Located at 859 County Line Road in Horsham, PA 19044

Free Charter Day Tours of the Historic Keith House at Graeme Park

Free Charter Day Tours of the Historic Keith House at Graeme Park

On Sunday, March 12 Pennsylvania will be celebrating the 336th anniversary of the granting of the founding charter to William Penn by King Charles II. The original charter was granted on March 4, 1681 in fulfillment of a debt of about 16,000 English pounds (over 2 million of today’s money) which the crown owed to Penn’s father—the Admiral William Penn.

Penn founded Pennsylvania, which Charles insisted on naming Pennsylvania in honor of the Admiral, as a “Holy Experiment” where Quakers could practice their religion without fear of persecution. To attract settlers in large numbers, he wrote a glowing prospectus, promising religious freedom as well as material advantages, which he marketed throughout Europe in various languages. Within six months he had parceled out 300,000 acres to over 250 prospective settlers, mostly rich London Quakers. Eventually he attracted other persecuted minorities, including Huguenots, Mennonites, Amish, Catholics, Lutherans, and Jews from England, France, Holland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, and Wales.

Charter Day is your opportunity to tour Graeme Park, as well as many other state operated historic sites free of charge. There will be volunteers in each room so you may tour at your own pace, and a few living history demonstrations and activities around the grounds (weather permitting).

Tours begin at 12 noon, and the last visitors will be allowed in the house at 3-3:30 to ensure everyone has a chance to go through the house before we close at 4 pm. Light refreshments will be for sale. More detailed, guided tours of the house are offered Fridays—Saturdays 10-3 and Sundays 12-3.

Some of the other state owned/operated historic sites will also be offering free tours on Charter Day. The list is as follows, but please make sure you contact the sites you’re interested in touring for confirmation and details.

Anthracite Heritage Museum, Scranton

Brandywine Battlefield Park, Chadds Ford

Conrad Weiser Homestead, Womelsdorf

Cornwall Iron Furnace, Cornwall

Daniel Boone Homestead, Birdsboro

Drake Well Museum, Titusville

Eckley Miners’ Village, Weatherly

Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata

Erie Maritime Museum & Flagship Niagara, Erie

Fort Pitt Museum, Pittsburgh

Graeme Park, Horsham

Hope Lodge, Ft. Washington

Joseph Priestley House, Northumberland

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, Lancaster

Old Economy Village, Ambridge

Pennsbury Manor, Morrisville

Pennsylvania Military Museum, Boalsburg

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg

Washington Crossing Historic Park, Washington Crossing