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Pennsylvania National Historical Parks


Independence National Historical Park

8/25/1990 Walked to Liberty Bell, took tour of Independence Hall [Independence NHP].

The iconic Liberty Bell
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Independence Hall from the Liberty Bell side ...
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... and the other ...
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... and two views ...
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... inside
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11/6/2006 ... to the Liberty Bell pavilion (Independence NHP) and after airport-like security saw the exhibits and the bell. ... then over to Independence Hall (more security). Unfortunately we needed to get tickets earlier and they were all out, so just photo’ed from the outside (another gorgeous day).

A park-area map
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Liberty Bell exhibits ...
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... and the Bell
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Independence Hall from one side ...
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... and the other
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10/18/2013 We navigated not that far to the historic area and after one circle found a convenient garage by the Visitors Center to park. The Liberty Bell area of Independence NHP was busy, just having reopened yesterday after the government shutdown, but we headed out on our next NHL tour (with a few also in the NHP as noted) to see the following:
Christ Church – (NHP) Founded in 1695 and the first Protestant Episcopal church in the US, this is the birthplace of the American Episcopal Church, and the congregation included 15 signers of the Declaration of Independence. We went in for a brief look around the simple yet elegant interior. ... We headed back to the Liberty Bell area for President’s House, a relatively new NHP exhibit. It is an outdoor presentation on the excavated remains of what was the third Presidential Mansion. It housed George Washington from November 1790 to March 1797, and John Adams from March 1797 to May 1800. A ghost outline and partial walls showed how the house would have been placed and looked, there was lots of signage and videos on the Presidents and slavery, and a clear-covered area over the partially excavated foundation. Back on the NHL trek to ...
American Philosophical Society Hall – (NHP) Founded in 1743 and considered the first learned society in the US, promoting useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities.
Second Bank of the United States – (NHP) Served as the nation's federally authorized central bank during its 20-year charter from February 1817 to January 1836, modeled on Alexander Hamilton's First Bank of the United States. We checked out the impressive interior including the portrait gallery.
Carpenters' Hall – (NHP) Completed in 1773, this building hosted key meetings in the early history of the US, including the First Continental Congress.
First Bank of the United States – (NHP) Chartered by Congress in 1791 for a term of twenty years as one in a three-part expansion of federal fiscal and monetary power, championed by Alexander Hamilton.
Merchants' Exchange Building – (NHP) Designed by William Strickland, in the Greek Revival style, the first national American architectural style, it operated as a brokerage house in the 19th century.

Christ Church
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Independence Hall
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President's House
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A park flag
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American Philosophical Society Hall
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Second Bank of the United States
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Carpenters' Hall
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First Bank of the United States
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Merchants' Exchange Building
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10/19/2015 Colonial Germantown Historic District - Settlement in the Germantown area began, at the invitation of William Penn, in 1683 by Nederlanders and Germans fleeing religious persecution. The last three houses we went to are sites in the District, but we wanted to go to one solely to take credit for it, so we went to the Germantown White House, formerly the Deshler-Morris House. This site is also managed by the NPS as part of the Independence NHP. It was the scene of fighting in the Battle of Germantown, and it is the oldest surviving presidential residence, having twice sheltered George Washington during his term of office.

A park sign
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One view of the house ...
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... and another
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Info about the White House
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Valley Forge National Historical Park

6/10/1995 Drove to Valley Forge National Historical Park [NHL]. Looked at visitor center displays, and drove around part of loop road.

The park sign from the road
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In front of the VC
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Reconstructed dwellings
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2/20/2013 We headed from there towards ... Valley Forge National Historic Park (and NHL) – The 1777 winter encampment of General George Washington and the 12,000 men of the Continental Army. We pulled into a parking lot to check out General Friedrich Von Steuben Headquarters NHL – The residence of the drill-master at Valley Forge. Although there was a park service sign nearby, we weren’t even sure we were in the right place until we confirmed the picture online – there wasn’t any signage or plaque or anything else here. Quick picture stop, then on into the park to find the next NHL, Washington’s Headquarters. We had to park much further away than we liked, seeing the house in a valley below the parking. We walked down passing the quarters for Washington’s personal guards, and over to a statue of the General. Nearby was what we thought was the house. However, it was in poor shape, all white stucco with an air conditioner unit, and Bill thought it especially odd that Washington’s Headquarters would have an aluminum garage door set in it. Looking online, we saw that it should be a neat looking stone building. At first we thought it might be another one nearby, but it wasn’t, and we finally spotted it on the other side of the area, so we walked over to Washington's Headquarters NHL - Located in the Isaac Potts House, General George Washington made his headquarters here during the encampment at Valley Forge of the Continental Army, during the winter and spring of 1777-1778. This place was much more of what we expected than the one with the garage door! We checked out the house, then headed back to the car. ... so we headed back into Valley Forge park to the visitors center. This was more of a last bathroom break and to get a unigrid, and after a quick look around at the exhibits we got back in the car for the drive home.

Ken by the park sign
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Von Steuben's Headquarters
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Guards Quarters
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A memorial statue of GW
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Washington's Headquarters
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The VC
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