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Learning from the past at Menokin

If you combine an interest in American history with a fascination of 18th century building techniques, Menokin, the home of American Patriot Francis Lightfoot Lee, is the place for you.


Watch Menokin Visitors' Center Video
Home of a Patriot

Conserator Charles Philips, right, talks with workshop participants studying the Menokin "ruin" in June 2008. Menokin hosts regular educational opportunities for both historians and building professionals.

Francis Lightfoot Lee, reared at Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, signed the Declaration of Independence, and quietly influenced the events that led to what became the United States of America. He lived in a graceful manor home in Richmond County until his death in 1797.

The house passed to a number of different families over the years, and eventually fell into a state of disrepair. After the roof collapsed around 1968, it appeared the historic home would be lost.

But in 1995 the Menokin Foundation acquired the property and has slowly been sorting through the rubble. Fortunately, the original woodwork was removed from the house before it collapsed, and is on display at Menokin's Martin Kirwan King Visitors Center. In all, approximately 80 percent of Menokin still survives, though much of it is pieces.

The visitors center is open to the public Monday through Friday. Tours of the ruin are by appointment.

Visit Menokin's Web site.