The Hermitage Mansion is located in the Wissahickon area of Fairmount Park. The history of the Mansion can be traced back 300 years to a small group of Rosicrucians, a religious sect composed of "hermits" or Pietists who emigrated from Germany in 1694 seeking freedom and privacy. The Rosicrucians were given a 175-acre tract of land in the Wissahickon Valley, encompassing the site of the present Hermitage Mansion.
The property came into the possession of the City of Philadelphia in 1895 through a sale by the same Ivan Prowattain. The selling price was $1, with the City taking over the balance of the outstanding mortgage.