Public History in Philadelphia

Public History in Philadelphia Public History tells a people's story in a variety of methods: historic site interpretation and pres


French cannons, buried by the Spanish at Fort Saint Louis in 1689, were uncovered on a private ranch in Victoria County by archeologists from the Texas Historical Commission, finally confirming the site’s location. Fort St. Louis was located where Garcitas Creek runs into Matagorda Bay. The cannons were found exactly where Alonso de Leon left them 300+ years before.

For more information, check out the always wonderful and amazing Texas Beyond History website:

Good stuff!


Join contributors of "Women in George Washington's World" for an intellectual salon at the Powel House.


Celia Jailer has this report from the October 2022 meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission



Grace Kelly’s grandfather was a bricklayer from County Mayo. His name was John Peter Kelly and he was born in this tiny three-roomed cottage in Drimurla, in 1857. He left Ireland when he was 30 years of age, bound for Philadelphia where he would found one of the city’s leading construction companies and make his fortune.

Curious to discover her roots, Grace visited Ireland on three occasions and here she is in June 1961 at the old cottage where her grandfather was born and reared. At the time an elderly woman known locally as the Widow Mulchrone owned the old Kelly homestead, which was down a rambling old boreen. For weeks preparations had been made for the special visit. The roof was newly thatched, the hedges cut and the pathway sanded. Dressed in black, and wearing her finest apron, the widow had spent the morning baking griddle cakes and polishing the glassware and good china. Up in “the good room”, which doubled as the widow’s bedroom, she set the tables with china cups and saucers and bedecked it with a selection of cakes and soda bread. Back in the kitchen a big black kettle hung boiling and hissing over the open fire. The Widow Mulchrone regaled her royal visitors with stories and, at one point, told an on-duty policeman, 'Wet another cup of tay, the prince could murder another drop!'. She even recited a special poem to mark the occasion, which she dubbed the most important day of her life.

Grace visited several times and on her last visit in 1979, after the Widow Mulchone had passed away, she bought the old family homestead along with 35 acres of land. She wanted to keep the old cottage just as it was so she and Prince Rainier had architectural plans prepared for a new home to be built nearby. When they left, Grace told the local press she'd be back to see the home when it was finished.

Sadly, her dream never materialised. One fateful day in 1982, she suffered a sudden stroke while driving on a winding cliff-edge road in Monaco. Her car left the road. The fairytale princess was in a coma and was dead within a day. She was 52 years of age. For her funeral, local Mayo residents sent a wreath to Monaco. It was made from wild flowers picked around her ancestral home in Drimurla.

R.I.P. Grace Kelly. 🙏


At one of America's first universities, a cascade of revelations follows years of institutional ignorance.


“As Lizzo continues her concert tour in the coming weeks, we’re crossing our fingers that she would consider adding a stop at James Madison’s Montpelier.”


Great news: Cliveden is the recipient of a 2022 Project Grant for $276,000 from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage! The grant supports our new project Transcending Thresholds, which emphasizes the lives of people who lived and labored at Cliveden, looking outside traditional archives to uncover stories embedded in the site's architecture, landscape, and material culture. Follow us on social media and on our website over the next couple of years for updates and opportunities to become involved in the planning process.

Thank you to The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for their support!


Do I need to blog?


The 2022 Revolutionary Germantown Festival officially begins at 10 am on Saturday, October 1st. Visitors can spend the day at Cliveden engaging with British and Continental re-enactors, meet first-person interpreters such as Ned Hector and Elizabeth Drinker, hear from author Tom McGuire about the Surprise of Germantown, and more. New this year, at 10 am, join the Museum of the American Revolution and assist in setting up their replica of General Washington’s campaign tent!

Throughout the day, stop by the sutlers’ tables to purchase 18th century goods, learn about making and caring for clothes in the 18th century with The Heritage Sewing & Skill Building Group, and participate in activities with Historic Germantown and several Historic Germantown sites who'll be stationed at Cliveden - Stenton, Grumblethorpe, Historic Rittenhouse Town, the Johnson House Historic Site Germantown, and Awbury Arboretum. There will also be six food vendors at the festival, located in the parking lot of Second Baptist Church of Germantown (across Cliveden Street): The Frosted Fox Cake Shop, Deke's BBQ, Malelani Cafe, R & D Specialty Foods, Payne Catering, and Chef Bernard Talley!

