historic homes: Big Band Blast at Nissley Vineyards, Bainbridge PA
- 08/10/09 09:25 AM
The Blue Moon Big Band makes an appearance on the beautiful grounds of the Nissley Vineyards in Bainbridge, PA Sunday evening.
Entering the grounds of the vineyard - an eighteenth century stone mill.
The original farmhouse of the vineyard.
A storage barn on the premises.
In spite of rain predicted for the evening, lots of folks bring their picnic tables and chairs in preparation for the concert under the stars.
Some regular attendees go all out: tablecloths, gourmet food and even candelabras!
The band starts out well protected from
historic homes: Lancaster PA Museums
- 02/08/09 05:13 AM
Lancaster, PA has a long and colorful history extending back to colonial days. Here are some of the museums that bring Lancaster's cultural and architectural history to life:
The Landis Valley Museum, 2451 Kissel Hill Road, is the largest Pennsylvania German folk museum. There are exhibits of Pennsylvania German (also known as Pennsylvania Dutch) artifacts, and live demonstrations and interpretations of rural life in Pennsylvania from 1740 to 1940. There are activities for the children, buildings, artifacts and crafts, and the Weathervane Museum Store. The Landis Valley Museum is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
James Buchanan's Wheatland is the
historic homes: Thaddeus Stevens - Lydia Hamilton Smith Historic Site, Lancaster PA
- 07/02/08 09:15 AM
As the construction of the Lancaster PA Convention Center and Marriott Hotel reaches new heights, several historic buildings around it are being spared. A $20 Million project is planned to preserve and restore the law offices of Thaddeus Stevens, and the next door home of his housekeeper and business manager, Lydia Hamilton Smith.
Thaddeus Stevens was born in 1792 and died in 1868. He was a lifelong crusader against slavery, and is considered the driving force behind the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery, and the 14th and 15th Amendments, which granted equal rights, and the right (for all men) to vote.
historic homes: Historic Lancaster Train Station to be Restored
- 06/13/08 10:56 AM
Lancaster's Amtrak Train Station is an architectural gem. Built in 1929, it is a familiar and dignified landmark in the city of Lancaster, PA.
Its Art Deco marble interior is reminiscent, on a small scale, of Grand Central Station in New York City. Lancaster is the third busiest train station in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia and Harrisburg.
The main lobby features a soaring ceiling with art deco lighting fixtures and a magnificent glass paned ceiling insert.
Over the past decade, restoration has been ongoing, including painting and improvements to the heating system.
The building will now be air conditioned. Shops and
historic homes: Historic Log House Update
- 05/14/08 01:11 PM
On March 19 I wrote a blog about an eighteenth century log cabin in Lancaster, PA that had been slated for demolition, but was now to be dismantled and preserved on another site.
If there is any doubt about the exposure that Active Rain blogs get, this should put it to rest. I was contacted by a man over a thousand miles away in Minnesota, who had spent the first fifteen years of his life in that very house!
Not only was Steve Landis kind enough to fill in some of the details of when he and his family lived there,
historic homes: Historical Home at 330 East Orange Street, Lancaster, PA
- 05/02/08 10:33 AM
If you are interested in only the finest in historic homes, then you must see this one!
From the two-car garage to the solar powered high-tech heating system, this home has it all.
A Mgnificent mural greets you as you enter.
Spacious 25-foot living room with fireplace.
Elegant dining room features a bay window and crown molding.
Gourmet kitchen with five-burner range, granite counters, many features.
Private breakfast room and sun room.
Huge family room suite features a magnificent sunroom in the trees, wet bar/kitchenette, a dumbwaiter to the kitchen,
historic homes: A Log Home That May Get Raised Instead of Razed!
- 03/19/08 10:20 AM
I was passing by the Chesapeake Crab Connection yesterday on Columbia Avenue near Centerville Road, Lancaster, PA.
Next door to it was a house in the process of being torn down (you can see it in the corner past the sign).
The roof had already been torn off. As I passed by, I noted, to my surprise, that underneath the clapboard, the home was an eighteenth century log house!
I was dismayed, thinking that yet another piece of Lancaster County history was about to be destroyed. I turned around, which in rush hour traffic on
historic homes: Lancaster County, PA Firsts and Biggests
- 03/16/08 04:04 AM
Robert Fulton, born in Lancaster County in 1765, was the first to make navigation practical with a ship powered by steam. Fulton did not invent the steam engine, but he made history with his steam powered voyage on the Hudson River in 1807. A township in southern Lancaster County is named after him.
Milton S. Hershey, whose name has become synonymous with the chocolate bar, actually started his first milk chocolate factory in Lititz, Lancaster County, PA. Hershey learned his trade in Lititz, before founding the famous factory and town that was named after him in nearby Dauphin County.
The Stehli Silk Mill
historic homes: Why Buy an Historic Home?
- 03/14/08 08:29 AM
I know, I know - I've heard all the practical arguments. Old Houses are drafty. They need constant maintainance. They don't have up-to-date conveniences.
I can't argue with the people who bring up reasons why living in a modern house has many advantages. Yet, there is a mysterious attraction in historic homes. For those of us who are smitten by the homes built by our ancestors, nothing can compare to their charm.
Homes built many years ago by highly skilled artisans cannot be economically duplicated in newer homes. Certainly skilled craftsmen still exist, but their work would be prohibively expensive for
historic homes: Restoring Old Houses
- 02/04/08 04:08 AM
Buying and restoring old houses is indeed a labor of love! In my career I have restored a number of homes, including in historic Marietta PA. You still need to be cognizant of costs, and probably everything you estimate for renovations will turn out to cost more because of unknown factors you will discover during the course of the renovation.
