As one of the original 13 colonies, Pennsylvania is rich in American history. From the Constitution to the Declaration of Independence to the Battle of Gettysburg site, the Keystone State has some of the most treasured pieces of history lying within its borders. It is not only full of museums that highlight its history, but it houses many historical villages that have been preserved or recreated for us to experience what life was like over a century ago. Here are 16 historic villages in Pennsylvania that will transport you back in time:
1. Old Bedford Village, Bedford
Step back in time to the 18th century as you cross the Claycomb covered bridge into Old Bedford Village. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the military and civilian re-enactments, colonial crafts, exhibits and instructions. Open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.
2. Old Economy Village, Ambridge
On the banks of the Ohio River lies Old Economy Village a historic settlement in Ambridge. The village tells the story of the Harmony Society, one of the oldest and most successful religious communal groups of the 19th century.
3. Historic Sugartown, Malvern
The 19th-century village of Sugartown is located on Sugartown Road in Malvern. Walk the streets to engage with the past through authentic
19th-century experiences. Tour homes, a barn and shop in the museum to take a piece of history home with you.
4. Old Mill Village, New Milford
Founded over 50 years ago to preserve the area's rich heritage, Old Mill Village has become a center of education and history, showcasing the crafts and artifacts of the late 18th through the early 20th centuries.
5. Historic Fallsington, Fallsington
The village of Fallsington is protected by Historic Fallsington Inc. to preserve its heritage. It lies nestled in southeastern PA at the falls of the Delaware River. Visitors love stepping back into the 18th-century Quaker times and experiencing living, worship and commerce as the Quakers once did.
6. Eckley Miners’ Village, Weatherly
Located in eastern Pennsylvania, Eckley Miners' Village educates visitors about the story of anthracite coal mining along with patch towns and their residents, through the preservation and exploration of the site and its collection. Come for a visit and experience life at coal patch towns during the time when coal was an essential industrial fuel.
7. Landis Valley Village, Lancaster
Open year-round, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum is a living history village of Pennsylvania Dutch life. Once an actual rural crossroads village, Landis Valley has more than 40 historic structures located on 100 scenic acres. Guides and skilled artisans at the village dress in costume for a full Dutch experience.
8. The Village at Washington Crossing Historic Park, Washington Crossing
The Taylorsville area of Washington Crossing Historic Park houses the park's village where you can tour many historic structures. One of the favorite programs includes the reenactment of George Washington’s river crossing.
9. Historic Yellow Springs, Chester Springs
This 18th and 19th century village includes preserved ruins of the first military hospital built in America. Built in 1777, the hospital was chief medical facility for the Valley Forge encampment. The historic village now celebrates the astounding history and culture of a thriving colonial community and spa town, fashionable even before General George Washington commissioned the hospital.
10. Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia
This historic village (technically a street) preserves over 300 years of colonial Philadelphia. Two adjacent houses, built in 1755, are now a museum and are open to the public.
11. Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, Newton Square
Since 1974, the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation has given visitors a glimpse of 18th century Pennsylvania farm life through group programming, weekend activities and outreach opportunities. The Plantation is open to the general public on weekends from April through December.
12. Historic Rittenhouse Town, Philadelphia
Historic Rittenhouse Town
is a preserved village in beautiful Fairmount Park.
It is the birthplace of paper in North America. The mill site and adjacent 1707 Rittenhouse Homestead and Bake House serve as reminders of the importance of the paper-making industry to the development of early America.
13. Peddlers Village, New Hope
For over 50 years, visitors have loved walking the winding brick pathways to experience shopping, dining and relaxing in this colonial-style village.
14. Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, Avella
As the oldest site of human habitation in North America, Meadowcroft Rockshelter provides a unique glimpse into the lives of prehistoric hunters and gatherers. Visitors to Meadowcroft can also step back in time to experience rural life over 150 years ago. Meadowcroft Village carefully recreates all of the charming qualities of an Upper Ohio Valley village from mid-19th century. A 16th century Indian Village allows visitors to travel 400 years into the past and re-live what life was like for the Eastern Woodland Indians.
15. Naeskahoni Town, Black Lick
Naeskahoni Town is an actual-size French and Indian War-era living village, nestled on Chestnut Ridge, 5 miles northeast of Blairsville, Pa. The purpose of this village is to educate children and adults about the Eastern Woodland culture.
16. Saint Peters Village Historic District
Located in the Hope Well Big Woods, Saint Peters Village provides a glimpse of what life was like more than 100 years ago. Arranged along a 1/4-mile stretch of Saint Peters Road, the village is small enough to stroll through in a few minutes.