George Washington in Blue Bell
Since Philadelphia had such a pivotal role in the Revolutionary War, nearby towns like Blue Bell often had a significant part to play as well. After the Americans’ defeat by the British at the Battle of Germantown, their forces—the future president George Washington among them— retreated to the Blue Bell area to regroup and strategize in safety. It’s estimated that, including non-soldiers, Washington’s camp likely consisted of around 15,000 people.
During a period of a few months in late 1777, a property known as Dawesfield, owned by a man named James Morris, served as Washington’s temporary headquarters in planning the continued war effort, while his troops were housed in the surrounding farmland. Facing waning trust over significant losses and a severe lack of resources, Washington had yet to become the beloved general we perceive him as now—but was well on his way to accomplishing great things. He and his men later relocated to the fields of another nearby estate, now known as Hope Lodge
, before finally moving onto the famous Valley Forge, where they remained for the winter. Throughout his time in the region, it’s said that Washington frequented the Blue Bell Inn to eat and socialize with his comrades.
Whitpain and the Civil War
Thanks to its early Quaker roots, Whitpain Township and Montgomery County more broadly were deeply invested in the abolitionist cause. The area was also home to prominent and influential abolitionists like Lucretia Mott and Hiram Corson. When the American Civil War began, Blue Bell and other parts of Whitpain played a crucial role in driving support for the Union effort in defeating the Confederacy. In particular, the women of the region were active in organizing any help they could from the homefront—with a small group of women gathering at a home in Centre Square in 1862 to form the Whitpain Ladies’ Aid Society
The Society met weekly to discuss how best to support the Union cause. They provided food, handmade clothing and fabrics, medical supplies, and more to the war effort. Their work primarily benefited hospitals on the front lines, which were in constant need of supplies during the tumultuous war. The Society also fundraised extensively in the community in order to provide monetary support to the institutions that needed it; they often hosted events such as lectures and musical performances with local professionals and performers, for which they charged a small entry fee.
Blue Bell Today
Blue Bell’s long and storied history makes it clear that it’s a region defined by community bonds that have lasted the test of time. These bonds are still strong and provide a powerful sense of value for the town and its current residents. But this history is just one of many things that have made this area so appealing to those looking for a charming community to call their own. Blue Bell also offers an array of practical benefits for residents, like great schools, friendly neighbors, and plenty of exciting festivals and events to keep families entertained throughout the year.
There’s a great selection of Blue Bell real estate for sale in a range of styles and price points, including one-of-a-kind historic properties—contact us
today to find the perfect home for you!