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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion

 
 
John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
1. John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion Marker
Inscription. Here is situated the stone residence of John Harris, Jr. (1727-1791), the founder of Harrisburg, which he erected at the end of the French and Indian War in 1766. In 1785, the Borough of Harrisburg was laid out in the house's front parlor by Harris and his son-in-law, William Maclay. Upon Harris' death, the house passed to his sons, first to David Harris and then to Robert in 1805 who resided there until 1835 when it was sold to Thomas Elder, a local attorney. After Elder's death in 1853, the house was used by Reverend Beverly Waugh as the Pennsylvania Female College. Civil War turmoil and Waugh's death in 1861 forced the College into bankruptcy. College board member Simon Cameron, President Lincoln's first Secretary of War and organizer of one of the most powerful political machines in U.S. history acquired the property in 1863 for use as his home. While traveling through Europe during his tenure as Lincoln's Minister to Russia, after being War Secretary, he acquired many fine furnishings for the house including 14-foot high pier mirrors from France, the installation of which resulted in lowering the home's first floor by three feet for sufficient ceiling clearance. Upon Cameron's death in 1889, the house was passed to his daughter, Margaretta Haldeman and then in 1915 to her son, Richard. His death in 1933 ended the home's use as a
Harris Mansion image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
2. Harris Mansion
private residence. In 1941, Haldeman's sister donated the house to the Historical Society of Dauphin County, which has since maintained the property as a museum featuring rare antiques, significant 19th Century furnishings, and archives of the nation's, Harrisburg's and Dauphin County's rich heritage.
Top Photo
1855 depiction of the John Harris Mansion prior to its ownership by Simon Cameron.
Bottom Photo
1895 view of the Mansion showing a more decorative front porch.

 
Erected by The Harrisburg History Project Commissioned by Mayor Stephen R. Reed.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania, The Harrisburg History Project marker series.
 
Location. 40° 15.367′ N, 76° 52.743′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is on S. Front Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Between Mary and Washington Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17101, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Harris Sr. Grave Site (here, next to this marker); John Harris Mansion (within shouting distance of this marker); Harrisburg Hospital (about 400 feet away,
John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion, south side, rear image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, September 15, 2008
3. John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion, south side, rear
The solarium added by Simon Cameron in the 1860s is clearly seen in this photo.
measured in a direct line); Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge (about 500 feet away); The Crowne Plaza (approx. 0.2 miles away); Executive Mansion (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Peanut House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Salem Church (approx. mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Harrisburg.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Other John Harris, Jr. & Simon Cameron markers.
 
Also see . . .  Simon Cameron biography. (Submitted on March 27, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
 
Categories. GovernmentLandmarksNotable BuildingsNotable EventsNotable PersonsWar, French and IndianWar, US Civil
 
John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion, north side image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, September 15, 2008
4. John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion, north side
The north side of the house shows a small Victorian porch and the West Alcove, the last addition to the house, created by Cameron's grandson in the early 20th century.
John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, October 3, 2007
5. John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion
The mansion is seen from the roof of the nearby hospital parking garage, an island of green in the urban landscape.
John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, February 7, 2016
6. John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion Marker
Mansion following restoration in 2015-16.
John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, February 7, 2016
7. John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion Marker
Restored steps, walk, and entrance to Harris-Cameron Mansion, based on early drawings and photographs.
John Harris, Sr. Grave SIte image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, September 15, 2008
8. John Harris, Sr. Grave SIte
Just across the street from the Mansion is the grave of John Harris, Sr., who operated the ferry on this spot.
John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, April 9, 2016
9. John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion Marker
Colonial-style bedroom interpreted in earliest part of the stone house.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,060 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   3, 4, 5. submitted on , by John K. Robinson of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.   6, 7. submitted on , by John K. Robinson of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.   8. submitted on , by John K. Robinson of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.   9. submitted on , by John K. Robinson of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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