historic homes: Lemon Hill Mansion a Philadelphia Treasure - 12/29/17 02:46 PM

Yesterday, a friend and I visited 5 historic homes decorated for Christmas located in historic Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. The first home we saw was Lemon Hill, whose history includes what was once a working farm above the Schuylkill River owned by Robert Morris, merchant, entrepreneur and financier. signer of both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
 
The next owner was Henry Pratt, a merchant, who built the current house in 1800, which he named “Lemon Hill” after the lemon trees in what had been the Morris family's  greenhouse. That structure included an apartment for a caretaker who kept the furnace … (1 comments)

historic homes: Chester County Day Historic Home Tour - 10/08/17 01:50 PM

 
October 7 was the first Saturday in October, and local historic home fans know what that means--it's Chester County Day's 77th annual house tour. (left Franklin St. home)      
  
 
 
For many years, a friend and I have been showing up the night before at the historic Chester County courthouse in West Chester Pennsylvania for the preview slide show to decide which of the 31 sites we want to visit. There is no way to see them all, so you need to choose the homes which you find most appealing.
 
 
It's usually cool and breezy, sometimes rainy on "The Day" as it's called. … (2 comments)

historic homes: Longwood Gardens Lights Up The Night With Music - 07/08/17 07:03 PM
This summer guests to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania get a chance to see the fountains that have been totally rebuilt and that were under construction for a couple of years. I have been watching progress from 2015, when the old fountains had their statuary removed for preservation and the site was bulldozed.
 
What a change last night to see all the new features. You can now walk around the upper plaza and fountains and go down into where the old pumps are on display that once powered the water display. A new grotto has been built with water cascading down … (0 comments)

historic homes: The Rich History of West Chester, Pennsylvania - 06/16/17 08:35 PM
Chester County originally included present-day Delaware, Lancaster, and Berks counties. In 1729, Lancaster County was formed, creating the western boundary of Chester County. In 1752, a northern boundary was established with the creation of Berks County. With the drawing of the Mason-Dixon Line in 1764, Chester County's southern border was determined.
Shortly after, residents began to petition to have the county seat removed from Chester. Not until 1786, however, was permission granted and the first court convened at Turk's Head.  Two years later, the county seat of Turk's Head was renamed the county seat of West Chester.
Last night, West Chester … (2 comments)

historic homes: The Historic Buildings of Bermuda - 02/05/16 02:04 AM
Settled since 1609 by voyagers from England and claimed by the Crown since then, Bermuda is a mix of cultures still retaining the distinctive touch of the British Empire.  Although friends advised me to wait until warmer weather, I was ready for a trip to this island 995 miles from the shores of South Carolina. (left, Royal Dockyard) It was interesting to me that the limestone blocks from which the buildings and walls on either side of many roads resemble the “tabby” from which many buildings in Savannah Georgia are built. They contain bits of coral and it turns out that … (2 comments)

historic homes: Tiffany Lamps and the Women Who Created Them - 09/27/15 01:18 AM
The current featured exhibit at Winterthur Museum and Gardens is Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light. When I visited recently, it was interesting to note the difference between this exhibit and the Tiffany exhibit and the traveling exhibit from the same collection (The Egon and Hildegard Neustadt Collection) that was held at the nearby Delaware Art Museum in 1999. (left, Wisteria Lamp)
That exhibit contained 40 Tiffany lamps, compared to the 20 in this exhibit. I just remember being enchanted with the spacious feel of the exhibition at the time and the sheer embarrassment of riches. That memory probably spoiled … (4 comments)

historic homes: September 2015 Historic Homes E Newsletter - 08/30/15 12:38 PM
September 2015 Historic Homes E NewsletterShugart’s Sunday is happening in Historic Sugartown PA starting at 2 p.m. on September 13. In 1804, Eli Shugart opened a tavern to serve weary travelers. Though he only stayed two years, the village became known as “Shugart’s Town.” He must have thrown a great party!  Beneath the amazing backdrop of Historic Sugartown’s General Store and Worrall House, Shugart’s Sunday will feature a festive afternoon with live local bluegrass and mouth-watering barbecue. The day offers down-home family fun with an afternoon full of music, food and family activities at the beautifully restored village corner. Sugartown is … (0 comments)

