Want to learn more about the history of the Main Line and western suburbs? Head to these longstanding hotspots for a glimpse of the region’s past.
1. VALLEY FORGE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK & WASHINGTON’S HEADQUARTERS
The former site of the Continental Army’s harrowing 1777–78 winter encampment is now a nature lover’s paradise, with 28 miles of trails—some open to biking and horseback riding. Also visit the place where the father of our nation planned his successful campaign during his encampment.
1400 N. Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, (610) 783-1077, nps.gov
2. LONGWOOD GARDENS
Pierre du Pont’s 75-year-old labor of love is a great place to experience any season in all its glory. While you’re there, you’ll likely see evidence of its $250 million 17-acre expansion, which is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2024.
1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org
3. BRANDYWINE BATTLEFIELD PARK
The largest land battle in the American Revolution took place at this site. Today, visitors can explore the 50-plus-acre park and its two historic houses on select days.
1491 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, (610) 459-3342. brandywinebattlefield.org
4. WHARTON ESHERICK MUSEUM
Renowned American artist Wharton Esherick’s 12-acre property features his home and workshop, where he worked in sculpture, furniture and other mediums. Explore it all Tuesday–Sunday on pre-booked tours of his studio, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
1520 Horseshoe Trail, Malvern, (610) 644-5822, whartonesherickmuseum.org
5. HISTORIC GRANGE ESTATE
Located above Cobbs Creek, this historic 10-acre property embodies over 300 years of local history dating back to 1682. Explore the carriage house, springhouses, barn and more. Pre-booked tours offered Saturday and Sunday April-October. Holiday tours November–January.
143 Myrtle Ave., Havertown, thegrangeestate.net
6. CALEB PUSEY HOUSE
This English vernacular house dates back to 1683 and was restored in the 1960s. Original proprietor Caleb Pusey created nearby Chester Mills with William Penn. The house is open for tours by appointment only on Saturdays May–October.
15 Race St, Upland, (610) 874-5665, calebpuseyhouse.com
7. COLONIAL PENNSYLVANIA PLANTATION
Tucked away in Ridley Creek State Park, this 112-acre plantation offer a glimpse of life in the late 1700s, complete with period attire and demonstrations. The plantation is open from late March through late November.
3900 N. Sandy Flash Drive, Newtown Square, (610) 566-1725, colonialplantation.org
8. PAOLI BATTLEFIELD HISTORICAL PARK
A 20-acre park with a parade ground and a memorial to Continental Army soldiers killed in the Revolutionary War battle.
Monument and Wayne avenues, Malvern, pbpfinc.org
9. ROSE VALLEY MUSEUM AT THUNDERBIRD LODGE
William Lightfoot Price created a historic artists’ haven in the tiny hamlet of Rose Valley. This museum celebrates its unique architecture and Price’s unique colony. Open weekends and by appointment.
41 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, (484) 444-2961, rosevalleymuseum.org
10. NATIONAL IRON AND STEEL HERITAGE MUSEUM
Once known as the Steel City, Coatesville had a long relationship with iron and steel thanks to the Lukens family. This museum celebrates that history through interpretative exhibits, educational programs and much more.
50 S. 1st Ave., Coatesville, (610) 384-9282, steelmuseum.org
11. OKEHOCKING PRESERVE
Once part of land grant from William Penn to the Okehocking band of Lenni Lenape Indians, this 180-acre preserve has seven miles of trails.
5316 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, willistown.pa.us
12. HOPE LODGE
Quaker Samuel Morris—a farmer, miller and iron master—started building the Georgian-style Hope Lodge in 1743. It was also a Revolutionary War encampment. Available by reservation and for events.
553 S. Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, (215) 646-1595, historichopelodge.org
13. THOMAS MASSEY HOUSE
Thomas Massey came to the colonies as an indentured servant, eventually earning his freedom and becoming a landowner. His 1600s-era home is a testament to his perseverance. It’s also one of the oldest English Quaker homes in Pennsylvania. Open Sundays May–October and by appointment.
469 Lawrence Road, Broomall, (610) 353-3644, thomasmasseyhouse.org
14. FINLEY HOUSE
In the former home of Captain John Pugh, who fought in the Revolutionary War, the kitchen dates back to 1789 and much of the rest to the 1800s. Open Tuesday and Saturday.
113 W. Beechtree Lane, Wayne, (610) 688-2668, radnorhistory.org
15. HARRITON HOUSE
Dating back to 1704, this stone home encompasses over 300 years of local history. Visit the grounds anytime—or take a pre-booked guided tour of the house Wednesday–Saturday.
