Fort Hunter Mansion
5300 North Front St.
Harrisbur, PA 17110
(717) 599-5751 • 599-5188 ext. 2116 School Groups

Places Nearby:
State Museum of Pennsylvania
John Harris Mansion
Museum of Scientific Discovery
Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad
Hershey Museum
Hershey Gardens
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Other States:

Originally settled in 1725 by Benjamin Chambers, what is now Fort Hunter Park was later inherited by Samuel Hunter. Anticipating danger from the impending French and Indian War, the British built a series of forts, one of which was Fort Hunter. The fort itself was small, a 10 x 14' log structure surrounded by a barricade. It was left to decay following the war.

The property passed hands several times, eventually to the ownership of Margaret Wister Meigs, who established the Fort Hunter Foundation to preserve this historical estate as a museum. Today Fort Hunter Park, including the mansion and its outbuildings, is owned and operated by the County of Dauphin.

The 1814 mansion, built by Capt. Archibald McAllister, incorporates a still older structure. It is an exquisite Federal-style home overlooking the Susquehanna River and the Blue Mountain Range beyond.

Furnished with Early American, Empire and Victorian pieces, the Mansion traces the history of its prominent owners and their lifestyles.

A Walking Tour of the property takes visitors through the Mansion and to the Ice House, Centennial Barn, Spring House, and across a Stone Arch Bridge to the Tavern, Blacksmith Shop and Stable. Several of the buildings, currently under restoration, cannot be entered but can be viewed from outside. Along the way a number of beautiful 19th century gardens brighten the path. And a stand of 300-year old Buttonwood Trees, believed to be the oldest in the state, can be enjoyed.

McAllister Cemetery is located within a 20-minute walk of the Mansion. Here can be seen the old markers, the last of which was placed in 1914. Some of the Mansion's inhabitants were buried here.

Between 1830 and 1906 a canal ran through the property. Preserved today as a Natural Swamp Area, it features Nature Trails that were once the towpaths used by mules and horses to pull canal boats. A variety of local flora and fauna can be seen here.

Fort Hunter offers a wide range of family activities, including Performing Arts, Yuletide celebrations, fairs and craft shows, nature walks, Military Re-enactments, and other events that are both entertaining and educational.

Families and Groups (10 or more) alike are welcome for a tour. School Groups can enjoy a Guided, 90-minute Tour, or a 3½-hour Hands-On Tour, where students learn about the past by handling and using a number of interesting artifacts. All programs are adaptable for grades K through 12 and can accommodate up to 50 students. Teachers should discuss their needs with Mansion personnel.

Hours: Open May through December (closes before Christmas), Tuesday - Saturday 10:00am - 4:30pm, Sunday 12 - 4:30. Closed Mondays, holidays and January through April.
Adults $5.00
Seniors $4.00
Students $3.00
Call for group tour rates. School Programs cost $5.00 per student.
Group Reservations: At 4 weeks in advance suggested for group programs.
Lunch: 2 picnic pavilions in park.
Handicapped Access: First floor of mansion is accessible.
Directions: I-76 West into Harrisburg. I-283 North to I-81 West. Before reaching river take Rt. 22 North several miles and turn left onto Fishing Creek Valley Rd. Turn left at N. Front St. to Mansion. 90 - 120 minutes west of Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.