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. But this year brought temperatures in the mid-80's. It was no problem in the morning, as we chose to visit the homes around Marshall Square park in the Boro. But the afternoon brought the heat, and getting from the parking in a nearby field (one of which was still full of foot long corn stalks) up and down hills to the houses proved to be a strain to those of us used to cooler temps for the trek.
But I digress--There were plenty of lovely gardens ranging from those in town with swimming pools tucked in gardens with mums, dahlias and crepe myrtles, cozy umbrella covered tables and winding paths to unusual ones carved into country hillsides with horses grazing in the distance. A new term to me was "periglacial marsh" (right) which required climbing up a steep path bordered on either side with grasses and the occasional scattering of colorful flowers.
We saw decorating schemes ranging from a toleware collector's home, one with heirloom desk and bookcases, shining banquet size antique tables and Windsor chairs, to the country homes with walk-in fireplaces and views of rolling Chester County hills seen from porches. Tourgoers are not allowed to take pictures inside the homes, so you will have to take my word for the interiors recalling the way the homes looked 200 years ago.
Presented by Carolyn Roland, Your Older and Historic Homes Resource, serving Delaware and Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.