500 Harriton Road, Bryn Mawr, (610) 525-0201, harritonhouse.org
ANTIQUE ICE TOOL MUSEUM
Explore the history of the ice industry through tools, vehicles and other artifacts.
825 Sconnelltown Road, West Chester, (610) 738-7081, antiqueicetoolmuseum.org
BRINTON 1704 HOUSE
Open for tours May–October, the structure was built in 1704 by Pennsylvania Quakers and is one of the oldest restored homes in the country.
21 Oakland Road, West Chester, (610) 399-0913, brintonfamily.org
CHADDS FORD HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Explore life in Chadds Ford in the 18th century and beyond. The society offers a lecture series, a themed escape room and events.
1736 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-7376, chaddsfordhistory.org
CHESTER COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Guests can explore Chester County’s rich history via exhibits, garments, flags and more.
225 N. High St, West Chester, (610) 692-4800, chestercohistorical.org
HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Discover Haverford’s history at the Lawrence Cabin, Nitre Hall and Federal School, which date back to the 1700s and 1800s.
1682 Karakung Drive, Havertown, (484) 452-3382, haverfordhistoricalsociety.org
HENRY MUHLENBERG HOUSE
The former home of the Lutheran minister dates back to about 1755 and is furnished to reflect life in 1787.
201 W. Main St, Trappe, (610) 489-7560, trappehistoricalsociety.org
HIGHLANDS HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Dating back to the late 1700s, the Georgian mansion and two-acre formal garden sit on 44 acres. Pre-booked tours offered Tuesday-Friday.
7001 Sheaff Lane, Fort Washington, (215) 641-2687, highlandshistorical.org
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY
A research library, displays and events spotlight Montgomery County’s heritage.
1654 DeKalb St, Norristown, (610) 272-0297, hsmcpa.org
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF THE PHOENIXVILLE AREA
The museum offers genealogy information, along with photographs, yearbooks, and over 300 pieces of Etruscan Majolica and other artifacts.
204 Church St., Phoenixville, (610) 935-7646, hspa-pa.org
NEWLIN GRIST MILL PARK
Home to a working grist mill built in 1704, this 160-acre park offers educational programs and a 2.9-mile walking loop. Trout fishing is popular in season.
219 Cheyney Road, Glen Mills, newlingristmill.org
PAPER MILL HOUSE MUSEUM
Get a look at an 1850s general store, alongside local history. Open Saturday in July and August.
2 Paper Mill Road, Newtown Square, (610) 975-0290, nshistory.org
PENNSYLVANIA VETERANS MUSEUM
The museum honors veterans through educational programs and exhibits.
12 E. State St., Media, (610) 566-0788, paveteransmuseum.org
Gov. Samuel W. Pennypacker’s antiques collection is on display at this mansion, offering a glimpse into his political life and life in general in the early 1900s. Free tours available year-round by reservation.
Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, montcopa.org
Christian Carmack Sanderson was born in 1882 and went on to become a prolific collector of American artifacts. More than 200 years’ worth can be seen at this museum, including sketches and paintings from the renowned Wyeth family. Open Saturdays and Sundays March–November; advanced reservations required.
1755 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 864-1598, sandersonmuseum.org
SPORTS LEGENDS OF DELAWARE COUNTY MUSEUM
Located in the Radnor Township Municipal Building, this museum celebrates Delaware County’s Emlen Tunnell and many other exceptional athletes from the region. Open Monday–Friday.
301 Iven Ave., Wayne, (610) 909-4919, delcosportsmuseum.com
UPPER DARBY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
This society works to preserve Upper Darby’s history, including Colleen Brook Farm, which is available for tours by appointment.
Marvine and Mansion Avenues, Drexel Hill, (610) 924-0222, udhistory.com
WAYNESBOROUGH HISTORIC HOUSE
Revolutionary War Gen. Anthony Wayne’s homestead is now a registered National Historic Landmark. Open select days and holidays.
2049 Waynesborough Road, Paoli, (610) 647-1779, historicwaynesborough.org
WORLD OF SCOUTING MUSEUM
Explore scouting history over the past century at this museum, which includes antique uniforms, badges and awards, historic photographs, and more. Archive open Monday–Friday.
1601 Valley Forge Road, Valley Forge, (610) 935-8001, worldofscoutingmuseum.org