The Historical Society of Dauphin County, located on Front Street in Harrisburg, administers the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion and the Alexander Research Library and Archives. The Georgian-style mansion was built c. 1766 by John Harris, Jr., frontier tradesman, ferry operator, and trusted friend of the Native Americans in the region. Harris was one of the founders of the town that grew to become Harrisburg.
In 1863, the house was purchased by Simon Cameron, US Senator, Lincoln's first Secretary of War and later Minister to Russia. Cameron transformed the Georgian house into a stylish Victorian mansion and furnished it with goods he collected in France, Italy, and Germany on his way to Russia. He lived there until his death in 1889. The house became the headquarters of the historical society in 1941.
The Library contains a large collection of publications, maps, and directories and an archives that has been growing in size for over 150 years, including more than a million photographs. Please call or visit the website for information on hours of operation, admission, guided tours and mansion rental.
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