CFHS Barn and Visitors Center 1736 Creek Road, Chadds Ford - The Chadds Ford Historical Society (CFHS) Barn and Visitors Center was designed in 1991 by architect John Milner and will be open from 1:00pm to 6pm during the Candlelight Christmas Tour. Stop in to purchase your tickets, get you map and start the tour!
John Chads House-circa 1725 - This stone home built for John Chads by John Wyeth Jr, was constructed around the year 1725. The style and appointments of the house as we know it today suggests moderate wealth. Its simplicity reflects Chads Quaker heritage. In 1729, about 4 years after the house was completed, Chads married Elizabeth Richardson, and the house of Brandywine bluestone became their home. John died in 1760, leaving his widow the use of the house and 40 acres. Although Elizabeth never had children, her nieces and nephews were attentive to her needs. The widow Chads stood fast during the Battle of the Brandywine, “burying (sic) Her Silver Spoons Daily in her Packet 9pocket0 until the Danger was over.”
The Sanderson Museum - This Amazing Museum houses over 200 years of American history. The Sanderson Museum has a rich collection of objects relating to life in Chadds Ford as well as an extensive collection of memorabilia representing the American experience. Visitors to the museum will uncover artifacts from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, both World Wars, and learn about the Battle of the Brandywine along with local lore. Chris Sanderson and the Wyeth family shared a love of the chads Ford area. See original sketches from N.C.Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, Peter Hurd and other Wyeth family members.
2 Chadwyck Lane - A private drive welcomes you to this gracious Tudor that sits atop 5.57 acres with incredible views of the rolling hills of historic Chadds Ford. Meticulous details were carefully planned and executed combining old world charm with split timbers and a beautiful flowing floor plan including today's amenities in this 9300+ square foot estate. Outside includes beautiful views and multiple stone patios.
Walker House - At the corner of Chandler and Pocopson roads in historic Pennsbury Township lies an original 1850's farm that is a historically unique 21st century family estate. The property includes a modernized stone farm house with a pasture view and a charming stone spring house that provided the farm water. Portions of an original barn foundation remain along with a renovated poultry barn that is a large workroom and is used for equipment storage. An aquifer fed pond has fish, croaking frogs and a beautiful island for swans. The farmhouse features a modernized kitchen with beamed cathedral ceilings and abundant sunlight and a charming mud room. A Great room with bar, bath and fireplace opens to a deck overlooking serene view of the pond and springhouse..
Barns-Brinton House, 1714 - In the early 1700’s, blacksmith William Barns foresaw the need for a tavern on “ye Great Road to Nottingham” which was then a major highway between Philadelphia and Maryland. So in 1714, he built a spacious brick building that was to become a tavern. With a diamond-patterned gable and Flemish bond brickwork accentuated with black headers, the handsome building was aptly fitted for use as a tavern. There was a private side for the Barns family and a barroom with sleeping quarters above for weary travelers. Further evidence of the buildings use as a tavern exists in the cellar. Barns received his first license for a Tavern in 1722 and operated it for “yea accommodation for man and horse” until his death in 1731. The house changes owners several times after Barns death. In 1753, the house and farmland were purchased by James Brinton, grandson of William Brinton, one of the earliest settlers in the area. He was the owner in 1777 during the Battle of the Brandywine.
Daniel Pierce House, circa 1702 - This lovely stone farmhouse was built by John Hope and is one of the earliest buildings in Pennsbury Township. A harmonious blend of old and new, the residence sits on four sprawling acres. By 1714, Quaker Farmer John Hope had amassed 700 acres on the Great Nottingham Road. The main house, known as "The Daniel Pierce House", in addition to, the tenant house on the property and the Pennsbury Inn were known as The John Hope Complex. The main house was sold to Quaker Joshua Pierce in 1769. The tenant house was sold to doctor and purveyor, Joseph Pierce in 1769.
The Fairville Inn, circa 1800’s - The Fairville Inn Bed and Breakfast, with its elegantly appointed rooms and suites is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as part of the Fairville Historic District in Pennsbury Township. Although the historical records are inconsistent, the Inn's Main House was most likely built between 1825 and 1837. The original summer kitchen with root cellar remains as well. The Inn has been home to members of many of southern Chester County's early families, including Mendenhall, Pyle, Trimble, Sharpless, and others. James Trimble was a relative of Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe. His wife was sister to Ellwood Mendenhall, a prominent figure in the town that bears the family name.
The Cameron House, 1929 - In 1929 Major K. K. V. Casey bought 50 acres on the Kennett Pike on which to build his home. At that time, his friend H. F. DuPont was building his country house at Winterthur using the nationally known architect Albert Ely Ives. Major Casey decided to use the same architect. The main wing of the Tudor Revival house is of stucco with window surrounds and corners of limestone. Secondary portions are built in exposed timber and stucco in Tudor style, or of red brick, all covered by terra cotta roofs. Most windows are leaded glass. Major Casey later sold his property to the Bond Family who remained in it until the 1980’s. The house then had several owners who sold off parts of the property and the house had deteriorated.
