Welcome to Germantown!
Founded in 1901 as the Site
and Relic Society of Germantown, the Germantown Historical Society
is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and interpreting the rich
and diverse history of the historic German Township (now Germantown,
Mt. Airy, and Chestnut Hill) in northwest Philadelphia.
The Society carries out its
mission with a museum, library and archives. Our programs are designed
to address the needs and interests of the multicultural community
of area residents, schoolchildren, and national and international
visitors that we serve. Our publications sample parts of the history
of not only Germantown, but also of neighboring Mt. Airy and Chestnut
Hill which Germantown Avenue bisects.
Germantown's story is the story
of founding and settlement, religious freedom and tolerance, patriotism,
abolitionism, architectural excellence, industry, and community
service. Come to GHS and learn about the first German settlement
in the New World, the nation's earliest "urban village," the site
of the first written protest against slavery, the setting for the
Battle of Germantown, the nation's first commuter suburb served
by one of the nation's first railroads, and then the "town within
a city" served by the longest streetcar line in the nation. Visit
other sites to learn about the Victorian Age, the Underground Railroad,
and, yes, a place where George Washington really did sleep. Discover
why thousands of Irish, Italians and African Americans made German
Township their home.