Johnson House Historic Site
Located in the heart of Germantown at the corner of Germantown Avenue & Washington Lane, Johnson House is a 240+year-old farmhouse, whose history of anti-slavery activity and UGRR station puts it right at the center of the struggle for freedom in America. Our historical focus starts at the early history of slavery in America… the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Fugitive Slave Laws that kept freedom seekers constantly on the run…and the collaborative efforts between Blacks (both free and enslaved) and Whites. Johnson family members were “pratitioners as well as advocates of racial equality”. Their home provided refuge as a safe place for escaping enslaved Africans on their way to freedom. According to research conducted by Charlotte Blake Alston, approximately 80 freedom seekers found refuge in Johnson House and were not captured. Johnson House, a Center for Civil and Social Advocacy since 2015 is a historic house museum that represents what everyday people have done and can do to make a difference in their community and beyond. The example of partnership—between Africans seeking freedom and the abolitionist Johnson family and others —serves as a catalyst to inspire, uplift and empower current and future generations.
During the Philadelphia Yellow Fever Epidemic in 1793, President George Washington and his cabinet moved to Germantown.
The first written protest against slavery was written in 1688 at the corner of Germantown Ave & Wister St.
Pioneering free jazz muscian Sun Ra moved his band The Arkestra from New York City to Germantown in 1968 and never left.
Germantown Avenue, also known as "The Great Road," follows an Indian path from the Delaware River.
Germantown was an independent municipality until 1854, when it became part of the City of Philadelphia.
Germantown Avenue is part of the Colonial Germantown National Historic District, the longest National Historic District in the U.S.