carolyn roland historic homes: A Peek at site of Delaware's only Rev War Battle - 09/25/22 09:29 AM
After years of wondering what was hidden behind the civil war cannons south of Newark, Delaware, I finally got a spot on a tour of the Cooch's Bridge Historic Site.  The homestead and 10 acres were donated to  the State Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs a few years ago by the Cooch family. The 1769 house has been owned by the family since it was built, and being Delaware, I have been acquainted with a couple of them for years.  It was the site of the Sept. 1777 Revolutionary War battle (details here). There is a lot of conserved land still … (4 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Longwood Gardens undergoing changes - 08/13/22 10:55 AM
A visit to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square  PA found big construction changes going on with the buildings, which will be interesting to follow on their website.
But it also featured the restored orchid room, with it's ever popular flowers, and a light installation by Bruce Munro. We only had time to see the installations inside the Conservatory. One was made of plastic bottles with fiber optic cables inside to change the lights, and the other was a sea of metal discs with fleeting shadows on the surface.
As for the … (5 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: A Closer Look at Winterthur Museum - 07/11/22 02:55 PM
A recent rainy day brought me  inside Winterthur Museum for what is called the "Closer Look" tour. It turns out that up to 5 people can take a look at whatever your guide (ours was Barbara) feels like showing you. That explains the eclectic assortment of rooms we visited. The photo above is either called the "go big or go home" or "bordello red."  Since the room settings go up to the 1870's, it's at the top range as far as periods go.  Another room we saw was museum founder Henry Francis duPont's bedroom (much more conservative). And he didn't lack … (3 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: A Must-See Town: West Chester PA - 06/10/22 07:13 AM
Last night, Chester County PA brought the crowds out for the first Town Tour in 3 years. Traditionally opening the series in West Chester with remarks by local officials, this year's special guest was citizen-scientist and Ben Franklin friend, Humphry Marshall who is celebrating his 300th birthday this year. Poor guy had to stand to receive citations while all the officials sat on the platform.  We had a choice of 7 possible tours and presenters who set us on our way on a beautiful evening in West Chester.  I chose to tour the northeast quadrant of town, which is loaded with … (4 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Day in Old New Castle with record heat - 05/22/22 08:15 AM
Many years (other than the last 3 years when the tour was not held) we worried about rain impacting this oldest house and garden tour. This year it was the heat in the upper 90's which wilted this tour-goer.  Our first garden was at the old RR station where we sat in the secret garden and looked at the Delaware River and the steamy view (picture above).  An appropriate plant found in one garden was a cactus, not usually found in a lot of gardens here. But my friend Diane and I did get a chance to play "what's that plant," and … (6 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Spring in bloom at Winterthur - 04/13/22 06:12 AM
Winterthur Museum and Gardens is using Mr. duPont's idea of directing visitors to the best views every day by posting arrows (one in shadow above).  The bluebells are gathered around below to welcome us.
On my wandering yesterday, I noted that the windflowers (a type of anemone) were vying for attention all over the place.
The pathways were lined with these blue or white flowers.
All in all, I'd call it just a beautiful spring day in the woods.

carolyn roland historic homes: Historic Wilmington House Sold - 04/07/22 05:48 AM
The historic Penny House on the old King's Highway in Wilmington, Delaware is now in the hands of a new owner.
This 1749 stone home was owned by the Penny brothers, who were cabinetmakers. It later became the home of Robert Shaw, a famous local artist. Then James Warner Bellah lived there (he wrote "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" which became a John Wayne movie).
During the Revolutionary War, troops passed this way going to and from Philadelphia. George Washington is said to have stopped at the spring for a cool drink of water. The present-day appraiser of the property called the … (6 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Driehaus Collection of Tiffany works at the Delaware Art Museum - 04/03/22 04:13 PM
I was excited to attend the opening at the Delaware Art Museum of their celebration of Tiffany works from a collection I visited when in Chicago several years ago. This Chicago collection was so varied and large that if I had seen any of these pieces, they were jammed into my memory along with thousands of other pieces of architecture, furniture, and artwork.(photos: Garden Landscape window and Wisteria lamp with openwork at top)
The current Wilmington exhibit,  Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection features more than 60 objects, spanning over 30 years of Tiffany’s prolific career. The exhibition showcases Tiffany’s … (2 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Give me an old-fashioned plant any time - 03/29/22 08:35 AM
Talk about an agreeable plant for all locations (at least anywhere in my yard), look for Sprirea or Bridal Wreath Spirea (Spiraea prunifolia)
It's an old fashioned plant I longed for when establishing my garden, and it has not disappointed me. All it needs is a little trimming after its jolly white blooms fade and the plant recedes into the background with its little green leaves not asking for attention.  And if you ever hear of a nearby bride looking for a floral crown in early spring, send them my way! It's the least I can do, right? … (3 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Finally some blooms in my garden - 03/13/22 09:08 AM
I have been patiently waiting for something to bloom for a month. I know that in the past, the daffodils would be showing their bright yellow faces by now, but nothing but buds can I see.  Then I decided to clean up the hellebore bed the other day, and what should I see but their downward facing blooms were hiding under last year's large leaves, now brown and ready to be removed.  I didn't get the whole bed cleaned out before yesterday's snowfall, but at least these shy flowers are on my radar. … (8 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Art Mixes with History in New Castle - 01/02/22 04:54 PM
The c. 1800 George Read II House in Old New Castle, Delaware is trying to shed the "stuffy museum" image with its "Lit for the Holidays" exhibit.  Last night, I visited this after dark special activity and found the really off center to the beautiful on exhibit. 
We start out in the garden with a holiday themed greenery work designed by artist/guide Heidi Benson (sorry but not all the artist info is online and someone corrected the name I had here. Wish they would have had it on their website.) who told the story about a couple of children living in … (2 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Foggy Day in New Castle Town - 01/01/22 09:14 PM
I took a walk on New Year's Day in the old Colonial Capital of Delaware. It took on a whole different look in the late day fog. Battery Park on the Delaware River was like a scene in a movie (with lots of dry ice in the picture).
The old ticket office from the 1830's New Castle and Frenchtown railway  had a ghostly appearance. Or was it that this new day for a new year, 2022, was trying to tell me to remember the ghosts of past events on this spot?  Your guess is as good as mine!