historic homes: Birchrunville PA, the Town that Progress Passed By - 07/29/14 07:03 AM
Birchrunville is one of the most intact historic villages of Chester County. It is an example of a 19th Century village where tradesmen and millers lived in a symbiotic relationship with the farmers whose land surrounded the village. Its people supported a nearby iron mining settlement and its roads carried tradesmen and ore to Branson’s Vincent Forge on the French Creek.        
On a recent Town Tour sponsored by Chester County, our guide told us that the marshy and hilly land was only suitable for farming and horses, which is why developers passed it by. As I left, my GPS … (2 comments)

historic homes: Carolyn Roland's Historic Homes News for January 2014 - 12/31/13 12:14 AM
January 2014 Historic Homes E Newsletter From Carolyn Roland  
Civil rights, slavery and Delaware in the 1940s to be featured at State of Delaware museums in January.Highlights include “Civil Rights: A Dream Deferred: The Past to the Present” at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan 4 at The Old State House (above)  located at 25 The Green in Dover. Presented by Dr. James Newton, University of Delaware professor emeritus of Black American Studies, the program will include a screening of the 2007 documentary film “A Dream Deferred: Remembering the 1968 Occupation” which depicts the rioting that took place in Wilmington, Del. after … (2 comments)

historic homes: Chester County Day Sends Intrepid Old House Buffs Off On A Hunt - 10/12/13 03:22 AM
Saturday, October 5, 2013 saw guests traveling to see historic homes and sites on the Annual Chester County Day scrambling to find these hidden treasures. Each year, on the first Saturday of October, the organizers concentrate on a different quarter of the county, plus historic homes in West Chester, Pennsylvania,  the county seat. My friend and I chose to start outside of town and travel to the farthest points around Coatesville and beyond.  One of the problems we found was that the red arrows which used to be a familiar feature in the past pointing you to the next home, were few … (1 comments)

historic homes: Much Ado About Nothing Was Really Something! - 06/10/13 07:19 AM
 
I had heard about the Arden Shakespeare Gild and the plays presented every summer in a small ampitheater outdoors next to The Green. When friends invited me to join them to see this outdoor version of "Much Ado About Nothing" it turned out to be a fun evening.
It had rained on opening night the day before, so we saw their first performance of the season, and it turned out to be: well cast, well rehearsed, and well-costumed. Beatrice and Benedict were well suited and played as the acid-tongued pair who turn out to be secretly in love with … (4 comments)

historic homes: Learn About New Variety of Chestnut Trees in Bethel Township Tuesday - 01/27/13 11:09 PM
Bethel Township Preservation Society presents Special Guest Speaker Albert Eelman 7:30 PM at the John L. Myers Memorial  Township Building, 1082 Bethel Road Garnet Valley, PA 19060 Tuesday January 29th. Albert Eelman is a long‐time member of the American Chestnut Foundation and past  president of the PA chapter.  The foundation's mission is to restore the  American Chestnut tree to the Appalachian forests.  The American Chestnut was completely wiped out from Maine to Georgia between 1904 and 1940.  The rapid spread of the blight wiped out one‐quarter of all the hardwoods in the eastern United States. They are breeding a tree that … (0 comments)

historic homes: Bethel Twp. Preservation Society Brings DE County History to Life - 01/27/13 02:38 AM
I’d like to say a few words about the good folks at the Bethel Township Preservation Society. Although they are just 5 minutes across the PA/DE state line from my home, I had never attended one of their events. I knew that one of my former clients now living in a Delaware Historic Home, the Penny House, was a member because of her past ties, but it was a nice occasion at their Open House on Saturday to get acquainted with the Society members and see some of their artifacts, slides, and albums (and sample some of Lois’ delicious pizzelles!). Pictured … (2 comments)

