The biggest news I have for Delaware historic home lovers is that Stonum, the country home of George Read, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, is now on the market. We already have had some public attention from the local newspaper, and two TV stations. We have also been fortunate to have visits from both the staff of the George Read II house museum and the New Castle Historical Society, as well as the University of Delaware CHAD. Everyone has contributed their observations about how some of the features in the home may have been changed or moved and have promised more info to come. The buyers of this home begun in 1730 are going to be very lucky to have modern investigative studies updating the National Landmark nomination forms and the HABS forms from 1936. Readers of this newsletter are invited to contact me for an appointment to see Stonum.
The following four blog articles tell more of the history of Stonum.
1. Did G.W. sleep here? 2. Historic photos of Stonum. 3. Stonum's historic neighborhood. 4. George Read, man of means. (All on my Blog )
Elsewhere in Delaware:
"Historic Movie Theaters of Delaware" is the title of a program at the Delaware Public Archives in Dover on September 7 at 10:30 a.m. The speaker will be author Michael Nazarewycz covering the cinematic history of Delaware's movie theaters. The Archives are at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. North in Dover, near Legislative Hall. This will probably be part of a larger program in Dover, but their schedule was not available at press time.
The Hale-Byrnes House announces their September programs. On Saturday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. you can join the festivities at the annual Lafayette's Birthday covered dish dinner (probably outside on the back lawn along the river). Diane Shaw will speak on "Lafayette and Human Rights." Please bring food to share. Then, on Sunday, September 8 at 3 p.m. the This Place Matters series will present Cate Morrisey of U of D speaking on "Behind the Stucco Veneer: The Stone Houses of Delaware's Piedmont Region, 1750-1940". Co-sponsored by Cooch's Bridge DAR. For both programs, $5 at the door includes coffee and dessert. The address is 606 Stanton-Christiana Road, Newark, Delaware 19713.
Circle September 19, 20, and 21 --That's when Delaware's Div. of Historical & Cultural Affairs will hold their annual Chatauqua in Lewes. The subject is The 1960's in Delaware:A Decade of Turmoil and Transition. We went last year and can guarantee everything from serious scholarly work to a fun old-time radio show by live actors.
Saturday, September 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. you can visit the 47th annual Art on the Green in Old New Castle. This is an annual arts and crafts show in Battery Park on the banks of the Delawae River. See over 200 artists, crafters, and food vendors. Visit the New Castle Historical Society booth or the information center in the Arsenal (and maybe tour one of the house museums!). Admission and shuttle are free.
What better way to learn about Chester County furniture than from a regional expert? Join Skip Chalfant in a behind-the-scenes look at spice boxes, chairs, and other furniture crafted in this area at the Chester County Historical Society on Tuesday, September 10 from 2:00-3:30 PM. Admission: CCHS Members $8, Non-Members $16. RSVP by Sept. 3 610-692-4800. The CCHS is at 225 N. High St. in West Chester. See their complete calendar here.
Rittenhouse Square event--Join the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance and the Friends of Rittenhouse Square at 6:30 p.m. Weds. Sept. 11 for a tour of the Square, one of the 5 original public squares of Wm. Penn's "greene country towne." Trace the development of the park from part of the Governor' s Woods to one of Philadelphia's most beloved public spaces. Tickets and more information.
Kennett Square blast coming: On September 10th, Kennett Square Occupation Day will be held on the anniversary of the British occupation of Kennett Square which took place the day before the Battle of Brandywine, Sept 10, 1777. This event will commemorate the pivotal role Kennett Square played in the American War for Independence, as the encampment and staging area for the largest single day battle of the Revolution.
A study of the British Southern Approach Route was just completed in April 2019 and new information about troop movements, encampment sites specific to Kennett Square will be presented by Sean Moir. Before that presentation, there will be a presence on State Street including British soldiers, Hessians, other reactors of the time and a fife and drum team. Redcoats, including the 43rd of Foot, will help emphasize, to the local citizens, that they are under British Occupation, at least for one evening!
Put on your tri-corner hat and come out and be occupied! Hessian helmets for the first 10 kids.
5:00 to 7:00 Street presence: Fife and Drum march and re-enactors positioned along East State Street.
7:00 - 9:00 Presentation by Sean Moir, milling about and general merriment at Kennett Brewing Company. KBC is preparing mead and another Colonial period beer and Colonial food menu items. All reenactors get $1 off beer and mead.
9:00 - 11:30 Live Music by Ken Lawson
The Middletown Twp. Historical Society invites you to a free talk about the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition of 1926 in Philadelphia. Author Thomas H. Keels will explain how this disastrous climax of events came to be known as "Philadelphia's Forgotten Fair." The talk will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at Lima Estates, 411 N. Middletown Rd. in Media. PA.
Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m., you can join the New London Area Historical Society and the Franklin Twp. Historical Commission at a free talk by Ben Cody on "Setbacks and Successes: A History of Vines and Wines on the East Coast." It will be held at the New London Twp. building, 902 State Rd., Lincoln University PA.
Jumping ahead to the first Saturday in October, circle Oct. 5 for the much loved annual appearance of Chester County Day. Here's where you get a chance to see inside many private historic homes in this beautiful area of Pennsylvania. This year, it rotates to the Southeast quadrant (near West Chester). It's always a real treat to attend one of the pre-tour power point talks and choose the homes you want most to see (there are always too many choices to fit in the 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. time slot). Popular spots to see the preview on October 4 are either Longwood Gardens at 5, 6, and 7 p.m. (includes free admission to Gardens) or the beautiful West Chester Historic Courthouse at 2 N. High St. at 6 or 7:30 p.m. It all benefits the Chester County Hospital --which we are so lucky to have in our area. Oh, and for early risers who are into fox hunting, the Radnor Hunt starts at 9 a.m. Ticket details here. (Those are actual pictures from when the Hunt visited Radley Run last week and the dogs were a HOOT!)