Summerseat, the name given the Victorian mansion at the corners of Legion and Hillcrest Avenues, has been the home of two signers of the Declaration of Independence, George Clymer and Robert Morris, for whom the town of Morrisviile is named. Summerseat was also used by George Washington as his headquarters while planing his famous crossing of the Delaware River and attack on the Hessian soldiers in Trenton. Morris, a major financier of the Revolutionary War, owned several mills and had a large estate along the river. He purchased Summerseat from Barclay some years after Washington's stay.
Today Summerseat is owned by The Historic Morrisville Society and is open to the public the first Saturday of each month.
This is the front view of Summerseat, facing down toward the Delaware River. In spite of what is written on the above plaque, it is commonly believed Summerseat was built by Adam Hoops, a wealthy Philadelphia business man who passed the property on to his son-in-law, Thomas Barclay.
This is the rear entrance to Summerseat, note the rear of the house is stone while the front facade is brick. The small wooden entryway is not original.
Summerseat is located at the top of a long, low sloping hill facing the Delaware River. It is thought Hoops used this home as a summer retreat to escape the heat of Philadelphia.
Summerseat came into the possession of the Morrisville School system before being acquired by the Historic Morrisville Society. The M.R.Reiter Elementary School shares this block in Washington Heights bordered by Hillcrest, Legion, Clymer and Harper Avenues. This elementary school is on the site of the former "Old High School".
This interior view of Summerseat shows the wonderfully handcrafted stairs and the hallway leading to the rear door.
The picture to left shows the front entryway. This door and the door in the picture above could both be opened to let the summer breeze pass through.
The main living room looking much as it would have in colonial days.
The front parlor is decorated in the Victorian style that was popular in the early 1800's when Summerseat was owned by Henry and Elizabeth Waddell. They once enretained the Marquis de Lafayette here in 1813.
The fireplace in the dinning room is actually a Franklin cast iron fireplace.
One of the bedrooms looking much as it did when Joseph Bonaparte, ex king of France and brother to Napolian Bonaparte, tried unsuccessfully to purchase the house during his exile from France