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OPE LODGE, in the Whitemarsh Valley, is on the Bethlehem Pike just north of its junction with the Skippack Pike and is close by St. Thomas's Church and Whitemarsh station. The house is second to none
in the neighbourhood of Philadelphia either in its broad dignity or in the purity of its Georgian architecture. In every detail it is thoroughly typical of the phase prevalent at the particular time when it was built; furthermore it is typical of the kind of large brick countryseat peculiar to this section of the Colonies.
An avenue of overarching trees leads from the road to the house which stands on a slight rise. A little to the west is St. Thomas's Hill, thrice held by soldiers during the Revolutionary struggle. In front, to the north across the pike, the Wissahickon winds through peaceful meadows and beyond rises the long slope of wood-crowned Militia Hill—every rood of land full of historic memories. By the banks of the stream, with moss-grown dam and placid leat, is an ancient stone mill that once ground corn for all the Colonists far and near; even Sir William Keith used to send wain loads of grain hither all the way from Graeme Park at Horsham.
Hope Lodge is a great square structure of two storeys in height with a hipped roof. The doors and windows are of a style commonly met with in buildings of the early part of the eighteenth century, such as Stenton or Graeme Park, and are higher and narrower than those of a later period, while over their tops are slightly arched lintels or flattened arches, whichever one chooses to consider them. Over some of the doors are transoms of seven or eight square lights in a row.
A hall of unusual width, far larger than most rooms nowadays, traverses the full depth of the house and opens into spacious chambers on each side. The chief rooms have round-arched doorways and narrow double doors heavily panelled. All the panelling, in fact, is heavy. There are deep-panelled window-seats in the groundfloor rooms and the windows have exceptionally broad and heavy sash-bars. The breadth of the fireplaces and the massiveness of the wainscotting correspond with the other features. Midway back in the hall, a flattened arch springs from fluted pilasters. The stairway, which is remarkably good and strongly suggests an old English arrangement, ascends laterally from the rear hall. Back of the house, a wide brick-paved porch connects with another building where were the servants' quarters and sundry offices. This plan of having separate buildings for the domestics was also quite characteristic of the period. Throughout the house all the woodwork, though handsomely wrought, is heavy and most substantial. Hope Lodge ought to be thoroughly representative of the early Georgian style for it was built in 1723 of the best materials, fetched in great part, including all the woodwork, from England.
Samuel Morris, the son of Morris Morris, a Welsh Quaker, who lived near Abington, erected Hope Lodge