Morris continued/ Cliveden

If the new elms are anything like the Cliveden mansion, they will be around for centuries. The mansion was owned by Chief Justice Benjamin Chew in the 1700s. It was there that the Battle of Germantown was fought. I can’t imagine going where a battle took place and seeing a building were it all happened. I want those construction workers – in reincarnated bodies – to build my house someday. But I do not want a battle to take place in and outside of my home.

The mansion is home to remnants from the war between the Continental Army and the British. There is a musket hole in the wall, where it was shot. On the second floor, a wounded soldier drew his wife in his flowing blood, just so he could see her face once more before he died.
With all of this history, I wondered how haunted a place like that must be! Do the tour guides see military clad ghosts? Do they hear canon fire?
Oddly enough, it wasn’t the soldiers haunting the home. It was a female ancestor of Chew. Apparently, one of the rooms sometimes smells like Evening in Paris, a turn of the 20th century perfume. But still, couldn’t there be more ghost stories? I stayed afterwards to question our tour guide and he said that there was a time when he and another co-worker smelled cigar smoke in the mansion. They were the only two people in the building and neither of them had smoked cigars. There was no reason for that to happen. Can this be linked to the Battle of Germantown? Since stone homes do not burn, the soldiers tried to smoke out the militia inside the Cliveden mansion. Perhaps that same smoke smells like cigars and that is what the guides had smelled.
While I was interested in the possibility of ghosts, the history of the battle and the Cliveden mansion was enough to hold my attention. It was astounding to think that George Washington and his soldiers marched down Germantown Avenue.
It was also impressive that the Cliveden mansion was home to a variety of artifacts, including a map of how William Penn divided the area, a chest that should have been on the titanic, and original china from the 1700s!
Both the Morris Arboretum and the Clivden Mansion were exceptionally informative and entertaining. It is nice to know that there are two local spots where people can visit and feel like they have traveled outside the country (arboretum) or back in time (Cliveden). They are places to let imaginations run wild.

1 Comment so far

  1. Brady (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 9:47 am

    This was an awesome, awesome place to visit for those who like the old Germantown section. Packed with history and a very informative tour guide.

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