Visitors can also visit Historic Germantown sites at their locations for tours and activities: the Germantown White House (the Deshler-Morris House), Wyck Historic House, Garden, and Farm, Concord School House and Upper Burying Ground, the, Lest We Forget Slavery Museum, the Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust, Historic Fair Hill, and the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion.

Two moments of remembrances will be held during the festival: the first will be at 12pm, honoring those who lost their lives during the Battle of Germantown, and the second is at 4pm, honoring those who lost their lives to gun violence in Philadelphia in 2022.

For the full festival schedule, visit We will see you on October 1st!

Lest We Forget Slavery Museum
Historic Fair Hill
Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion
Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust
Awbury Arboretum


On this day in 1773, Phillis Wheatley became the first published African American poet with the publishing of Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. An original copy of her work, signed by Wheatley, is in our collection and on display at the Museum beneath a reconstruction of Boston’s Liberty Tree.

More from our collection:


Apparently, No One at PHA (Philadelphia Housing authority) Has Seen Poltergeist. So many PHA properties were built over cemeteries.

The Now Demolished Queen Lane Apartments Germantown's only High Rise Public Housing Project at 301 West Queen Lane, which intersects with Pulaski Avenue, was a “Burial place for all African-Americans and Mulattoes as they Die in any part of Germantown forever” was created by Matthias Zimmerman who purchased the land in 1755 specifically for such use.


Montpelier, the plantation owned by U.S. Founding Father and President James Madison, is literally breaking new ground in how it tells its story.


Here's what to know.


Our collection of more than 4,000 artifacts and documents is at the heart of the Museum's experience. The collection began more than a century ago, in 1907, when Reverend W. Herbert Burk started a two-year fundraising effort to acquire the tent that General George Washington used as his mobile headq...


The famous Lakota were one of the three Sioux tribes of the plains. Throughout their history, which is both glorious and tragic, there have been many prominent heroes, braves, and chiefs.


While sorting through donated books, a library volunteer came across a book authored by the former President that was published n 1829.


After gaining its independence, one of the first official projects for the nascent country was to establish a permanent seat for the federal...


in 1776, General George Washington received a copy of the Declaration of Independence. The President of the Congress, John Hancock, told Washington to “have it proclaimed at the Head of the Army in the Way, you shall think most proper.”⁣⁣
That evening in New York, thousands of Continental soldiers marched to the parade grounds in Lower Manhattan, where General Washington had ordered them to assemble to hear the Declaration of Independence read aloud.⁣⁣
He also sent a copy to General Artemas Ward, to be read to the American soldiers in Massachusetts.⁣⁣

Learn more:

(Image Credits)
"Washington at Verplanck's Point New York, 1782, Reviewing the French Troops after the Victory at Yorktown" painted by Adrian Lamb after John Trumbull, 1982. MVLA.


It's been 50 years since the Stonewall Riots in New York. What was the impact on the LGBT community then, and what does it mean for the future?


Do attend!

Limited seating for July 9th talk at the Trent House. Special speaker, Iris de Rhode, PhD…

1719 William Trent House Museum


The Montpelier Foundation Board of Directors today announced actions to restore the reputation and strengthen the finances of the Presidential plantation and museum.


in 1772, Artist Charles Willson Peale began this first portrait of George Washington.

This painting was commissioned by Martha Washington and portrays the 40-year-old Washington in the uniform of a colonel in the Virginia Militia.

Peale depicted Washington's loyal military service and valor during the French and Indian War but also acknowledged his then-status in retirement as a successful, middle-aged plantation owner.

Learn more:

(Image Credits)
"George Washington as Colonel in the Virginia Regiment" by Charles Willson Peale, 1772. Courtesy of Washington and Lee University.


Huzzah! Did you know... The first Renaissance Festival ever held in North America was actually an elaborate medieval themed event staged on May 18th, 1778 in the City of Philadelphia? And that it was presented by occupying forces of the British Army? It included processions of pageantry, a river reg


Parity offers the public a chance to experience an expansive common history rooted in the “whole truth” of our founding history.


