Friendship Hill National Historic Site
Friendship Hill was the home of Albert Gallatin who is best known for serving as US Secretary of the Treasury from 1801-1814 under Presidents Jefferson and Madison. The site also contains over ten miles of hiking and walking trails, picnic areas and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. The original brick house was completed in 1789 and other sections were added at later dates. There are also ten miles of trails on the 661 acre site.
Backstory and Context
Originally from Switzerland, Gallatin moved to America in the 1780s and became a surveyor in Pennsylvania. He was elected to the US Senate in 1793 and the US House of Representatives in 1794. He also assisted in the drafting of the Pennsylvania state constitution. As Secretary of the Treasury, he was instrumental in lowering the national debt, purchasing the Louisiana Territory from France, and financing the subsequent Lewis and Clark Expedition. He also aided in the creation of the Treaty of Ghent which ended the War of 1812, ironically, in 1815. Finally, he served as Minister to France from 1816-1823.
The home at Friendship Hill was gradually expanded under Gallatin’s supervision as a frame structure was added in 1798, a 3.5 story stone structure in 1823 and a stone kitchen in 1824. Later homeowners added other sections in 1895, 1902, and 1903. The large home is surrounded by acres of fields and forests and offers a panoramic view of the Monongahela River.
Rangers are present to answer questions and provide information on Gallatin and the site. However, tours are self-guided and the home itself is sparsely furnished with period furnishings. An introductory educational video is also presented and there is a small gift shop on site. The home and surroundings are maintained by the National Parks Service.
Templeton, David. "Friendship Hill National Historic Site: A beautiful architectural puzzle." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Accessed December 7, 2016. http://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/usparks/friendship-hill/
"Albert Gallatin." Federal Reserve History. Accessed December 7, 2016. http://www.federalreservehistory.org/People/DetailView/264
Hurst, David. "House in Fayette County was home to key figure in U.S. history. Tribune-Democrat. August 19, 2016. Accessed December 7, 2016. http://www.tribdem.com/news/house-in-fayette-county-was-home-to-key-figure-in/article_0ae022ce-65b3-...