History at the Mansion…

Timeline of the Historic Strawberry Mansion

ca. 1783~1789: Judge William Lewis, a profound lawyer, purchases the messuage, or property with existing buildings and builds Summerville, the original name of the Historic Strawberry Mansion.


1819: Judge William Lewis dies.


1819-1821: The house was rented out during these years.


1821: Judge Joseph Hemphill, a lawyer who served in various public offices and his wife Margaret Coleman Hemphill purchase the property.


ca. 1828: The two Greek Revival style wings are added to the house.


June 1842: Judge Joseph Hemphill dies. The property is sold by Judge Hemphill’s sister-in-law Margaret Coleman.


October 1846: Harriet Coleman sells the property to a Mr. George Crock, who in turn leases the house and its grounds.


1846-1867: Strawberry Mansion acquired its name. Strawberries and cream were served to the public by the occupants, who were farmers.


1867: Mr. George Crock sells the property to the City of Philadelphia.


1871: Mr. George Crock’s deal closes for $102,375.00 and the house is given to the Fairmount Park Commission.


1871-1926:The house went through various phases of occupation, with a public emphasis. For a period, it was popular restaurant and picnic spot.


1927-1931: The house was chosen as the administrative project of a group of public-spirited women called, The Committee of 1926, and the house underwent restoration.


March 1, 1931: Historic Strawberry Mansion officially opened to the public.


May 2009: Historic Strawberry Mansion closes for restorations.


April 2013: The Banquet Room mural project is begun.


May 2013: Historic Strawberry Mansion reopens to the public for tours.


October 2013: Grand Re-Opening celebration and Historical Marker dedication ceremony.