Visitors step back in time to discover a living record of the comforts and tastes of the rising middle class in an era when central heat, indoor plumbing, and running water were wondrous luxuries. . . when gas lighting, grained woodwork and stenciled ceiling decorations were emblems of social standing.
In 1859, Ebenezer Maxwell, a cloth merchant, built his villa a few blocks away from the railroad station and rode the train each day to his office in Philadelphia. The cost of the land and the house was $10,000. The Mansion’s first floor has been restored to depict Victorian life in the 1860’s. The second floor is interpreted to represent the late 1870’s to 1880’s.
The Maxwell kitchen was very innovative for its time and features many labor-saving devices of the Industrial Revolution. The new technology of mechanical gears was applied to apple peelers, meat and coffee grinders, cherry pitters and whips for cream.