Located on a horseshoe bend along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Endless Mountains region, French Azilum marks the historic site of a planned settlement for affluent emigrants fleeing the French Revolution.
The History of French Azilum:
French Azilum marks the site where in 1793-1794 French refugees, who were loyal to the King and had escaped the horrors of the Revolution, settled along the Susquehanna River. The French refugees, mostly nobility and gentry, had planned to welcome the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, and her 2 children had they survived and escaped.
A consortium of American investors and financiers who saw an opportunity in the influx of settlers purchased thousands of acres of land and set up a planned community on 300 of those acres, complete with a 2-acre market square, a gridiron pattern of broad streets, 413 residential lots of roughly one-half acre each, orchards and agricultural plots just beyond the village, and the most prominent structure, ‘La Grande Maison’, a home built especially for the Queen to reside upon her arrival. The Queen never did arrive, and the duration of the “sophisticated French town in the wilderness” was brief as the settlers returned to France or moved on to southern cities by the late 1790s.
What You Will Find at French Azilum Now:
“Today, the historic site contains over twenty acres that were part of the original settlement. Although no structures from the original settlement survive, an original foundation has been left exposed for public viewing. A reconstructed and relocated log cabin, circa 1790, serves as a small museum with artifacts pertaining to the settlement and a video about the establishment of Azilum. Guided tours of the LaPorte house, the restored house museum, are also available. Visitors can see several outbuildings, part of the LaPorte Farm, and outdoor exhibits as part of their self-guided tour of the site.”
*French Azilum Admission:
(*Admission includes your self-guided tour of the grounds and a guided tour of the LaPorte House.)
Adults and seniors: $5
Students with ID: $3
Children under 12, active military with ID, and members: FREE!
Hours of Operation:
Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend:
Friday through Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed Memorial Day, July 4th & Labor Day.
Special events in September and October of each year.