This article originally appeared as "Sharing the Common Wealth" in Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine
Volume XXXVIII, Number 1 - Winter 2012
With his purchase in 1922 of Hope Lodge in Fort Washington, Montgomery County, a magnificent example of Georgian architecture built for wealthy Quaker entrepreneur Samuel Morris (1709-1770) in the 1740s, William L. Degn (1860-1940) joined the ranks of southeastern Pennsylvania's gentlemen farmers. These men made their livelihoods in business and industry but maintained country houses on working farms near Philadelphia. Degn and his wife Alice (1869-1953) undertook the herculean task of restoring the house, which lacked plumbing, electrical, and heating systems, in the fashionable Colonial Revival style of the period. The Degns planted an orchard and crops and acquired livestock and poultry. They sold surplus agricultural products to friends and neighbors, including eggs, packages in specially designed containers manufactured by the Bloomer Brothers Company, Newark, New York. In 1957, Hope Lodge was acquired by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Hope Lodge, Fort Washington, PA
Temporarily closed to the public.
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