5933 Germantown Avenue
Left: "The Morris-Littell House, Main and High Streets,"
Rev. S. F. Hotchkins, Ancient and Modern Germantown, Mt. Airy, and Chestnut
Hill (Philadelphia: P. W. Ziegler and Co., 1889), opposite page 144
Right: LCP: John G. Bullock Collection,
number 54 (lantern slide dated April 20, 1912).
Built on Issac Dilbeck's tract in the early eighteenth century, this
house was in the Morris-Littell family from 1776 until 1888 when it was
purchased by neighbor E.H. Butler. The house was torn down after the construction
of Germantown High School in 1915.
This property was the site of one of the first botanical gardens in America,
planted by early Germantown settler Dr. Christopher Witt (1675-1765), noted
physician and associate of botanist John Bartram and also of Pietist Johannes
Mrs. Ann Willing Morris, granddaughter of Philadelphia Mayor Willing
and a friend of Dolly Madison, here offered hospitality to soldiers from
Montgomery County during the War of 1812. Two of her daughters became noted
scientists: botanist Elizabeth Carrington Morris and entomologist Margaretta
Hare Morris. The latter was the first female member of the Academy of Natural
Sciences, known for her pioneering work on the life history of the seventeen-year
- GHS: Box 11, envelope 5: "High & Germantown Ave." (photograph
of original wash and ink drawing in John Richards' sketchbook, p. 21).
- GHS: Jellett, Edwin C. "Germantown Historical Miscellany,"
p. 266: Morris-Littell house (photograph).
- GHS: Johnson, George Clarence, compiler. Pictorial Germantown Road
& the Vicinity & Some of its Inhabitants, vol. 1, p. 98: Morris-Littell
House (photograph, c. 1915, showing Germantown High School in background,
First Methodist Episcopal Church to the north).
- GHS: Keyser, Naaman. Notes for v. 2 (north of Chelten), History of
Old Germantown, pp. 38-40: "5933" (unpublished
- HSP: Campbell Collection, vol. 33, pp. 168-75: Morris-Littell house
(photographs and newsclippings with text).
- HSP: Franklin Fire Insurance Policy
20342 for Margaretta H. Morris (April 7, 1854 survey and first floor
plan of stone dwelling, with 1872 addendum).
- HSP: Franklin Fire Insurance Policy 20692
- for Margaretta H. Morris (June 13th, 1854 survey, elevation and site
plan of a two story stone stable and a one story stone wash house).
- and for Harriet H. Littell (October 27, 1879 survey and site plan of
a one and a half story stone stable and carriage house, with a one story
- HSP: Perkins Collection, vol. 61D, p. 49: Morris-Littell house (manuscript text and the same photo as
found in Campbell Collection vol. 33, p. 171).
- HSP: Richards,
John,. Old Landmarks in Germantown and Vicinity, 26b: "Cor
High and Main" (wash and ink drawing of Morris-Littel house looking
up Germantown Avenue toward High street).
- HSP: Shoemaker Collection, folios 12 and 18: Morris-Littell house (John Richards' zinc lithograph with manuscript
text, photograph of doorway).
- Hotchkins, Rev. S. F. Ancient and Modern Germantown, Mt. Airy, and
Chestnut Hill. Philadelphia: P. W. Ziegler and Co., 1889, pp. 142-147
(text and woodcut).
- Jellett, Edwin C. Germantown Gardens and Gardeners. Germantown:
Horace F. McCann, 1914, pp. 13-14 and 78-79 (text).
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