The Victorian house in the photograph is a home that I once owned in Columbia, PA. The third floor had been in a fire and the roof destroyed. Still, there was beautiful oak and cherry woodwork inside.
Do be careful not to
historic homes: What Future For This Historic Lancaster PA Farm House?
- 01/14/08 11:40 AM
What Future For This Historic Lancaster PA Farm House?
For years I have passed this vacant and boarded up stone farm house on Charlestown Road, Lancaster, PA.
When I first saw it, there was farm land on both sides of the road.
Now there are commercial property and municipal projects nearby.
This is the old barn on the property.
There is a matching stone outbuilding next to the farm house. Perhaps it once was a carriage house.
The style of the farm house indicates that it was probably built circa 1780 or 1790,
historic homes: The Architecture of Historic Marietta, PA
- 01/09/08 11:22 AM
I have written a number of posts about Historic Marietta, PA, including the Christmas Candlelight Tour and the scenic Breezy View Overlook. One of the reasons Marietta is such a treasure is its remarkably diverse historic architecture.
This is a log and stone home I restored in the early 1980s. The upper log portion of the home is dated 1801. The earlier stone part of the house was originally a one story building dating from the 1700s, before records were kept in the borough.
The restored Old Town Hall Museum with its working clock tower. The original jail is underneath the first floor.
historic homes: Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata PA
- 10/28/07 02:59 AM
Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata PA
Nestled close to the intersection of Routes 272 and 322 lies an ancient compound that predates the modern roads by centuries...
The Ephrata Cloister was a Seventh Day Baptist community established by devout German settlers in 1732.
The Ephrata Cloister is now a museum run by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
The community was run by "brothers" and "sisters". Today, "brothers" and "sisters" can be seen in period costumes as guides, and in activities that would have been typical of life 250 years ago.
Conrad Beissel, the founder of Ephrata, was
historic homes: Historic Smithton Inn, Ephrata, PA
- 10/24/07 11:17 AM
Historic Smithton Inn, Ephrata, PA
At 900 West Main Street, Ephrata, PA, not far from the Ephrata Cloister, stands an inn which has been in business for 237 years! The Historic Smithton Inn, a beautiful estate of multicolored stone, was originally built in 1763.
Innkeeper Dorothy Graybill was born only a mile away from the Inn. The rooms are furnished with antiques and hand crafted furniture. Each room has an operating fireplace, which is in use from November through April. The rooms can be candle lit, and are decorated with Pennsylvania Dutch quilts and stencils.
The Historic Smithton Inn was built
historic homes: Vesta Furnace Office, Marietta, PA
- 09/02/07 12:39 PM
Vesta Furnace Office, Marietta, PA
Marietta, PA has a long and distinguished history going back to the earliest 1800s, when lumber from the north was floated down the Susquehanna River and sawed in its lumber mills. A good portion of its wealth, reflected even today in its many preserved homes, derived from the iron furnaces that bought the industrial age to our area.
The Vesta Furnace, built in 1868, was the last of eight coal-fired blast iron furnaces constructed in the river floodplain between Columbia and Marietta, and the last complete blast furnace built in Lancaster County. Ore for the
historic homes: Restored 1760 Log Home
- 08/08/07 11:55 AM
SOLDThis is your opportunity to live in a piece of Lancaster history! Restored 1760 log home is available at a fantastically affordable price!
Exposed log walls grace the great room, which boasts new wood floor, carpet and a corner wood stove.
The modern kitchen has a new wood floor.
There are three bedrooms, including a first floor master bedroom, plus a loft.
The bedrooms are in a large rear addition. The house is bigger than it looks like it would be from the front! You can entertain or barbecue in the private fenced rear yard.
This restored home is now available at the surprisingly low
historic homes: All Gone...
- 08/06/07 09:41 AM
Last week in a blog, I lamented the end of an old farmhouse that was in the way of "progress". It was in the process of being torn down. Last evening as I passed the site, this is all that was left of a home that had been there for well over a century.
It's humbling to think that a structure that protected generations of families and withstood the storms and elements for a hundred and thirty years could disappear almost overnight as though it had never been there.
I'm glad that I was able to document this farmhouse before it was
historic homes: Another Lancaster County Farm House Bites the Dust
- 07/31/07 02:17 PM
Lancaster County has one of the better agricultural preserve laws in the country. Some agricultural areas are protected from development, while others cannot be subdivided off except for one lot of not less than ten acres. Some farmers have been paid by the acre for signing protective easements that prohibit their farms from ever being developed.
Many historic homes, mills and farmhouses have not been so lucky. As a student of history and architecture, I have watched sadly for thirty years as our architectural heritage disappears.
The farm that this home once inhabited is now a small island with townhouses on one
historic homes: Coming Soon - 1760s Log Home!
- 07/27/07 09:59 AM
Back in May I posted a blog about an historic log house in Lancaster that was about to be restored by my client. I'm pleased to be able to report to you that the work is proceeding well, and that it won't be too long before the home will be available for purchase!
The house has a large addition in the rear with three bedrooms and a modern kitchen, The logs have been restained, water sealed and freshly mortared.
There is a private fenced yard in the rear. For updated imformation about the status and availability of this historic home, please feel
historic homes: Treasure Hunt at Rock Ford Plantation
- 07/19/07 11:03 AM
Saturday, July 21 will be a special day at the Rock Ford Plantation!
Members of Historic Lancaster Walking Tours, in eighteenth century costumes, will portray citizens of Lancaster during the revolutionary war. Lancaster was a thriving city even before the revolution.
"Hidden Treasures of Historic Lancaster" will be the theme of the one day program. Participants will be given driving directions and maps to eight historic locations. The clues given will lead to the identification of a famous spy!
Ice cream and refreshments will be served. This year marks the fiftieth year since the Junior League of Lancaster saved Rock