Washington's Headquarters

Washington's Headquarters, also known as the Isaac Potts House, served as General Washington’s headquarters during the 1777-1778 winter encampment at Valley Forge. At the time of the encampment, Deborah Hewes, a Potts relative, was renting the house. She in turn rented the entire house with furnishings to General Washington. Although relatively small, the house provided a secure location for Washington to discuss military plans and strategy.

To understand how the rooms were historically furnished, scholars utilized documents written during the encampment, including letters, legal transactions, account books, diaries, and inventories. These primary sources yield clues about architectural details, furnishings and activities that took place while Washington was in residence.

Archaeology provided clues about building additions and household items. During the 18th century, it was common practice to dispose of broken items and food waste in trash pits, privies and abandoned wells just outside the door. Excavations conducted in the grounds around Washington’s Headquarters turned up numerous artifacts dating to the time of the encampment.

By studying original documents, artifacts and archaeology Washington’s Headquarters has been arranged to demonstrate routine life for the 15 to 25 people living, working, and visiting Headquarters on a daily basis.

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Kitchen at Washington's Headquarters

Washington's Bedstead