One of the many perks of life in Montgomery County is the wealth of American history surrounding us throughout the region. The very foundations of American democracy were forged in this area, and people from all over the world travel to the greater Philadelphia area to learn about colonial history, the American Revolution, and much more. Valley Forge National Historical Park is one of the most common tourist destinations for history buffs, school field trips, visitors from out of town. Some of our Montgomery County personal injury lawyers‘ favorite aspects of this national treasure include:
Also known as the Isaac Potts House, Washington’s Headquarters is the centerpiece of Valley Forge National Historical Park. It was likely built around 1773, and General George Washington made it his headquarters during the encampment at Valley Forge between December 1777 and June 1778. Washington’s Headquarters was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1972. Today, the building has been restored and is open to the public.
It’s also called the Isaac Potts house because Potts is the man who constructed it. He was a Quaker who ran a grill mist nearby.
Washington used an office on the ground floor of the building to conduct army business. It became part of a state park in 1893, and a national park in 1976.
Reconstructed Works & Buildings
The park is scattered with several reconstructed log cabins and earthworks (like redoubts and an abatis). The original forges on Valley Creek were burned by British troops three months before Washington and his army arrived in the park area, but the Upper Forge and Lower Forge sites have not been reconstructed. There are also several buildings not currently open to the public because they still need to be restored and repaired, such as Lord Stirling’s Quarters, Knox’s Quarters, and the Von Steuben Memorial.
Washington Memorial Chapel
The Washington Memorial Chapel and National Patriots Bell Tower carillon are two must-see attractions in Valley Forge. They sit next to each other on top of a hill at the center of the park. The chapel was inspired by a 1903 sermon given on Washington’s birthday by Rev. Dr. W. Herbet Burk. It was built as a tribute to Washington and still functions today as an Episcopal Church. The bell tower is attached to the chapel and are not technically part of Valley Forge National Historical Park, but are meant to be a spiritual haven for the park and the communities living nearby.
National Memorial Arch
The National Memorial Arch is one of the most iconic structures in Valley Forge National Historical Park. This monument was planned and built after the Civil War to celebrate the arrival of George Washington and his Continental Army at Valley Forge. It features inscriptions on several locations, including a quote from George Washington to Governor George Clinton while he was at Valley Forge: “Naked and starving as they are/We cannot enough admire/The incomparable Patient and Fidelity/of the Soldiery.” On the back of the monument, there’s a quote from a speech given by American writer Henry Armitt Brown on the 100-year anniversary of Valley Forge.