When the Cameron family bought the property in 1997 the 50 acres was now 4.7 and the house was not in good condition. After many years of restoration done by the Cameron Family members, the house has become a free venue for local non-profit organizations’ benefits which include the Kennett Symphony, the Bayard Taylor Library and the Chadds Ford Historical Society.
Pennsbury Mill, 1919 - The charming Mill was constructed in 1919. A hydroelectric mill, it was built by the Danby’s to supply electric to the house. According to the Danby’s, Thomas Edison, who was a relative of Mrs. Danby, played some part in the construction and design of the Mill. The original meters and controls remain intact inside a dining room cabinet of the Williams property. The mill was donated to Pennsbury Township by the former owners and later restored.
Chadds Ford Historical Society’s Candlelight Christmas Holiday House Tour. Enjoy this self-guided tour of beautiful homes and historic sites in Chadds Ford and Pennsbury townships. Visit CountyLinesMagazine.com for a description of the houses on this year’s tour. Dec. 5, 1 to 6. $20 advance; $25 day of tour at the Chadds Ford Historical Society, 1736 N. Creek Rd., Chadds Ford. 610-388-7376; ChaddsFordHistory.org.
Newtown Historic Association Holiday House Tour. Visit five private residences on the tour, all dressed up in their holiday best. Dec. 5, 10 to 4. $30. For tickets visit NewtownHistoric.org.
West Chester Public Library’s Holiday Home Tour. The library presents a walking tour of ten elegant homes in the northeastern section of the borough, all beautifully decorated for the holidays. Dec. 5, 10 to 3. Tickets at the Library, 415 N. Church St., West Chester or online. $30–$40. 610-696-1721; WCPublicLibrary.org.
Candlelight Holiday Tour in Phoenixville. Homes and churches decorated for the season, plus crafts, music and refreshments. Benefits programs at Firebird Children’s Theatre and Phoenix Village Art Center. Dec. 5, 3 to 7 pm. Tickets and programs, after 2:30 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 121 Church St., Phoenixville, $20-$25. 610-933-9181; PhoenixvilleHistoricalSociety.org.
6th Annual Strasburg Holiday Tour of Homes. Visit decorated homes in Historic Strasburg and stroll down Main Street to enjoy the shops, craft market and light fare and bid on silent auction items. Benefits restoration of historic buildings. Dec. 5, 10 to 4. First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 101 S. Decatur St. $20. 717-687-9039; StrasburgHeritageSociety.org.
Friends of Chester Springs Library Christmas House Tour & Holiday Reception. Tour beautifully decorated homes followed by a holiday reception at The Montgomery School, 4:30 to 6. Includes holiday cheer and light supper. Dec. 6, 1 to 4:30. Tickets at the library, 1685 Art School Rd., and Gardner’s Landscape Nursery, Chester Springs. Advance sales only. $45. 610-724-2925; Friends-CSL.com.
The Spirit of Christmas in New Castle, DE. A full day of concerts, house tours, re-enactments, crafts, shopping, refreshments and sharing the Christmas Spirit. Dec. 12, 9:30 to 5:30. Brochures at New Castle Presb. Church, 25 E. Second St., New Castle, DE. Free. 302-328-3279; NewCastlePresChurch.org.
A beloved holiday tradition with many performances around County Lines Country. Dec. 11–31, Pennsylvania Ballet, 215-551-7000; PABallet.org. Dec. 11–13, 17, 19, 20, Brandywine Ballet, 610-696-2711; BrandywineBallet.org. Dec. 12, Moscow Ballet, 610-252-3132; Nutcracker.com. Dec. 12, Academy of International Ballet, 866-908-5666; AcademyBalletRU.com. Dec. 12–13, Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance, 800-338-0881; ThePlayhouseDE.org. Dec. 17, 19 & 20, Chester County Ballet, 610-431-2333; HarrisonDanceStudios.com. Dec. 19–20, First State Ballet, 800-37-GRAND; TicketsAtTheGrand.org. Dec. 19–20, Central PA Youth Ballet, 717-534-3405; HersheyTheatre.com.
Concerts, Dance & Parties
“A Christmas Journey” Victorian Magic Lantern Show
The Magic Lantern showman takes you on a Christmas journey using music, comedy, drama and gorgeous images projected on the big screen. Plain & Fancy Theater, Bird-In-Hand. MagicLanternTheater.com.
