David Bradford House

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David Bradford House
David Bradford House, from across South Main Street
David Bradford House is located in Pennsylvania
David Bradford House
David Bradford House is located in the US
David Bradford House
Location 175 South Main Street, Washington, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°10′5″N 80°14′42″W / 40.16806°N 80.24500°W / 40.16806; -80.24500Coordinates: 40°10′5″N 80°14′42″W / 40.16806°N 80.24500°W / 40.16806; -80.24500
Area less than one acre
Built 1788
Architect David Bradford
Architectural style Late German Colonial
NRHP reference # 73001668[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP July 16, 1973
Designated NHL July 28, 1983[3]
Designated PHMC August 01, 1953[2]
The Pennsylvania state historical marker outside the David Bradford House.

The David Bradford House is a historic house museum at 175 South Main Street in Washington, Pennsylvania. Completed in 1788, it was the home of David Bradford, a leader of the Whiskey Rebellion. It has both architectural and historic importance, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1983.[3] It is open weekly between April and November, or by appointment.


The house was built by David Bradford, a successful lawyer and deputy attorney-general for Washington County, Pennsylvania who would later become a leader in the Whiskey Rebellion. It was the first stone house on South Main Street in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1788, which, by frontier standards, ranked as a mansion. The two-story building was built in the Georgian style, with dressed stone four-bay windows.[4] The house has side hall entry with a fanlight transom.[4] The stairway was solid mahogany; the mantel-pieces and other interior furnishings, imported from Philadelphia, were transported across the Alleghenies at considerable expense. While restoring the house a secret underground passage was discovered leading to a nearby ravine. This tunnel was presumably used as an escape route in the event of an attack on the house.

Bradford and his family occupied the house only for 6 years, until 1794, when he fled following the Whiskey Rebellion.[2]

By the 1930s, the building was in such disrepair that Charles Morse Stotz did not include the building in his The Early Architecture of Western Pennsylvania.[5] However, by the book's 2nd printing in 1966, Stotz himself has led the rehabilitation.[5] Among other extensive modifications, a storefront had added to the house.[4]

In 1953, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission installed a historical marker noting the historic importance of the building.[2] In 1959, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission assumed control of the house and supervised restoration of its eighteenth-century design. They installed furnishings of that time in Pennsylvania that they felt reflected Bradford's place in society. A management agreement was signed in 1982, turning the management of the Bradford House over to the Bradford House Historical Association. The museum is open from early May through mid December, giving group tours and hosting other special events.

The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1983.[3][6] It is also designated as a historic public landmark by the Washington County History & Landmarks Foundation.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b c "Bradford House - PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "David Bradford House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
  4. ^ a b c d "Bradford House". Landmark Registry - Public Landmark. Washington County History & Landmarks Foundation. 2008. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
  5. ^ a b Branton, Harriet (June 8, 1985). "Charles Stotz: Restorer of Western Pennsylvania Architecture". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  6. ^ William K. Watson (May 1983). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Bradford (David) House" (pdf). National Park Service.

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