As a home, Stenton is filled with wall-to-wall history. From preserved teapots and Logan family furniture to the legend of an enslaved woman saving the structure and General George Washington using the home as headquarters, Stenton is a story of America.
Completed in 1730, the home is unchanged with an almost complete picture of what life would have been like in the 18th century. Stenton’s story intersects with themes such as Quakers and slavery, slavery in the Mid-Atlantic, women’s history and domestic life, and the preservation movement itself.
Beginning in the 1710s, Pennsylvania’s Colonial Secretary, James Logan, assembled lands north of Philadelphia for a 511-acre plantation, which he named Stenton after his father’s birthplace in Scotland. The Quaker Logan family, along with indentured and enslaved servants, took up residence in the completed brick gentleman’s house in 1730. Logan was instrumental in Pennsylvania politics, held several offices and counted Benjamin Franklin among his friends.
The house and the remaining outbuildings stand on their original foundations. There are many family furnishings in the Stenton collection and on loan. Reconstructed pre-1760 archaeological collections fill the cupboards and the table tops, and paint and textile research has led to the creation of rich wall finishes.
All of this allows Stenton to convey a visual picture of life in the past as the Logans and their household lived it.
Dr. George Logan (1753-1821), James Logan’s grandson, inherited Stenton on the death of his father in 1776 while he was in Edinburgh studying medicine, and while much change was afoot in the American colonies. During young George’s absence, General George Washington used Stenton as quarters in 1777 during the War for American Independence.