Valley Forge Tourism Board: If You Don’t Tell the Kids They’re Learning History, They Just May Learn History


man making shoes
Image via Pottsgrove Manor at Facebook.
It's possible to cobble together quite a historic tour of Montgomery County.

It’s a safe bet that Montgomery County’s dismissed classes of elementary and high-school students want no part of any history lessons — or any other academics — between now and September. Still, according to the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board, it is possible to involve them in the area’s rich past in a way that’s more immediate than even YouTube videos.

Best of all, these outings are easy on the budget, with admission either free or available for a nominal fee and the cost of driving attractively low.

Valley Forge National Historical Park

Valley Forge National Historical Park commemorates the site of George Washington and the Continental Army’s winter encampment in 1777–1778.

There’s a lot for history buffs to explore, including the home used by General Washington as his headquarters and the Muhlenberg Brigade huts, to see what soldier living conditions were like during the encampment.

Even if your stop is for recreation only, its a worthwhile destination. The park contains more than 30 miles of hiking and biking trails.

The 6.6-mile Joseph Plumb Martin Trail is ideal because it blends exercise with enlightenment, connecting key historic sites in the park.

Washington Memorial Chapel

The Chapel within Valley Forge (but independent of it) was erected as a tribute to George Washington and the entire Continental Army. But it is also an active worship site.

The impressive interior is accented by statuary and beautifully stained-glass windows. It’s a quiet spot to escape the heat temporarily and reflect on the surrounding gravitas.

Visitors who wish to bring home a tangible remembrance of this house of worship can do so at its Cabin Shop.

Another chapel highlight is the National Patriots Bell Tower, which houses a traditional 58-bell carillon. Its summer concert series brings out dozens of audience clappers.

Pottsgrove Manor

Pottsgrove Manor is the 1752 home of John Potts an iron master and namesake borough founder. Although only four acres of the original property remain, none of its charm has been lost.

The mansion has been restored to recreate the lifestyle of the Potts Family. Guided tours and other events are offered throughout Pottstown’s year.

Peter Wentz Farmstead

Peter Wentz Farmstead is a historical farm and home located in Worcester.

It once served as Washington’s Headquarters on two separate visits during October 1777. It was here that plans were made for the Battle of Germantown, and the troops regathered onsite after the conflict.

Today, the farmhouse has been restored and furnished to its appearance during the Revolutionary War and is now dedicated to telling the history of early American life.

More tangible ways to engage in Montgomery County history this summer are online.

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