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The Germantown Historical Society

A historical welcome into Philadelphia’s oldest neighborhood


The Experience

Germantown’s is a long and interesting story: three-centuries of founding, settlement, tolerance, patriotism, abolitionism, architecture, industry, and community service. Find it in the library and museum collections, a sampling of which will be on display in this red brick building on Germantown’s original Market Square.

Such a visit would whet the appetite for a more comprehensive tour of the other sites and landmarks in Germantown and the nearby communities of Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill. But the Historical Society’s 50,000 objects, library and archives guarantee a memorable experience. There is a special emphasis on 300 years of proud history in textile production.


When William Penn offered tolerance and refuge, he found some takers in Europe’s German-speaking countries. Frankfort lawyer Daniel Francis Pastorius first settled Germantown in 1683. It was a remarkable place: home to the first written protest against slavery, site of a Revolutionary War battle, and much more. The Germantown Historical Society preserves and interprets it all since 1901.

Other Information

Open Tue, Thu and Sun

Insider Tip

Guided group tours are available seven days a week, March to December. See the Society Museum and two nearby 18th-century houses, Grumblethorpe and the Deshler-Morris House. Reservations required.

Kids’ Stuff

Call in advance for a behind-the-scenes tour. See quilts, coverlets, sausage grinders, and a 19th-century mousetrap.

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