Colonial Germantown Historic District
Germantown Ave. between Windrim Ave. and Upsal St.,
60 contributing buildings.
1 contributing site.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places
October 15, 1966.
Also known as:
- Independence National Historica
- See Also:Cliveden
- Colonial Germantown Historic District
The Colonial Germantown Historic District is a designated National Historic Landmark District in the Germantown and Mount Airy neighborhoods of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania along both sides of Germantown Avenue. This road followed an Indian path from the Delaware River just north of Old City Philadelphia, through Germantown, about 6 miles northwest of Center City Philadelphia, and on to Pottstown. Settlement in the Germantown area began, at the invitation of William Penn, in 1683 by Nederlanders and Germans under the leadership of Francis Daniel Pastorius fleeing religious persecution.
Colonial Germantown was a leader in religious thought, printing, and education. Important dates in Germantown's early history include:
- August 16, 1683, Pastorius arrives in Philadelphia
- October 25, 1683, Lots are drawn for land among Pastorius's followers and settlement begins
- 1688, first American anti-slavery protest published
- 1690, first paper-mill built in America is built near Germantown
- 1705, possibly the first portrait painted in oil in America painted by Christopher Witt in Germantown
- 1708, first Mennonite Meetinghouse in America built in Germantown
- 1719, first Dunkards in America arrive in Germantown
- 1743, first Bible printed in America in any European language (in this case German), printed by Christoph Sauer
- 1760, Germantown Academy founded
- 1762, invasion of the Paxton Boys
- 1770, first American book on pedagogy written by Christopher Dock and published in Germantown
- October 4, 1777, Battle of Germantown
- 1793, during the Philadelphia Yellow Fever Epidemic, President Washington and his cabinet move to Germantown
- 1794, Washington spends two months in Germantown to avoid the heat in Philadelphia
- July 20, 1825, General Lafayette visits Germantown
- June 6, 1832, railroad from Philadelphia to Germantown opens
National Park Service documentation: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/66000678