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“Mostly Great”

John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion
Ranked #24 of 53 things to do in Harrisburg
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: The John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion was built c. 1766 By John Harris, Jr., one of the founders of Harrisburg. In 1863, it was purchased by Simon Cameron, Lincoln's first Secretary of War and later Ambassador to Russia. Cameron transformed the Georgian house into a stylish Victorian mansion and lived there until his death in 1889. The house became the headquarters of the Historical Society of Dauphin County in 1941. Features are an elegant Victorian parlor, Colonial and Victorian bedrooms, spectacular Art Deco bathroom; light-filled solarium; dining room, library, office, and exhibit spaces. Tours are available Tuesday through Friday at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m.; Saturday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m.; Second and Fourth Sundays at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m. Free parking. Group rates. Research library and archives.
harrisburg
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Mostly Great”
Reviewed 4 March 2014

I lived in Harrisburg and somehow never visited until last fall. The house is beautiful and contains many interesting artifacts. The tour guide seemed quite knowledgeable but a question regarding the ethics of Simon Cameron was answered in opposition to what information that was printed at the museum.

Overall, a great way to spend an hour or so.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Jon O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
351 reviews
215 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Nice place to visit with great view of the Susquehanna river.”
Reviewed 31 October 2013 via mobile

Great colonial era home with much history. The location is right by the river so it is shaded and lovely. This would be a good place for a special event like a wedding. Hours of operation are limited so check before you go if want to explore or tour in depth.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank tanyasm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
620 reviews
262 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
“Nice look back in time.”
Reviewed 24 April 2013

The is a well maintained period house. It is one of the few saved houses in the area with a rich history. It is not frequently open but is worth a look when in town.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank SheriBobLove2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kutztown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
1,899 reviews
1,045 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,875 helpful votes
“Historic mansion on the Susquehanna River”
Reviewed 30 September 2012

This great stone mansion was built in 1766 by John Harris, Jr, the son of the founder of Harrisburg, who lived in the area and operated a ferry across the river. It had a number of owners, eventually owned by Simon Cameron, who was a US senator from PA, Lincoln's secretary of war and then Ambassador to Russia. He renovated and added to house making it a grand manor and brought many items back with him from his trips to Europe.

The house is presently owned by the Historical Society of Dauphin county. In the home are some items from Harris--a clock and Chippendale chairs, as well as items from Simon Cameron, especially his gigantic mirrors that were so large the floor had to be dropped to accommodate them. The house also serves as a museum for other artifacts and historical items that the Society has received. We went on Smithsonian Museum Day--which allowed for free admittance. We had an interesting hour tour learning about the house and much Harrisburg history. A worthwhile stop, especially if you are interested in US history.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank Pnemiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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