historic homes: Holiday Parties Shown at Winterthur Museum - 12/19/12 03:53 AM
I promised you more pictures from the Yuletide at Winterthur tour, and here they are. The first picture is of a party inspired by the Hudson River Valley tales of Washington Irving. The staff has changed the look of this room and added an early court cupboard from the early period rooms at the museum.  
A room that formerly held New York furniture features a table set à la Russe. Service à la russe (French, "service in the Russian style") is a manner of dining that involves courses being brought to the table sequentially. It contrasts with service à la … (6 comments)

historic homes: Green News:Young Preservationist Proves Replacement Windows Not Better - 11/22/12 11:12 PM
The window salesman who stopped by the 1917 Dutch Colonial home of Ann and Gary Linley probably has no idea that he was the inspiration for a sixth-grade science fair project. But after 12-year-old Daniel Linley of Elkhart, Ind. overheard his father turn down the salesman’s pitch to replace his historic sash-and-storm windows with new double-paned windows, he had an idea. “I asked my dad why he didn’t buy the new windows, and Dad said our old windows were better,” says Daniel. “I didn’t believe him, so he challenged me to prove him wrong.” With his father’s help, Daniel set out … (8 comments)

historic homes: Patriot's Day and Battle of the Brandywine Re-Enactment This Week - 11/19/12 02:12 AM
Right across the state line between Delaware and Pennsylvania, is the Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site. This site commemorates the battle on September 7, 1777 when General Washington believed British General Howe would cross the Brandywine Creek at Chadds Ford, so he massed his troops there. But Howe outflanked his foe, and Washington had to retreat. This Saturday, November 24th, a wide variety of activities and interactive programs will take  place at the Battlefield. George Washington (!) will give a lecture, there will be a continental encampment (at left) with soldiers, a gunsmith, blacksmith, carpenter, tours  of Washington's headquarters building, musket drilling, firing … (2 comments)

historic homes: Wilmington Riverfront Imax Opening in Time for James Bond - 10/15/12 11:22 AM
I was down at Wilmington’s Riverfront the other day and could not believe all the action going on that had appeared in the last month.  First, the main entrance to the Chase Center, which had the Home Show this weekend, was totally blocked off, with access through a side set of doors.  Why?  It looks like the long talked about Westin Hotel is under construction, and will be attached to the Center.                           
   
 Then, I wandered towards the train station to see how the new Imax theater is doing.  It is scheduled to open Nov. 8, coinciding with … (4 comments)

historic homes: Chester County Day 2012 a Real WOW! - 10/09/12 05:16 AM
Every year for 72 yers, the Chester County Hospital has gathered together people who willingly give their time, talent, and open their homes to hundreds of people interested in historic homes on the first Saturday in October, Chester County Day.This year was no different. There were 34 Historic Homes and places of interest included on the ticket. Homes ranged from the earliest, c. 1702, to a 2007 home using recycled materials. And believe me, that home really had some antique parts. It was hard to look at the battered black and white floor tiles from an English home and not believe … (2 comments)

historic homes: Historic Homes in Chester County to be Featured on 72nd Annual House Tour - 09/30/12 10:11 AM
Chester County Day ™ - A Chester County Tradition The annual Chester County Day House Tour is the oldest house tour in the nation. This year, on Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 10 am to 5 pm,you will experience Chester County's finest examples of original, reclaimed, restored, new and historically significant homes. While you are enjoying "The Day," you will also be supporting The Chester County Hospital in its ongoing mission to bring world-class care close to home. If you love architecture, artistry and antiques, you won't want to miss this premier house tour.
The picture on the right was taken … (2 comments)

historic homes: Deck Stain, Wood Shingles, and Other Old House Mistakes - 08/09/12 05:04 AM
Last week, Preservation Delaware hosted Preservation Weekend in Old New Castle, Delaware. One of the speakers was Richard Byrne, an Architectural Conservator from Staunton, Virginia. After many years of experience, Mr. Byrne had some definite views about preserving older and historic homes. One of his strongly emphasized statements was that wood needs an opaque coating to preserve the cambium of the wood siding or decking. I had heard home inspectors recommend coating decks with stain, but Byrne strongly disagrees with this advice. "Paint, Paint!" and no alternatives, he advised. Along with this, his mantra included keeping wood in good repair, correctly … (2 comments)

 
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Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA

Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Wilmington, DE

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