We live in one of the most historically rich states. Our Founding Fathers walked the streets of Philadelphia during the 1700s, paving the way for the U.S.A.— and since then, Pennsylvania has only continued to remain significant to our nation as a whole. Check out these incredible historic sites you have to see in our state.
1. Boathouse Row, Philadelphia
Boathouse Row is one of the most recognizable sights for people entering or leaving our state's biggest city, Philadelphia. These 15 houses are central to the United States rowing community. The iconic lights that illuminate the row at night were installed in 1979.
2. Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
Of course, Philadelphia has numerous sites of historic interest. Let's cover a few more before moving on to other parts of the state. Anyone who's spent time in Philadelphia will recognize the ominous walls of the Eastern State Penitentiary, but have you ever ventured inside? This prison revolutionized the predominant architectural structure of prisons when it was built in 1829, setting a precedent for a "hub and spoke" layout. Pictured above is Al Capone's old cell.
3. Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia
Elfreth's Alley is the oldest residential street in the country. Visit the street and be sure not to miss the Elfreth's Alley Museum.
4. Philadelphia's Masonic Temple
The solid granite cornerstone of the magnificent Masonic Temple in Philadelphia weighs 10 tons. The building receives many visitors who admire its Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania in addition to seven lodge rooms.
5. Philadelphia City Hall
City Hall is located right across the street from the Masonic Temple, and both are definitely necessary stops to visit. From 1894 until 1908, it was the tallest habitable building in the world - and in 2007, it was voted #21 on the American Institute of Architects' list of Americans' 150 favorite U.S. structures.
Before leaving Philly, you should stop by and visit the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.
6. Carrie Furnace, Rankin (Pittsburgh area)
Time to move away from Philadelphia. The Carrie Blast Furnaces were operational for almost 100 years, from 1884-1982, although the two that are operational were in use from 1907-1978. Today they are the only pre-WWII blast furnaces remaining in the Pittsburgh area.
7. The Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata
The Ephrata Cloister is one of the most unique parts of Pennsylvania's history (of which there are many). Founded in 1732 by a man named Johann Conrad Beissel. It was a religious, ascetic order which also happened to have the second German printing press in the American colonies. The last remaining member of the community passed away in 2008, at the age of 98.
8. The Gifford Pinchot House, Milford
This gorgeous castle-like structure was once the home of the first director of the United States Forest Service and the two-time governor of Pennsylvania, Gifford Pinchot.
9. The State Capitol, Harrisburg
Not only is this building the seat of government in Pennsylvania, but it is architecturally incredible. It includes numerous sculptures, murals, stained-glass, and works of art created by Pennsylvanians.
10. Valley Forge
Valley Forge is a historically rich area that was once a military camp during the Revolutionary War. Over 2,500 American soldiers died here during the winter of 1777-78 due to starvation, disease, malnutrition, and exposure.
What else would you add to this list? Share your thoughts below.