carolyn roland historic homes: Twilight on the Brandywine - 12/30/21 06:16 PM
Last night, a friend and I went on a twilight tour of the 1803  Eleutherian Mills, the duPont mansion on the Brandywine River above the old powder works.  It was decorated for the holidays as it might have been when Louise duPont Crowninshield and her husband, Frank lived in the 1920's and 30's.
Having grown up in what is now Winterthur Museum, this gal knew her stuff when it came to architecture and antiques. The house tour included the morning room, set up for cookies and tea, surrounded by train related items beloved by the master of the house, including … (4 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Yuletide at Winterthur 2021 - 12/21/21 09:57 PM
Nancy McDaniel's dollhouse, built in 1985 was again featured during the Yuletide tour at  Winterthur. The dollhouse's late owner's portrait is hanging in the miniature dining room. This 18 room replica contains over 1000 objects, including needlepoint rugs she made for the rooms.
 It was not easy finding an opening to see the tour this year--people are starved for activities and this masked only self-guided tour with stationary guides in each room was very popular.  But if you came to see if the tour incorporated any changes this year, you would be pleased to see that you get to see sections … (2 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Old Fashioned Market Fair on Dover Green - 11/07/21 09:34 AM
It was a perfect day for the annual Market Fair on the Green in front of Delaware's original "Old State House" in Dover. Built in 1791, this was where the Legislature once met in the State Capital.  We began in the State House, where a very serious performance was about to take place with costumed actors in the courtroom portraying Dr. Sykes and Dr. Tilton who shushed me into place in their "waiting room" full of patients. Dr. Tilton brought up "patients" and volunteers to portray makers and mixers of cure elixirs. Unfortunately, the drug turned out to have been stretched … (4 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Delaware's Dia de los Muertos - 10/30/21 04:21 PM
Although I never did find a written program for today's Delaware Art Museum celebration of Dia de los Muertos, the sights and sounds were vivid enough to keep me interested.  Recorded music was playing in the park behind the museum and the parking lot was full (got the last parking place back in the woods), and people were visiting the tents of the exhibitors with their colorful wares of jewelry and textiles. 
Soon a  mariachi band was playing lively music--I love it when the trumpet joins in. They started a groovy beat that brought out line-dancing bystanders and costumed people, all … (1 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Is Lucy a ghost or just a ghost story? - 10/28/21 12:47 PM
Round about this time of year, some of us are gathering around the old fire pit, roasting marshmallows and telling a few tall tales.  Lucy might well be one subject spoken about in these parts.Back in 1993, the local Crossroads paper published a story about a certain little girl and an historic home, the Penny House, at 235 Philadelphia Pike in Wilmington, Delaware. Well, the family who lived in the house for 20 years has put the home on the market, and this could be an appropriate time to mention this tale. The original Penny Farm stretched for many acres and … (4 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: The Hidden Log Tavern in Hockessin - 10/18/21 06:34 PM
According to the Hockessin (Delaware) Historical Society,  if you’d passed a certain plain, stuccoed house in Hockessin in the 1990s, you probably wouldn’t have noticed it, I certainly never did. And I certainly didn't suspect that it contained a 1790s log tavern. But in the years around 1800, Tweed’s Tavern was an important layover stop for carters and others traveling between the Delaware River and the grain farms and gristmills farther inland. (photo-Tweeds on right, museum on left)
In 2000, assessment work ahead of road construction uncovered Tweed’s Tavern, hidden within a house that had been modified regularly in the two … (3 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: 80th Annual Chester County Day Tour a winner - 10/04/21 05:02 PM
It was a beautiful, sunny day October 2--perfect for this long-running Pennsylvania house tour. With 23 homes to choose from, we decided to start with those around Everhart Square in the Borough of West Chester. And what a winner the Paxson house on Union St. was. Built in 1850 and owned by the same family today, it highlighted the talents of the owner.  He builds finials for lightning rods, but has become a self taught cabinet maker, creating doors, paneled walls, wainscoting, and period furniture in the home. One piece I particularly appreciated seemed to be a copy of a high … (5 comments)

carolyn roland historic homes: Healing herbs, Winterthur's got it all! - 06/26/21 04:28 PM
Successfully threading my way through a day with occasional rain, I made my first visit in several weeks to Winterthur Museum and Gardens.  After a rather silly encounter with a woman staffing the visitor center, who told me I needed a mask for the couple of feet I traversed through the visitor center (then said I didn't need one as I went out another door a second later), I proceeded mask free on my hour and a half walk through the gardens.
This was a great day for different types of hydrangeas, ranging from the Oak Leaf Hydrangeas to the Smooth … (6 comments)

Carolyn Roland- In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS  (Independent architectural histor'n)

Carolyn Roland- In Delaware and S. Chester County PA

Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Wilmington, DE

More about me…

Independent architectural histor'n

Address: Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate, 7234 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, DE, 19707

Office: (302) 239-3000

Mobile: (302) 593-5111

View Carolyn Roland's profile




RSS 2.0 Feed for this blog