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John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion

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Address: 219 S Front St, Harrisburg, PA 17104-1619
Phone Number:
+1 717-233-3462
See all hours
Mon - Thu 13:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

The John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion was built c. 1766 By John Harris,...

The John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion was built c. 1766 By John Harris, Jr., one of the founders of Harrisburg. In 1863, it was purchased by Simon Cameron, Lincoln's first Secretary of War and later Ambassador to Russia. Cameron transformed the Georgian house into a stylish Victorian mansion and lived there until his death in 1889. The house became the headquarters of the Historical Society of Dauphin County in 1941. Features are an elegant Victorian parlor, Colonial and Victorian bedrooms, spectacular Art Deco bathroom; light-filled solarium; dining room, library, office, and exhibit spaces. Tours are available Tuesday through Friday at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m.; Saturday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m.; Second and Fourth Sundays at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m. Free parking. Group rates. Research library and archives.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 17 reviews
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  • 6
  • 7
    Very good
  • 3
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Still an Interesting time in History...

There is some confusion as to which John Harris this home was designed and built by.....there was a "dull" John Harris Family, and there was a "very interesting" John Harris... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 12 October 2016
Dundas, Canada
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17 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 16: English reviews
Level Contributor
492 reviews
225 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2016

This mansion is beautifully preserved. All of the rooms were furnished. The antiques were beautiful. Our guide was very informative and the house tour was very interesting. So much history and an impressive house. The tour takes about an hour. We found a BOGO coupon on line.

Thank Ricmar60
Dundas, Canada
Level Contributor
118 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2016

There is some confusion as to which John Harris this home was designed and built by.....there was a "dull" John Harris Family, and there was a "very interesting" John Harris Family...there were 2 John Harris Families at the time, and records are not accurate enough to identify the bootlegger from the church goer. Great place though...very well kept, very interesting... More 

Thank mikeyflowerguy
Scion, Public Relations Manager at John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion, responded to this review

Thank you for your review. We're glad you enjoyed your visit. We have to say, however, that there’s no factual basis to support the hypothesis that John Harris, Sr., started construction of the mansion, and John Jr.'s involvement is thoroughly supported by his account books. We are curious as to whether you heard this during your tour or while reading... More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2016

Interesting structure in the bustling city downtown. The tour really emphasizes architectural aspects specific to the mansion.

Thank leisuretraveler6302
Beacon, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2016

It is a great old house and a great story. The tour guide was extremely well informed and the people in the Historical Society were very nice. We would go back in a heartbeat

Thank Joanne S
Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2015

The John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion is an excellent stop for visitors new to the area, and also long time Harrisburg area locals. The guided tour took about one and a half hours. There is some climbing of steps, so wheel chair people may have a problem getting to the second level. Please be sure to bring your camera for the... More 

Thank Frank M
Alexandria Bay, New York
Level Contributor
175 reviews
109 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2015 via mobile

Grand old house with an excellent guide that explained everything in a simply and entertaining way. Was impressed with the build of the house and the Victorian antiques in the house. The changes in the families that owned the house reflected the changes to the community and larger country. All was sewn together by the guide which made total sense.... More 

1 Thank Shawn H
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2015

theantiques the property is well maintained and is the home of the Dauphin County Historical Society. many of the antiques they have are through bequest or donation. They are in excellent condition.The staff who give tours are very knowledgeable about the property, the house and it's contents. Worth the admission fee.

1 Thank cecimino
Rockville MD
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2015

This was a great tour; our guide was Rick. He was excellent and very informative. The history of the house involves the Harris family and the founding of Harrisburg. The house is set up as something of a museum with some very interesting pieces of furniture and art.

3 Thank Kathryn S
Level Contributor
85 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2015

Old mansion when there was no city, just a settlement called Harris' Ferry. Nice historic home, rather large, reasonably maintained, but could use a little more funding. Interesting period pieces inside. Too bad it's just a few feet away from the busiest street in the city and has precious little landscaping due to location. Worth a short side trip

1 Thank quantum99
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
114 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2015

This is one of the nicer mansions on the river. My family rented it several years ago for my grandmother's birthday party.

3 Thank nmpd2611

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