History and Mission
The Logan Family
Stenton descended through six generations of the Logan family, one of the most important in Philadelphia. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Logans were prominent Quakers and were actively involved in politics in the Colony and later, the United States. The history of Stenton is rich with stories about early America, told through the experiences of one family, but also reflecting wider issues that were central to the development of the United States.
Preservation of Stenton
Stenton remained in the Logan family until the early years of the twentieth century. It survives largely through the skill and hard work of The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, an organization dedicated to patriotic services and historical activities in America. Offered the chance to save Stenton in 1899, they took on the task and for the last 100 years have been custodians of this important piece of our nation’s heritage. When the City of Philadelphia acquired the property in 1909 they charged The NSCDA/PA “to preserve and maintain Stenton as an historic object lesson.” Their efforts resulted in the Colonial Revival garden that stands behind Stenton, an early 20th century interpretation of an 18th century garden. Continuing the tradition begun by Deborah Logan, they have also studied the house and documents of the past to interpret them to the visitors of today and to preserve them for future generations.
Stenton today is furnished with Logan family objects, many returned by family members in the last one hundred years. There are also many fine examples of objects of the period. As a wealthy and influential Philadelphian, Logan commissioned furniture from some of the most well-known and skilled craftsmen in the Colonies, as well as importing pieces from England. The collection reflects a wide range of styles from the William and Mary period of the late 17th century to later Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture. There is also a superb group of early American textiles and clothing. The period rooms at Stenton use the collections to the best advantage in providing a look at 18th century space usage and furnishings in line with the most up to date scholarship and research.
Through education and preservation, we interpret the story of Stenton and its place in American history, and work to enrich community life.
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Collections & Interpretation
Garden & Landscape