Mansion 250th Celebration begins with open house, lecture and new exhibit.
The John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion, 219 South Front Street, Harrisburg, will be open free to the public on Sunday, April 10, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. in celebration of the start of the 250th Anniversary Year of the famous mansion built by John Harris, Jr., c. 1766. During the event a new exhibit tracing the history of the National Historic Landmark mansion and its occupants will open for the first time to the public.
At 2:30 p.m., architectural historian Daniel Deibler of Harrisburg will present a free program on the construction and evolution of the mansion and its subsequent additions and alterations. Deibler, former chief of the Division of Preservation Services with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, has done considerable research on the mansion here in both Harrisburg and New York City.
An extensive interpretive exhibit will be opened. Beginning with the occupation of the mansion site by Native Americans before the arrival of John Harris, Sr. around 1719, the exhibit will trace the occupancy of the house by Harris and his sons and in the 19th century by other owners, most notably Simon Cameron, U.S. Senator and Lincoln's first Secretary of War, who divided his time from 1863 to 1889 between the mansion and an estate in Lancaster County. The house passed to Cameron's daughter Margaretta and her husband, and then was given by Cameron heirs to the Historical Society of Dauphin County in 1941.
A feature of the exhibit will be a world timeline showing global events taking place at the same time as events at the mansion. Documents from several eras, including original Harris documents, will be displayed along with artifacts from the society's collections that reflect living in the mansion throughout several eras of American history.
The 250th Anniversary Year is sponsored by the Dauphin County Commissioners and The Stabler Foundation.
For more information and a calendar of all events for 2016,
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