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 and far between. Luckily, they have decided to include addresses, so we could use my GPS (which didn't agree with the few crossroads red arrows we did find).
Anyway, the stars of "The Day" were the historic homes, ranging from very early 18th Century stone homes to the sophisticated Terracina, the 1849 home of Isabella Lukens. Lukens mother, Rebecca, was the guiding force behind Lukens Steel and a force of nature when women almost never ran industrial concerns, especially of the scale of this steel mill. Interestingly, Rebecca's own 1750 home is cordoned off next to Terracina, in a rather deplorable state. There are 10 sites in Coatesville now part of the "National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum."
The historic homes on the tour are all staffed by volunteers, and we always go the night before to the Chester County Historical Society to see the power point of all the houses on the tour and choose the ones we most want to see, since no human being could possible see all of them, and some of them have lines waiting to get in (the tiny houses that can only fit a half dozen people at a time cut down the number of homes, plus only a few historic homes were within walking distance of one another, the rest being miles apart). You can see one gentleman above who is directing traffic and looks like he could remember early days of the tour, but not the first one 74 years ago. We were promised a real doozie next year for number 75, and I am looking forward to that!
Looking for a HISTORIC HOME for sale in Chester County, or Delaware County Pennsylvania or New Castle County, Delaware? Contact Carolyn Roland.