2021 Festival Schedule
10:00 am - 4:00 pm: Visit the sutlers, food vendors, learn about print making with Richard Wolff, create paper with Historic RittenhouseTown and visit the Continental Camp and meet Noah Lewis, African American teamster or see wigwams in the British Camp at Cliveden (6401 Germantown Avenue)
10:00 am - 11:30 am: Visit the Continental & British Camps to decide which side you might like to join at Cliveden (6401 Germantown Avenue)
10:30 am: Meet General Washington and learn about his experience planning for the Battle of Germantown or hear from Surprise of Germantown author Tom McGuire to learn of the events leading up to October 4 at Cliveden (6401 Germantown Avenue)
12:00 pm: Re-enactment of the Battle of Germantown
The re-enactment portrays a historic battle that displays some violent content including black powder demonstrations.
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Visit Awbury Arboretum's Adventure Woods to learn about colonial plants, parking at 6060 Ardleigh Street, Philadelphia, PA 19138.
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Visit the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion (200 West Tulpehocken Street) and enjoy a taste of a fall tonic used by families in colonial times to keep children and adults from sickness.
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Visit the sites of Historic Germantown to explore the diverse experiences of the American Revolution:
- ACES Museum | 5801 Germantown Avenue
- Cliveden | 6401 Germantown Avenue
- Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust | 6133 Germantown Avenue
- Germantown White House | 5442 Germantown Avenue
- Grumblethorpe Historic House & Garden | 5267 Germantown Avenue
- Historic Fairhill | 2901 Germantown Avenue
- Johnson House | 6306 Germantown Avenue
- Lest We Forget Slavery Museum | 5501 Germantown Avenue
- Stenton | 4601 North 18th Street
- Upper Burying Ground | 6309 Germantown Avenue
- Wyck | 6026 Germantown Avenue
1:30 pm: Learn about the Surprise of Germantown with author Tom McGuire at Cliveden (6401 Germantown Avenue).
1:30 pm - 4:00 pm: Visit the Main House and learn about the experience of the British 40th Light Infantry or head to the Continental Camp's Field Hospital with Historic Fairhill at Cliveden (6401 Germantown Avenue).
2:00 pm: Historic Germantown and Black Writers Museum proudly present the Black Lives in Germantown Walking Tour. The tour will take approximately 90 minutes, starting Germantown High School (5900 block of Germantown Avenue), and concludes at Market Square Park (5500 black of Germantown Avenue). Refreshments, post-tour at Germantown Historic Society.
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Visit African American soldiers at the Johnson House (6306 Germantown Avenue).
2:30 pm: Hear Ned Hector, an African American teamster, share his experiences in the American Revolution at Cliveden (6401 Germantown Avenue).
Visit these sites in Historic Germantown to explore the diverse experiences of the American Revolution.
Built as a summer home for the wealthy Chew family, Cliveden was the epicenter of the Battle of Germantown on October 4, 1777. Witness the re-enactment of the Battle of Germantown at 12pm. At 10:30am and 1:30pm, hear author Tom McGuire tell the story of the Surprise of Germantown. At 2:30pm, visit with Ned Hector, an African American teamster to learn about the experience of African American soldiers during the American Revolution. Re-enactors will be encamped on site in Continental and British camps. Tours of the Cliveden Main House will be available from 1pm-4pm and the Carriage House will be open throughout the festival.
The re-enactment portrays a historic battle that displays some violent content including black powder displays.
Masks are required while on Cliveden's grounds, in Cliveden's buildings and during the re-enactment.
How do we remember a battle, a war, a revolution? Located near the back of the Upper Burying Ground is what may be the first memorial to the Battle of Germantown, commemorating the three (named) colonial officers and the six (unnamed) colonial soldiers killed on the day of the Battle of Germantown. Placed there by antiquarian John Fanning Watson in the early nineteenth century, the stone is a marker of memory and of story-making. Watson worked hard to recall an earlier era in Germantown even as the world around him was changing dramatically. Visitors to the Upper Burying Ground are now greeted by a much more recent memorial: an area of modern gravestones, placed by the Sons of the Revolution in 2005 to commemorate all of the Revolutionary War troops buried in the cemetery with no known locations. This modern commemoration provides a visual focus for ceremonies while also provoking new questions about the uses of cemetery space for the purposes of remembering. Explore the Upper Burying Ground with a self-guided walking tour and reflect on these markers and other landscape features.
Johnson House was the center of fierce fighting on Germantown Avenue. As Quakers, the Johnsons believed in non-violence. They were “infidel practitioners” and advocates of racial equality. Their home was a refuge and safe place for enslaved Africans on their way to freedom. The Underground Railroad, was a dramatic and effective form of radical protest against a system to enslave Africans for economic profit and to maintain slavery. While the Battle of Germantown raged outside the front door, the family took refuge in the cellar. Their religious beliefs kept them from defending their property when soldiers entered their home to steal food from their kitchen. Scars from the Battle of Germantown are still visible inside the House. During the Battle of Germantown, African Americans and Native Americans served with the Continental and the British forces. Guided tours, African American Soldier Re-enactors.
Historic RittenhouseTown, a National Historic Landmark District, is dedicated to informing the public about the life and times of this early industrial village - America's first paper mill, founded in 1690. The non-profit organization is committed to the site's preservation through research, restoration and high-quality educational programming. The art of papermaking has been at the heart of RittenhouseTown for hundreds of years. Its value has continued to be recognized to the present day with frequent workshops and papermaking series dedicated to teaching the public about this fun and simple exercise and its historical context. RittenhouseTown will have its portable papermaking studio on site at Cliveden to allow those interested to get hands-on experience making paper. The best part is you can take home when you're done!