Vox Ama Deus: Dec. 4, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., Chestnut Hill, 7 p.m. Dec. 6, Daylesford Abbey, 220 S. Valley Rd., Paoli. 4 p.m. Dec. 20, St. Katharine of Siena Church, Lancaster & Aberdeen Aves., Wayne, 4 p.m. $10-$25. 610-688-2800; VoxAmaDeus.org. Ursinus College: Dec. 5, Bomberger Hall Auditorium, 601 E. Main St., Collegeville. Sat., 7:30 p.m., Sun., 2:30 p.m. Adm. 610-409-3000; Ursinus.edu.
Ballet 180 Presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
A holiday production set to Vince Guaraldi’s classic soundtrack. Rosemont College, McShain Performing Arts Center, 1400 Montgomery Ave., Rosemont. 3 pm. $15–$30. 484-639-9571; Ballet180.org.
Midnight in the Square & Mushroom Drop
Historic Kennett Square drops a 700-pound, 8-foot, lighted, steel mushroom to welcome in the New Year! 888-440-9920; MushroomFestival.org.
The Playhouse on Rodney Square & The Grand Opera House
The Playhouse on Rodney Square: Dec. 1–6, Annie, directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro, this is a new incarnation of the iconic original, $40–$95. Dec. 9, Swing’n the Holidays, energetic renditions of Christmas classics and fresh arrangements of swing/jive/R&B classics by The Jive Aces from London, 2 p.m. $39. Dec. 20, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis, a holiday tradition of Christmas music with dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting, 3 and 7:30 p.m., $55–80. The Playhouse on Rodney Square, 1007 N. Market St., Wilmington. 302-888-0200; ThePlayhouseDE.org.
The Grand Opera House: Dec. 12, Charlie Brown Christmas, the Eric Mintel Quartet returns with their special Charlie Brown Jazz Holiday concert, 7 p.m., $26. Dec. 16, Cherish The Ladies Celtic Christmas, an evening that includes a spectacular blend of virtuoso instrumental talents, beautiful vocals and arrangements and stunning step dancing, 8 p.m., $27–$33. 818 N. Market St. Wilmington. 800-37-GRAND; TheGrandWilmington.org.
Additional Feature - West Chester Events (PDF Download)
The Place to Fill Your Holiday Wish List
The 5 Senses. Photo by Timlyn Vaughan
If you haven’t been in downtown West Chester in a while, it’s time to get into the holiday spirit, hit the historic sidewalks, and check out new offerings in boutique-land.
Many downtown merchants are helping to make giving gifts that someone actually wants much easier by using Holiday Wish Lists. These helpful lists—complete with the name and location of participating stores—let the wisher write in desired items and then place in a strategic spot for a potential gift giver to discover. Win-win and wishes fulfilled!
Now is the time to explore …
New to Town
Brand new to downtown West Chester is Old Soul Décor, 119 W. Market St.; OldSoulDecor.com. The shop, owned by PA Academy of the Fine Arts grad Krystal Reinhard and antique furniture dealer Josh Unruh, occupies a sunny, gallery-like space with walls of bead-board and brick. Period antiques occupy the welcoming gallery space alongside early-1980s furnishings and accessories. The showroom’s specialties include mid-century modern furniture, throw pillows made onsite, and old chairs and settees reupholstered in vintage grain sacks, linen or cowhide. Plus fair-trade Kenyan hand towels, Brooklyn-made soy candles and vintage jewelry.
Another exciting store is Beau Étre, 148 W. Gay St.; BeauEtre.com, the intimate and beautiful apothecary bed and bath store that embodies the essence of cozy comfort and luxurious relaxation. The name means “beautiful being” and captures the spirit of femininity for the modern woman who has a “refined sense of wellness.” You’ll find products like Silvanus, Beau Étre’s very own organic line of body care products customized and formulated right inside the store. With more than a dozen products and 44 scents, the aromatic possibilities are endless.
Changes to Check Out
Old Soul Décor. Photo by Timlyn Vaughan
“I have a passion for jewelry and enjoy working with people to help them design or purchase jewelry that fulfills a personal need in their lives,” says Lisa Kaplan, co-owner of Kaplan’s Fine Jewelry, 111 W. Market St.; KaplansFineJewelry.com. A downtown destination for decades, the jewelry store suffered a brief closing after a fire in an adjoining structure, but Kaplan’s is back and open full-time. “I love the feeling that we can offer an expertise that helps define a customer’s momentous occasion and can even become an heirloom passed to future generations,” says Lisa. A goal Kaplan’s achieves every day.
For those who love to browse for treasures, Greene Street Consignment will fill the bill, now at a new location, 106 W. Gay St.; GreeneStreetConsignment.com. Items are seasonal and reflect a wide range of current styles from affordable, quality brands to high-end luxury labels. There are men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, handbags, shoes and other accessories, so shop, recycle, consign.
