Fort Mifflin on the Delaware
Fort Mifflin and Hog Island Roads
Philadelphia, PA 19153

(215) 685-4167/68

After Washington's defeat at Brandywine in 1777, a force of 20,000 British and Hessian troops marched into Philadelphia, led by General William Howe. With the Colonial Army weakened, Howe could have attacked them west of the city and wiped them out -- probably defeating the Revolution -- but his own forces had run short of supplies. The supplies were waiting on the Delaware on a fleet of ships.

Before General Howe arrived with his 20,000, the rebels, led by General Thomas Mifflin, had occupied and strengthened the partially built British fort that guarded the waterways. The British attacked Mifflin's stronghold, and around November 16, 1777, Fort Mifflin finally fell. As well as inflicting severe casualties upon the British, however, the Colonists accomplished their mission: the British supply ships were delayed. Winter had set in, and General Howe was unable to attack Washington's troops.

Restored in 1795, Fort Mifflin was again manned during the War of 1812, though it saw no action. During the Civil War it was used as a prison camp. The Fort was disarmed in 1904.

Today Fort Mifflin is restored to its 1834 appearance. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities at this busy historic site. From Self-Guided to Guided (by docents in period uniforms) Tours to Uniform and Weapons Demonstrations, Soldier Life Programs, Cannon Demonstrations and much more.  Guided Tours are available Wednesday through Sunday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  Hours can vary, so call ahead.  A Uniform and Weapons Demonstration is given twice daily.

The complex includes Casemates -- vaulted, bombproof enclosures used to shelter troops under attack; the Northeast Bastion, offering a special view of Philadelphia and the Delaware; the Arsenal, with four-foot thick walls that originally housed a prison; various batteries (though most of the guns are gone); Soldiers' Barracks; Officers' Quarters; Blacksmith Shop; and a variety of other structures and sites. In all, eleven restored buildings can be explored. Combined with the activities and re-enactments that take place here, they bring history to life in a vivid and memorable fashion. Call for a calendar of events.

Fort Mifflin conducts a number of family events throughout its operating season. Group Tours can be arranged throughout the entire year. This is a great place for a child's birthday party, and private groups can also rent the facilities for their functions.

School Groups will love the programs available for them.  Every Educational Program includes:

  • A one-hour guided tour
  • A uniform and weapons demonstration
  • A one-hour educational program

    Program titles include:

    New Programs

    A World of Difference and a Common Pursuit (grades 4 - 9)
    Using role-playing, this program illustrates the diverse cultural backgrounds of the colonists and soldiers during the Revolutionary War period. 

    History Programs

    Stars and Stripes: The Story of the American Flag (grades 3 - 9)
    From British colors through Colonial and Regimental flags, to the flag of today, this program explores both dramatic and subtle changes in the American flag as our country evolved.  Students make a flag that symbolize themselves.  Also, each class learns how to raise, lower and fold an American flag.

    A Soldier's Story: Revolutionary War Soldier Life or Civil War Soldier Life (gr 3 - 9)
    This hands-on program explores the life of the Fort Mifflin soldier in detail, from how they were recruited to the items they carried in their haversacks.  Choose between a Revolutionary or Civil War program.

    Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Civil War Medicine (grades 5 - 12)
    Students adopt the roles of 19th century doctors and nurses to learn about the treatment options available to patients and the desperate measures used to save lives.

    Complete programs take about three hours to complete.  Any program can be topped off with a great cannon demonstration.

    A variety of Outreach Programs are also available.  Call for details.

    A visit to Fort Mifflin will give one and all a unique perspective on American history.  For additional information, visit Fort Mifflin's official website, linked above.

  • Hours: Open spring through about mid-winter. Call for exact schedule. Hours are Wednesday - Sunday 10am - 4pm (last admission at 3pm). Groups can reserve tours year-round. Call to confirm.
    Adults $6.00
    Seniors (62+) $5.00
    Children (6-12) $3.00
    Children under 6 and Active Military (with ID) and their families FREE
    Special Events
    Adults $8.00
    Seniors (62+) $6.00
    Children (6-12) $4.00
    Children under 6 and Active Military (with ID) and their families FREE
    Groups: 25 or more people. Educational programs have a 15 student minimum.
    Per student $8.00*
    Teacher/Chaperone FREE
    *Includes educational program. Tour without program costs $7.00 per student. Cannon demonstration:  $30.00 per group. Call to confirm.
    Group Reservations: Short notice okay.
    Lunch: Local restaurants. Picnic in nearby parks.
    Handicapped Access: Accessible.
    Directions: From I-95 South: Take exit 13 to Island Ave. Left at stop sign, follow the road to Fort Mifflin Road, turn right and follow the road for 1 mile and turn left into Fort Mifflin parking lot. Free parking.

    Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.