In 1683, thirteen Dutch-speaking Mennonite and Quaker families came to what is now known as Germantown. William Rittenhouse, who built America’s first mill for the manufacture of linen based paper, served as this group’s first minister. This is the site of the first Mennonite burial ground (1704), the first Mennonite Meetinghouse (1708), and the first Mennonite baptisms in America (1708). Mennonite theology and conscience contributed to America’s first written petition against slavery, penned in 1688 and sent to the Quaker monthly, quarterly and yearly meetings. Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust cares for the historic 1770 Germantown Mennonite Meetinghouse. They preserve the Meetinghouse & cemetery, maintain the nearby buildings and grounds, implement tours, and work with the Germantown community, and other partners. The site will be open 12 pm – 4 pm.
Enjoy a taste of a fall tonic used by families in Colonial times to keep children and adults from sickness. Receive a recipe to make this tonic at home using ingredients that are likely in your own home. The Mansion grounds will be open from 12-3pm during which you can try your luck with a scavenger hunt of the garden. You can also receive a prize for taking our Declaration of Independence and/or Emancipation Quizzes.
Wyck Historic House, Garden, and Farm, the site of a field hospital during the 1777 Battle of Germantown, will be open for tours from 12 pm – 3 pm and will feature a display focused on 18th century medicine during this year's Revolutionary Germantown Festival. Wyck is a National Historic Landmark house, garden, and farm in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia that served as the ancestral home to one Philadelphia family for nine generations (1690-1973). Here, traditional Quaker culture blended with a passion for innovation. The people who lived and worked at Wyck expressed these values through their commitment to education, horticulture, natural history, and preservation. In 2021, this family home still stands alongside the oldest rose garden in the United States, historic outbuildings, a working home farm, and a uniquely authentic collection of family objects. Come learn about medical history, take a tour, and stay for a picnic!
Awbury Arboretum will explore plant use in the 1700s with an emphasis on plants grown or harvested for medicinal purposes. Plants have always played a necessary role in our lives and during Colonial Times, native plants and herbs were the most common treatment for everything from a sore throat to a stomachache to poison ivy. Stop by AdventureWoods in the Secret Garden from 12pm to 2pm to learn more. Parking available at 6060 Ardleigh Street, Philadelphia, PA 19138.
The ACES Museum pays tribute to minority veterans of World War II. Visit from 12 pm – 4 pm and Jump the Broom. Jumping the broom is an African tradition from Ghana, and a couple would jump over the broom at the end of the marriage ceremony.
Historic Germantown and Black Writers Museum proudly present the Black Lives in Germantown Walking Tour, a voyage into the heart of historic milestones, community life and contemporary advocacy in the movement for Black Lives. This walking tour is inspired by the social uprisings of 2020 and the pivotal role Germantown plays as a vibrant neighborhood of advocacy and activity. This is the first of many walking tours depicting the African American experience in Germantown and Northwest Philadelphia, from colonial era protests, to Victorian era activists to migration era landmarks to the modern day movements that shape this place as Freedom['s Backyard. Our tours are immersive storytelling experiences, with props and audio visuals, illustrating the stories of local Black notables, Black families, and outspoken voices, through a lens of activism, business, civics, and community life.
Starts at 2pm (approximately 90 minutes). Meet at Germantown High School (5900 block of Germantown Avenue) - tour concludes at Market Square Park (5500 block Germantown Avenue). Refreshments, post-tour at Germantown Historical Society.
Open for tours as part of the Revolutionary Germantown Festival, The Lest We Forget Museum of Slavery provides a unique historical perspective into the reality of slavery for Africans brought to America. It is the only museum of its kind in Philadelphia that exhibits authentic slavery artifacts. The museum tears the scab of mystery and shame off the subject of slavery and shines light on the enduring spirit of our African American ancestors and the contributions they have made in the building of America.
Grumblethorpe, the historic home of the Wister family, was the headquarters of British General James Agnew during the Battle of Germantown. The Wister family, as Quakers, stayed out of the immediate conflict by leaving the city during the British Occupation. For this year’s Revolutionary Germantown Festival, come to Grumblethorpe to learn about those who could not leave the city and what life was like during the Occupation of Philadelphia. Enjoy spending time in the gardens and take a house and garden tour. Site open 12-4 pm.
Visit Stenton on October 2nd from 12 pm – 4 pm to enjoy the garden, grounds, and museum open house. From 1 PM – 4 PM you will hear from Dinah, a once-enslaved woman who lived and labored at Stenton, about her experiences during the Revolutionary War, as well as British General William Howe, who used Stenton as his headquarters leading up to the Battle of Germantown. Masks must be worn at all times while on site.
Historic Fair Hill is a 5 acre 300 year old Quaker burial ground with surrounding wall murals telling stories of struggles for justice. Leaders of the Underground RR and early women’s rights movement including Lucretia Mott and Robert Purvis are buried here. During the Revolutionary War, the first meetinghouse was used as a field hospital, and both British and Continental soldiers were buried here. Today Historic Fair Hill has literacy partnerships with neighborhood public schools and extensive community gardens.
Deshler Morris House/Germantown White House | 5442 Germantown Avenue | https://www.nps.gov/inde/learn/historyculture/places-germantownwhitehouse.htm
Twice this house sheltered George Washington. In 1793, he took refuge here from the deadly yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia. The following summer, it was a welcome retreat from the heat of the capital city. Ironically, Washington's nemesis, British General William Howe, occupied this home during the Revolutionary War in October 1777. Also known as the Deshler-Morris House, the home gets its name from its first and last owners. David Deshler built the home beginning in 1752. Elliston P. Morris donated it to the National Park Service in 1948. The site will be open for tours from 10 am – 4 pm free of charge.