Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Woodford Mansion, a hidden gem of Strawberry Mansion, stands as a representation of Colonial Philadelphia. The mansion is located in Fairmount Park at the corner of 33rd and Dauphin Streets.
It was built in 1756 and in 1928 was turned into a museum with the help of the Naomi Wood Trust, which donated all of the Colonial era furniture that would have been in the house.
“To me it’s real history,” Gerry Francis, Woodford Mansion’s docent, said. “When you study history you have to look at all sides.”
Francis believes the mansion gives a new view to visitors since two of the three owners of the mansion were loyalists during the Revolutionary War.
“Each house has a personality,” Francis said, describing the mansion and how it would have been used during the Colonial era. “This is a house, not a home.”
He describes it this way because the heads of the households that lived there were men, and therefore centered the house on business, with the main rooms being the upstairs parlor and ballroom. He said that if a woman was head of the household, the home would be centered on the kitchen, with all the other rooms jutting out from it.
The mansion is L-shaped and is two-levels, although each owner had added onto it. Francis's favorite area of the house is the basement, although due to the Disability Acts, the museum is unable to take tours there. The basement was where the slaves and servants would work and live and was important to the owners because they were literally beneath them.
“It’s a real museum experience,” Francis said. “[But] our main mission is education.”
By Caitlin Burns and Thomas Dougherty
Group 3, Strawberry Mansion/ Brewerytown
Posted by Caitlin Burns at 9:49 PM