Friday, August 21, 2009

The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793

The yellow fever epidemic that swept through Philadelphia in 1793, killing an estimated 10% of the city’s population, made country retreats like Graeme Park important havens. It was this epidemic that prompted Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson’s nephew-in-law, William Smith and his second wife, to take up residence at Graeme Park, which they had purchased from Elizabeth in 1791. Not wanting to live as a guest in her ancestral home, their move resulted in Elizabeth leaving her home for a boarding house in Hatboro, and finally to the home of Seneca Lukens, a local clockmaker, where she spent the last years of her life.

A special Living History Theater program, August 23 at Graeme Park in Horsham, will focus on the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 and its impact on the residents of Graeme Park and their friends. Costumed actors will present vignettes related to yellow fever in tours throughout the day between 12:00 noon – 3:00 p.m. Admission is $8/regular (12-64); $7/seniors (65+); $4/kids (3-11).

This program is sponsored by the Friends of Graeme Park with the cooperation of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Call 215-343-0965 for details. Directions are available on our website at

Read an article about our event in the Trend newspaper -

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