 52nd and Jefferson sts.

                     ROUTE 38—BARING—SUBWAY-SURFACE

_Eastbound:_ From 44th st. and Parkside ave. Loop, on Parkside ave.,
40th st., Fairmount ave., 37th st., Baring st., 33rd st., Lancaster
ave., Market st., in Subway to City Hall.

_Westbound:_ From City Hall in Subway to Market st. (surface), on Market
st., Lancaster ave., 33rd st., Baring st., 36th st., Fairmount ave.,
40th st., Parkside ave., to 44th st. and Parkside ave. Loop.

                       ROUTE 40—LOMBARD AND SOUTH

_Eastbound:_ From 41st and Parkside ave., on Parkside ave., 40th st.,
Spruce st., South st., 17th st., Lombard st., to Front and Lombard sts.

_Westbound:_ From Front and Lombard sts., on Front st., South st.,
Spruce st., 38th st., Market st., 41st st., Ogden st., 40th st., Girard
ave., 41st st., to 41st st. and Parkside ave.

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

—In the HTML version only, added page numbers.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chain of Colonial Houses" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.