The land upon which the museum now stands was initially part of 200 acres in what was then Upland on the Delaware. This land “which heretofore hath not been granted, taken or improved” was purchased by Niels Jonason in 1680.
In 1721, Jonason sold the land to Peter Rambo and Andrew Jonason.
In 1783, the land was purchased by John Holme, a yeoman, of Lower Dublin Township for 806 Pound Sterling. (A yeoman is a man holding and cultivating a small landed estate; a freeholder.)
John Holme (for whom Holmesburg is named) lived at 8100 on what was then the Frankford – Bristol Pike. He owned the Washington Hotel across the street.
The village was originally known as Washingtonville. When John Holme built his hotel, the village name was changed to Holmesburg.
In 1803, John Holme sold this plot of land to Frances Lewis (a widow) of Lower Dublin Township for the amount of “200.00 lawful silver money of Pennsylvania.”
Frances Lewis then built the existing home in 1805.
Over the ensuing years the home passed to several heirs of the Lewis family.
On February 3, 1888 her descendent, Morton Lewis sold the home to John F. Pattison of Holmesburg, a merchant, for the amount of $5,000.00.
The Pattison family remained in the house until 1929 when it was sold to Mary J. Blaker.
Over the ensuing years the house was sold to a number of others.
The rear portion of the home was added around 1847, prior to the Civil War.
Paul and Carol Pickering purchased the home in 1981. They cherished the home for the next 40 years.
The G. A. R. Civil War Museum and Archive purchased the home in May, 2021.
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