2016 Chester County Day to focus on area

Chester County Day, the longest running house tour in the country, is gearing up for its 2016 event on Saturday, Oct. 1, and organizers want area residents to mark their calendars.

Galer Estate Vineyard & Winery will be one of the lunch spots for this year's Chester County Day on Oct.

Galer Estate Vineyard & Winery will be one of the lunch spots for this year's Chester County Day on Saturday, Oct. 1.

For years, the 76-year-old tour was exclusive to West Chester Borough for many years but has since extended to the four quadrants of Chester County with different sections highlighted every four years. This year, attendees will be able to tour 21 homes and 14 public structures or sites in the southwest quadrant encompassing Birmingham, Unionville, East Bradford, West Bradford, Kennett Square, Pocopson, Pennsbury and East Marlborough townships, as well as Kennett Borough.

The day will begin with the pageantry and excitement of a customary foxhunt, a Chester County Day tradition. Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds, just outside Unionville on Route 82, will set off promptly at 9 a.m. From there, a diverse assortment of historic and innovative new homes as well as beautiful gardens and public sites await participants.

Tour guests can begin this year’s house tour at 10 a.m. at the location of their choice. Guests are encouraged to tour as many homes as possible at their own pace. Some of the routes and highlighted homes begin on Sconnelltown Road.

Sconnelltown Road has three stops, one of which is exclusively for VIP ticket holders. Participants with these passes will be provided a gourmet box lunch and a private tour of this home. There will be a shuttle bus on Route 322 that will transport guests to a magnificent estate on West Strasburg Road. From there, ticket-holders can continue out through East Bradford Township into Birmingham Township to the famous “Marley and Me” house, where the movie of the same name was filmed.

Traverse beautiful country roads to West Bradford Township with homes open on North Wawaset Road and then proceed into Marshallton Village, which will be open for a walking tour of three private homes and many historic landmarks. The village also boasts one of the two lunch stops for guests at the Marshalton Inn.

Northbrook Road will lead guests to Historic Trimbleville, where they can view a new historic marker that commemorates the village. A short drive from there takes participants to Marlborough Village in East Marlborough Township where a small walking tour will be held.

The second lunch stop will be held at Galer Estate Winery on Folly Hill Road, where tours and tastings will be available. After lunch, don’t miss a visit to Barnard’s Orchards and a stop at a large estate just outside Unionville.

Route 82 will bring day travelers to the borough of Kennett Square. Several homes here are included in a walking tour in the northern section of town.

No matter how the house visits are organized, the day, which will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be filled with Chester County architecture and history hundreds of years in the making. Tickets go on sale Aug.15 by mail, online, or at the satellite locations listed at www.ChesterCountyDay.com.

Regular tickets are $40 apiece, and VIP tickets are $100. The latter includes a reception and preview cocktail party at historic Vickers restaurant on Sunday, Sept. 25 and a private tour of a special VIP house with a gourmet boxed lunch served by Montesano Bros. Italian Market & Catering.

Organized by the Women’s Auxiliary to the Chester County Hospital, Chester County Day benefits the auxiliary’s $1.25 million pledge to expand the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. To learn more about the tour, attend one of the free public preview lectures throughout the county. For a list of dates and locations, or to download a podcast, visit www.ChesterCountyDay.com.


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