In a stunning win for the community and Whitney Plantation, descendants of enslaved men and women at Whitney Plantation and other sites in southeast Louisiana won a key ruling Thursday allowing their legal challenge to go forward against a $400 million grain elevator planned along the Mississippi River. The Descendants Project, a local non-profit organization founded by descendants, sued St. John the Baptist Parish over the decades-long corrupt zoning of the proposed site. Greenfield, LLC intervened in the suit and
argued that the lawsuit should be thrown out. But during the hearing Thursday Judge J. Sterling Snowdy denied all of Greenfield's grounds and allowed the lawsuit to continue its forward momentum.

The massive terminal with 50 huge silos and structures as tall as the Statue of Liberty would inundate an historic Black descendant community with traffic, noise, and dust that contains everything from metal fragments to dead rodent and insect parts. Only a few hundred feet away from the structure, the community would have to relocate and its over 100-year long connection of close family ties would vanish. Already overburdened with pollution, the community would face even more health risks from particle dust small enough to inhale and cause respiratory issues. Grain elevators are also known for exploding and in many cases the cause of the explosion is unknown, putting the community at even more risk.

Whitney Plantation is also endangered by the proposed terminal. The noise, dust, and traffic from the operations could hurt Whitney Plantation's visitation, putting the state's only plantation slavery museum at risk and jeopardizing approximately 20 jobs of employees who are mostly local. The delicate structures integral for Whitney's interpretation of slavery may also be at risk from the terminal's operations and the possible unmarked graves of the enslaved may be destroyed as well. Whitney Plantation received over 4000 petition signatures in opposition to the proposed grain terminal.

Visit to sign a petition in support of Whitney Plantation and the Wallace community. Link to article in bio's linktree


Philly should be embarrassed by the condition of the jazz icon's home.


AAM stands with the descendants of the enslaved at Montpelier and the community’s right to define itself.

In June 2021, The Montpelier Foundation (TMF) committed to, and confirmed in its bylaws revision, a highly-publicized decision to share equal co-stewardship authority over the Museum and Estate of James Madison with the Montpelier Descendants Committee (MDC), a nonprofit group representing descendants of people enslaved by the Madisons. This historic and well-lauded commitment served as an exemplar for the museum field and signaled a powerful shift toward a future of shared leadership. On March 25, 2022, less than a year after this commitment was made, the TMF Board voted to change its policy of shared governance with the MDC. While the TMF Board has expressed that it remains committed to ensuring descendants of the enslaved represent 50% of the board, this new decision disempowers the MDC and gives full authority to the current board to decide who represents the descendant community.

The public commitments museums make to their communities are not to be taken lightly. Swaying from those commitments only undermines trust between our country’s museums and the public, causing irreparable harm to the descendant and underserved communities they aim to serve. We urge The Montpelier Foundation to hear the calls from its staff, the Montpelier Descendants Committee, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation and to come to a solution that honors the commitments they have made and respects the partnership and legacy of the Montpelier Descendants Committee, treating them as full partners in the TMF Board of Directors’ commitment to 50-50 parity.

The above statement is also available here:


1900 W Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA


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In search of information regarding a Gallery by the name of, Gilbert Stuart Gallery. The address was,
8407 Germantown Ave
Chestnut Hill
I found some beautiful paintings with a sticker from this gallery.
No artists info in on the postcard sized water color.
On October 10th Sydney Marenburg and myself (but mostly her) will be hosting a Labor History Movie Night to celebrate the October 9th, 1827 creation of the Mechanick's Union of Trade Associations, the nation's first "industrial" union, where all workers were organized as a class, rather than by craft or trade.
If you'd like to attend the movie viewing, please fill out the form below so that we can have your email/contact info, as well as time and/or movie preferences.
Also, we're asking anyone who can to make a donation to either Honor the Earth (which is working to protest/fight the construction of the Line 3 pipeline on Native land and sensitive environment) or the UMWA strike fund (the miners at Warrior Met are STILL holding out in their strike, and they need everyone's support)
These donations are pay what you can, but these folks need some solidarity.
Thank you all!
You can also RSVP through the event page: