Friends Speaker Series
As part of the Friends mission to provide interesting and compelling programming for the public, the annual Speaker Series is held in cooperation with the Washington Memorial Chapel. This series, which runs from September through May, gathers an array of historians, scientists, authors, archeologists, actors and performers to share with the public their multiple points of view on history, the natural world and the ongoing commemoration of Valley Forge.
Presentations are held at Washington Memorial Chapel, on Route 23 in Valley Forge, on Tuesdays at 7 pm. Free and open to the public. A reception follows each talk.
For directions to the Chapel, visit wmchapel.org.
Tuesday, January 7
The Story of Cliveden: Building a Memory
“Cliveden” is synonymous with the October 4, 1777 Battle of Germantown. Benjamin Chew (1722-1810), who at one time held the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Province of Pennsylvania, purchased the bucolic Germantown property in the Philadelphia countryside as a summer retreat for his family. The house he named “Cliveden” was constructed there between 1763 to 1767. Except for a brief period between 1779 and 1797, the Chews occupied Cliveden for seven generations until 1972. Cliveden is a National Historic Landmark and one of America’s great historic sites.
This presentation will explore how the Cliveden staff has used research, community input, and innovative preservation programs to expand the story of Cliveden beyond the time of the Revolutionary War confrontation. The site is now more comprehensive, and, in a story that spans 250 years, explores Cliveden’s role in both the War for Independence and the Struggle for Freedom.
About the Speaker
David Young, the executive director of Cliveden, previously served as the executive director of the Johnson House Historic Site, also in Germantown, and of the Salem County Historical Society in New Jersey.
Dr. Young has published on the Underground Railroad and Germantown history, as well as on historic site sustainability. A lecturer in the graduate program of Historic Preservation in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, he has served as president of the board of the Historic Germantown consortium of fifteen historic sites and as treasurer of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. A recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Germany, Dr. Young received his B.A. in German from Northwestern University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History from Ohio State University. His doctoral dissertation explored Germantown’s 20th century history and preservation.