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Cause Area

  • Arts & Culture
  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Environment
  • Women


7001 SHEAFF LNFT WASHINGTON, PA 19034 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

The Highlands Historical Society exists to educate the community about the history and evolution of a Pennsylvania country estate, The Highlands, from 1794 to the present. Programs create participatory experiences for all visitors interested in architecture, horticulture, agriculture, local history, and natural history. Comprehensive period documents guide the active preservation, restoration, and interpretation of the mansion, gardens, outbuildings, farmland, and open space.


The Highlands, an historic site with a circa 1796 mansion and nine outbuildings, forty-four acre property, and two-acre formal garden, is located inMontgomery County,Pennsylvania, approximately 15 miles outside of Philadelphia. For the past four decades, HHS has focused on the preservation of the site and offered public programming to engage and educate visitors about the significant history of the estate. All operating funds are raised by HHS.

The Highlands' late Georgian mansion, unusual outbuildings, formal gardens, and open space are remarkable and important. The survival of the estate's buildings as an intact group surrounded by a sizeable tract of land combine to inform an unusually vivid and compelling representation of the daily lives of earlier residents, especially when combined with the wonderfully detailed records and documents kept by each of the three families who owned and operated the estate from the 1790s to the 1970s. The Sinkler Garden, originally conceived of by the early 19th-century family who lived at The Highlands, was enlarged and re-designed by Wilson Eyre, noted Philadelphia architect and landscape designer for Miss Caroline Sinkler in 1918. The survival of the 1918 Lord & Burnham greenhouse in its original location at the rear of the garden creates a complete setting for guests to see and learn about early 20th-century horticulture in the region.


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