Hope Lodge is a historic building located at 553 South Bethlehem Pike in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, in the United States.
Originally named "Whitemarsh Estate," Hope Lodge is a Georgian country mansion built between 1743 and 1748 by Quaker businessman Samuel Morris and designed by Philadelphia architect Edmund Woolley. Upon Morris's death in 1770, his brother Joshua sold the property to William West, another Philadelphia merchant. During the autumn of 1777, Washington's Continental Army spent six weeks camped at nearby Whitemarsh. During the encampment, Hope Lodge was used as a hospital by George Washington's surgeon general John Cochran, and as quarters for Major General Nathanael Greene. When West died in 1784, the house was purchased by the English banker Henry Hope (to whom Adam Smith dedicated The Wealth of Nations and whose family would later own and lend their name to the Hope Diamond) and it was presented as a wedding gift to his ward, James Watmough. In 1832, the Watmough family sold the property to Jacob Wentz, their tenant farmer, and the Wentz family remained in residence at Hope Lodge for ninety years. In 1921, the property was sold to Keasbey and Mattison Company, who intended to demolish the home to expand a nearby limestone quarry. Hope Lodge was saved from destruction by William and Alice Degn, who purchased the property from Keasbey and Mattison in 1922. In 1957, ownership of the lodge was transferred to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Hope Lodge is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Hope Lodge Today
Hope Lodge was operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as a museum and historic site. On November 20, 2009, the site was closed due to state budget constraints which reduced the agency's budget by 43%. This reduction resulted in mass layoff of PHMC employees, and the closure or reduction in hours and/or services at many PHMC-operated sites throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
Despite the closure, the grounds play host to various community events, such as Ambler Symphony concerts; as well as an annual reenactment of the 1777 Whitemarsh Encampment.
Owners of Hope Lodge
- 1743 to 1770: Samuel Morris
- 1770 to 1776: Joshua Morris
- 1776 to 1784: William West
- 1784 to 1832: Watmough Family
- 1832 to 1921: Wentz Family
- 1921 to 1922: Keasbey and Mattison
- 1922 to 1957: William and Alice Degn
- 1957 to Present: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission