William Penn’s powerful agent-secretary, James Logan, made Stenton his country seat
Original hardwood floors, enormous multi-paned windows, 18th-century furniture, huge fireplaces, icehouse and a barn with pre-industrial agricultural tools can be found on a tour of the early Georgian-style estate of James Logan, secretary to Pennsylvania founder William Penn. There are remnants of bookcases that held the 2,681 volume library of Logan, who mentored Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram.
Situated today on three acres of the original 500-acre plantation that had slaves, including housekeeper Dinah who reportedly saved the mansion from being burned by the British during the Revolutionary War, Stenton’s large rooms have colorful oil portraits, willowy drapes and exquisite woodwork. Stenton is an outstanding example of Georgian architecture with its elegant red bricks and outward symmetry of windows and doorways making it one of the grandest houses of its time.
After James Logan (1674-1751) met and accompanied Pennsylvania founder William Penn to America in 1699, he built the mansion by 1730 and named it after his father’s birthplace in Scotland. Logan was a renowned politician, merchant, justice, scientist and scholar. Generals George Washington and William Howe headquartered at Stenton before the Battle of Germantown.
The barn, built in 1787 by James Logan’s grandson George Logan, has a remarkable collection of pre-industrial agricultural tools.
Children can examine the agricultural tools in the barn and other goodies in the mansion, outbuildings and on the grounds.
From April 1 to December 23, Stenton is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. For January through March, the house is open by appointment only.
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