6026 Germantown Ave., 215/848-1690
HOURS: Tues. and Thurs. noon–4 p.m., Sat. 1–4 p.m. Apr.–Dec.
COST: $5 adult, $4 student and senior, $10 family
Wyck offers a glimpse into the lives of nine generations of a Quaker family in early Philadelphia. The home was used by British troops as a field hospital during the Battle of Germantown, but its real interest lies in the history of the people that lived here—as seen through the home, gardens, and more than 100,000 artifacts accumulated over 300 years.
Hans Milan, a Quaker from Germany and descendant of a Swiss Mennonite family, was the home’s earliest owner. His daughter Margaret married well-known Dutch Quaker Dirk Jansen.
The house served as a summer home and retreat for the family who primarily lived in the center of Philadelphia until the yellow fever epidemic took the lives of several family members and scared the rest of the family into settling permanently in Germantown, outside of the close quarters of the city—an early example of suburban flight.
The family’s fascinating history is too long to report here, but a visit to the home reveals some of the marks they left on Philadelphia.
The grounds include a nationally known rose garden dating from the 1820s. The hall is the oldest part of the home, dating 1700–1720. Various additions and renovations took place throughout the 18th century, but the decor has changed little since 1824 when William Strickland rearranged the interior to create an open, light-filled space.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition