David Bradford and the Bradford House
David Bradford was a successful lawyer, businessman, and Deputy Attorney General of Washington County Pennsylvania when his house was completed in 1788. His home reflected his high social standing, not only by its size, but by its fittings- the magnificent mahogany staircase and the interior wood finishing, which show remarkable craftsmanship. The stone for the exterior was quarried near Washington; the interior decorations came from the east and had to be transported across the mountains at great expense.
David Bradford and his family lived in this house from 1788 to 1794. By 1794 he had become a prominent figure in the "Whiskey Rebellion". This insurrection was caused, in part, by the lack of federal courts (which necessitated trips to Philadelphia for trial), large numbers of absentee landlords, lack of protection from the Indians, and the high excise tax on whiskey. President George Washington ordered 13,00 troops to the Washington Pennsylvania area. This was the first test of the power of the new government. Bradford, under threat of arrest, headed south to Spanish West Florida (Louisiana). Bradford later received a Presidential Pardon and his family sold the house and followed him south.
In 1959, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission assumed control of the house and supervised the restoration of its eighteenth - century design. The furnishings are those which were used at that time in Pennsylvania and would reflect Bradford's place in society. Landscape work in the rear of the house led to the discovery of an old well. It was repaired and a well house characteristic of Bradford's time was constructed. This fine example of gracious frontier living is complemented by a small garden of plants and flowers, typical of the eighteenth - century.
A management agreement was signed in 1982, turning the management of the Bradford House over to the Bradford House Historical Association. Various types of memberships are available in this association. For more information, the association can be contacted at 412-222-3604.
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