The Northumberland Historic District is significant for its fine collection of residences, including a large number of early Federal structures, and for its early connection with the Reverend Joseph Priestley (1733 -1804), the exiled English theologian and scientist who lived in Northumberland for the last ten years of his life.
Northumberland’s housing stock includes a very wide range of styles, from federal to Colonial Revival. The earliest Federal and folk houses date from the 1790’s; the Federal style was active in the town until the 1830’s. Northumberland has the largest collection of such residences in the region, along .with a scattering of very fine buildings in the Classical Revival, Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, ltalianate, Second Empire and Queen Anne styles. A number of well-detailed Colonial Revival types round out the collection.
Priestley’s residence in Northumberland, though spanning his declining years, was still productive for the great thinker, and his presence influenced the town’s cultural life immeasurably. His house has been restored as a museum, and is probably the finest example of Federal style building in the region.
Priestley house is open for regular scheduled tours on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (except Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day) from March 10, 2019 until November 24, 2019. Visitor Center is open from 1 to 4 pm with tours at 1, 2 and 3 pm. Tours at other times can be arranged by calling 570-473-9474 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.