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Peter Wentz Homestead


The Peter Wentz Homestead (ca. 1758/1850) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Text below was selected and adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1]

Description

The Peter Wentz Homestead consists of a large 2 1/2-story, Georgian house with rear kitchen wing and bake oven, a large barn, a grist mill, and numerous sheds and other outbuildings. The main house is five bays across and two deep. The two-story kitchen wing contains one large room on each floor. There is evidence that the kitchen was originally a separate building joined to the main house by an arched arcade. The facade of the house is of cut, dressed, red sandstone while the rest of the house is uncut sandstone. Pent eaves and a pent roof encircle the main section of the house. The roof is broken in the center facade by a small balcony which leads off the second floor central door. Exterior decoration is simple. The main doorway is unadorned except for a simple transom. Windows are capped by a plain lintel. Two small, square attic windows are located in each gable. Large gable chimneys topped the steep pitched shingle roof. A datestone set in the gable end contains a German "house blessing."

Although the interior central hall room arrangement has been changed, the house still contains much of its original woodwork. The quality of this wood work is especially fine and includes several corner cupboards, and a wide cornice decorated with egg and dart molding and dentils. Several original corner fireplaces are still in good condition.

The large stone and frame barn has a full forebay. The original barn was somewhat smaller than the present. At least one quarter of the present barn is a mid 19th century addition. There are also several 19th century features such as a square cupola and hex sign decorations. The grist mill is a 2 1/2-story, frame and stone building constructed on the foundations of an earlier structure. Although the mill is no longer in operation much of the original mill equipment is still preserved in the attic.

Although the main house has undergone several alterations, it still retains its basic original appearance. The large gable chimneys have been replaced by a single smaller chimney. The second story door which opened to the small second story balcony has been replaced by an additional window. The kitchen is now joined completely to the house and a second story with a flat roof and bell cupola has been added.

Significance

The Peter Wentz Homestead is an excellent example of a prosperous 18th & 19th century German farmstead. The Wentz house itself is a fine example of a rural Georgian house. With its pent eaves and swallow tail joints in the attic, it reflects the Germanic origins of its builders. It is still in good condition with much of its original woodwork still intact.

The Peter Wentz house was used as George Washington's headquarters both before and after the Battle of Germantown. Washington stayed at the Wentz house on October 2-4, and 16-21, 1777. It was here that he planned his strategy for the forthcoming battle.

  1. Watson, William K., Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, Peter Wentz Homestead, nomination document, 1972, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Peter Wentz Homestead Map

Street Names
Shearer Road

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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