Monday, January 30 2023 10:39

Publisher’s Letter

Written by Edwin Malet

February 2023

It’s February. Very cold. At County Lines, it’s time to get down to business. And this month, we look at real estate, homes and schools.

Laurel Anderson has been following the real estate market: first the steep drop in interest rates over the pandemic years, then the more recent climb back to, well, more normal rates. How should buyers and sellers prepare for the spring? Seeking wisdom from area experts, she writes “Local Realtors Get Real About the 2023 Market.”

Maybe your house is old. Ever wonder about its history? In “Hunt Up Your Historic House History,” architectural historian Jane Dorchester walks you, step-by-step, from deed search through tax records to documents at the Chester County History Center. You may be surprised at what you’ll find!

Dorchester also writes “Celebrating West Chester’s Historic Treasures,” describing the winners of the 2022 Preservation Awards, including the Twin House construction at West Lafayette Street, the tower restoration at Christ Church and the restoration of the Church Street market house, among others. Take a look.

“Chimney Hill” is about a fabulous new home with modern conveniences but built with an old-world aesthetic among a row of West Chester’s historic houses. Our longtime writer Matt Freeman (who, sadly, passed away recently) explored the design considerations of the award-winning house built by Period Architecture.

Want more on beautiful homes? Check our photo spread on “Dream Kitchens.” And if you’re thinking of building or renovating, our “Fine Homes & Design Resource Guide” can help.

In school news: Malvern Prep is building. Wilmington Friends and Friends’ Central Schools are educating young scientists. Notre Dame Academy is focusing on the mental health and wellbeing of its students. Look around. Our local private schools are investing in the future of their students. Learn more in “Private Schools Continue to Expand and Innovate.” And see our “Guide to Private, Independent & Cyber Schools” as well.

Taking over our “Brandywine Table” column, starting this month, is Courtney H. Diener-Stokes, who wrote “Food, Farm and Family.” She shares her inspirations from cookbook writing to the Kimberton Waldorf School and offers several recipes — from potato leek soup to lemon roasted chicken to grilled cheese with caramelized onions and kale. Mmm good!

When the weather turns cold, too many of us stay indoors. This can make some of us a little stir-crazy. Luckily, says Shannon Montgomery, our local YMCAs have ways to get active, stay social and learn something new. Read about them in Winter at the Y.”

Most animals don’t have an indoors option, though they have several strategies for dealing with the winter cold: hibernation, huddling together, caching food, heading south. Plants, of course, don’t have options. They may drop their leaves. Some have evolved protections to keep their needles or leaves. In “The Alive of Winter,” Kirsten Werner of Natural Lands examines winter strategies and asks how climate change may affect them.

As always, County Lines has the Best Local Events and tons of ideas for Family Fun for February.

We hope you’ll subscribe to County Lines. Go online or call 610-918-9300. Or get an electronic copy at For single print issues, try your local library, specialty food stores, Wellington Square Bookshop, Main Point Books, Reads & Co. Bookstore or newsstands. Visiting an advertiser is a great — and free — way to get one: click Get a Copy at our website, And get our free online events newsletters by signing up at the website.

Ed Malet, Publisher



Local Realtors Get Real About the 2023 Market

The past several years have been hard on realtors and their clients. The pandemic resulted in a massive decline in interest rates and a sharp increase in home prices, even while many buyers and sellers were wary of the market. With the waning of the pandemic, conditions quickly reversed. Pent-up demand was released, at least temporarily. The financially nimble profited. Now many are wondering what’s coming … and carefully weighing their opinions.


The Alive of Winter

Photo by Andrew Keyes

Hibernation is just one of many adaptations among plants and animals to enable cold-weather survival. Bears hibernate. So do chipmunks, skunks and raccoons. Some species go further, spending winter in deep freeze. Others gather together for warmth. Some birds migrate south, while others overwinter in the hollows of trees and rocks. Those remaining active must make provisions for food, creating stockpiles in a variety of places. Plants have evolved other strategies. And all these strategies are being gradually revised — some faster than others — owing to the warming climate.


Private Schools Continue to Expand and Innovate

Our private schools are changing. Several are building new classrooms, student activity spaces and sports facilities or offering additional scholarships. Schools are expanding their offerings, especially in science and technology, encouraging innovation. They’re also looking to encourage the “softer” disciplines, like the arts and theater. Some are responding to current events, focusing on social justice, mental health and the immediate safety and security of their students.

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