Visual Expansion Gallery has also moved to a new location, but it’s only right next door, 132 N. High St.; VisualExpansionGallery.com. It’s there that Mary Manning and Elizabeth Taylor, both professional framers, continue to produce high quality custom framing for art and that family heirloom that can now become the centerpiece of a room. There’s an expanded selection of works from local artists that truly take the Brandywine tradition to new levels. And for your favorite map collector, check out the large selection of regional and local antique and reproduction maps.
After an extensive remodeling that nearly doubled its space and selections, Mainline Custom Clothiers is ready for your holiday shopping, 129 W. Market St.; MainlineCustomClothiers.com. Owner Larry Albert has designed a store for men who desire the best in formal and professional menswear at affordable prices. He offers quality lines for business suits, tuxedos and custom dress shirts by Loro Piana, Robert Graham and Bugatchi for the timeless style and excellent custom fit that will last years instead of a season.
Visit Some Favorites
West Chester University’s off-campus gift store, the WCU Ram Shop, 134 N. High St.; WCURamShop.com, has great new merchandise! For your favorite WCU alum, find a warm Pioneer Vantek fleece or cozy Nantucket Toggle Zip Jacket. Future alums will love a new line of baby clothing—cozy polar fleece vest, striped, footed rompers and a Ram diaper bag for carrying the important stuff. Golfers want Titleist Golf Bags, club covers, Ram-faced golf balls and performance golf tees, while tailgaters will appreciate logo chairs, tents, wine glasses and serving trays to be topped off with decadent sea salt caramels—great stocking stuffers. For the student who has it all, you can’t go wrong with the award-winning Ugly Christmas Sweaters!
If you haven’t noticed Chester County Historical Society’s recent improvements, check out the newly expanded patio, the perfect warm-weather party place, and the renovated auditorium for events with up to 200. Check inside for an often-overlooked retail spot, the Museum Shop, with the biggest selection of Chester County-made items including local honey, candles, jewelry and pottery for those holiday wishes. Plus Chester County and West Chester ornaments, mugs and glasses. Is someone on your list a history buff? The museum shop is a treasure trove of books and prints of the history of the Brandywine Valley.
While you’re there, check out the current exhibits including “The Sixties! The Age of Aquarius”—it’s far out, dude. And remember, a gift of an annual Chester County Historical Society membership can be enjoyed throughout the year and also supports the area’s greatest museum.
Remember to check out the many seasonal events in downtown West Chester at DowntownWestChester.com including children’s art and gift making classes by West Chester Parks & Recreation, Santa’s Express on the West Chester Railroad, and the extraordinary Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade on December 4 at 7:15 p.m. Read more about the parade in this issue.
Plus more events in this issue (listed in the PDF above) and on our website here.
Sunset Hill Jewelers. Photo by Timlyn Vaughan
Some Favorite Boutiques
• Blink specializes in trendy apparel and premium denim from a variety of contemporary designers. 136 W. Gay St.; ShopBlink.com.
• A women’s boutique and a vintage jewelry store, Green Eyed Lady features unique items from fashion apparel to vintage wedding accessories. 132 W. Gay St.; ShopGreenEyedLady.com.
• Kiki travels each season to Europe, California and New York bringing back the newest fashion to Jane Chalfant/Kiki Boutique, with everything from sweaters to accessories to stylish wraps. 123 N. High St.; JaneChalfant.com.
• An eclectic women’s boutique focusing on clothing made in the U.S., KALY offers sustainable and environment-friendly gifts, and unique, jewelry created by artisans. 37 W. Gay St.; KalyClothing.com.
• Specializing in vintage ladies’ wearables, from 1850 to 1980, Malena’s Boutique is filled with treasures like costume jewelry, coats and dresses—most pieces under $50. 101 W. Gay St.; MalenasBoutique.com.
• nich boutique brings a fun, urban edge to their clients by carrying hip, original accessories—like hair tattoos—plus closet staples like jackets, sweaters and active wear. 29 S. High St.; ShopNich.com.
• Featuring the latest fashion trends, combined with classic pieces, tish boutique helps women feel and look their best at any age, size or budget. 138 E. Gay St.; TishStyle.com.
Bring on the Bling
• You’ll find personalized service at Big Diamonds’ wholesale shop where they assist customers in selecting the perfect diamond for engagement rings, wedding bands, or fashion jewelry at any budget. 15 W. Gay St.; BigsDiamonds.com.
• Sunset Hill Jewelers features unique jewelry including antique, vintage, contemporary and classic designs, as well as fine quality jewelry made in the US. Plus a fine arts gallery upstairs. 23 N. High St.; SunSetHillJewelers.com.