Deshler-Morris House

Overview

The oldest official presidential residence, the Germantown White House, (Deshler-Morris House) twice sheltered George Washington. Built by Quaker merchant, David Deshler before the Revolution, this handsome stone house faces historic Market Square. During the Battle of Germantown in 1777, British Commander Sir William Howe, made the house his headquarters. While the yellow fever epidemic raged in Philadelphia in 1793, business of the new republic continued at the Germantown "White House". Here, President Washington presided over meetings with his divided cabinet: Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Knox and Edmund Randolph. The president returned with his family to spend the following summer in Germantown's pleasant surroundings. More recently, the Morris family lived here for over one hundred years, donating it to the National Park Service in 1948. Now a unit of Independence National Historical Park, guided tours of the Germantown "White House" offers a glimpse into the private world of the first president.

Map

Activities

Seasonality / Weather

Four distinct seasons with moderately cold winter and hot, humid summer. January average temperature, 33 F; July average temperature, 75 F; average yearly rainfall, 41 inches; normal seasonal snowfall, 21 inches.

Directions

Driving: 

From Center City, take Interstate 676 West to Interstate 76 West to Exit #32 and follow the signs to Lincoln Drive. At first light, turn right onto Rittenhouse Street. At next light, turn right onto Wissahickon Avenue. At second light, turn left onto School House lane and continue to Germantown Avenue. Turn right onto Germantown Avenue. The site is located on the right hand side.

Public Transport: 

By bus, SEPTA #23 on Germantown Avenue to School House Lane. The site is located in the middle of the block. By train, Chestnut Hill West (R8) to Chelten Avenue station. Out of the station walk east ½ block and turn right on to Pulaski Avenue. One block up Pulaski then left on School House lane. Walk three blocks to Germantown Avenue. Turn right onto Germantown Avenue. The site is located in the middle of the block.