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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Windows being replaced during restoration, 1999
Windows being replaced during restoration, 1999 Photo: Murrie Gayman

Moland House

Built circa 1750, this stone farmhouse was constructed on banks of the Little Neshaminy Creek by John Moland, a Provincial Councillor and attorney in Bucks County, Pennsylvania; the house remained in the Moland family until 1790. During 1777 George Washington made the house his headquarters during a 13-day encampment of the Continental Army. During that encampment, the young Marquis de Lafayette and Count Pulaski first joined the Continental Army. Upon leaving the Moland house, George Washington and the Continental Army embarked on a path that led to the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown, and the winter at Valley Forge.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Moland House was recognized as an important landmark. Although it remained a private residence, the Moland house was the site of meetings of history-interested groups during the first half of the 20th century. The Sons of the Revolution and a group of French educators and military officers taking part in the Lafayette College Centennial Celebration met there in 1903 and 1932, respectively. Sometime during the 1960s or early 70s Moland house ceased to be a private residence, and became a rooming house. It fell into disrepair and by 1985 was abandoned. It was then that a concerned group of local citizens began to take action.

Through their efforts, the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a documentary was produced to rally support to save the house from demolition. In the fall of 1996, a local tradition began: a Saturday morning work session to prepare the house for restoration. In May 1997, with the signing of an agreement with Warwick Township, the Warwick Township Historical Society was given the responsibility of preserving the Moland House.

The house had undergone significant renovations and additions during the 1870s and 1940s, and much of the original structure had been changed or hidden. The Society hired an architectural firm specializing in the renovation of historic buildings to accomplish the preservation and restoration of the structure. The architects first determined the evolution of the building so it could be restored accurately. By 1999, the renovation of the outside of the house had been accomplished; the new phase will begin an historically accurate restoration of the interior. The house and its surrounding 12 acres have also become the subject of an active archaeological exploration. The tide has turned for the Moland House; within a few years the house will be completely restored and take its rightful place in American history.

Project is documented by a videotape "Save the Moland House"; an edition of the Warwick Township Historical Society: Headquarters Farm at the Crossroads; a six-page essay; several pages of background on the Warwick Township Historical Society; thirteen 8 x 10 color photographs; newspaper articles; and copies of the Moland Gazette, a biannual newsletter published by the Warwick Township.

Originally submitted by: James C. Greenwood, Representative (8th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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