Pair of Northwest Philadelphia historic sites to be honored next week

 Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion's Upstairs/Downstairs series focuses on the experiences of Victorian-era women's experiences across class. (Photo courtesy of Maxwell Mansion)

Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion's Upstairs/Downstairs series focuses on the experiences of Victorian-era women's experiences across class. (Photo courtesy of Maxwell Mansion)

When History in Pennsylvania (HIP) presents its History Affiliates awards next week, Northwest Philadelphia’s Grumblethorpe and Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion will be among 10 sites honored to highlight “excellence in small and mid-sized history and heritage organizations.”

The Oct. 24 event will bring together professionals working in historical organizations across the region, an often-disparate group.

“We’ll have an awards ceremony and an ample amount of networking for people to talk to each other,” said Prudence Haines, Director of History Affiliates at Historical Society of Pennsylvania. “Like teachers, people in these types of organizations work with constituents, but don’t often get the chance to talk to each other.”

Local honorees

Haines cited Grumblethorpe’s educational offerings as being notable.

“They do a wonderful program for youth volunteers, sixth grade and up, [in which] students talk about the history of the house and give tours to people,” she said of the site located on Germantown Avenue near Queen Lane. “Young people don’t often have a chance to dive directly into history.”

Added Grumblethorpe’s education director, Diana Thompson, about the program’s farm stand, “It’s so hard for teenagers to get a job in this city. Now they have something to put on their resumes.”

Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, located at 200 W. Tulpehocken St., will be lauded for its Upstairs/Downstairs series, which explores the lives of Victorian women across class lines.

“I believe it’s the only Victorian in the city open to the public,” said Haines. 

The PNC-sponsored event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the newly renovated Historical Society of Pennsylvania building, 1300 Locust St. The keynote speech is expected to be delivered by former Inquirer editor-in-chief Bill Marimow.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at hsp.org/hipawards.

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