Chester County has much to celebrate

This year’s Chester County Day on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will have much to celebrate.

In addition to continuing its 77-year tradition as the longest-running house tour in the country, the popular, area fundraiser will also honor the 125th anniversary of Chester County Hospital, which was founded in 1892.

The 2017 ticket-holders will have access to 25 private homes and four public sites in West Chester Borough and East Brandywine, Honey Brook, Wallace, East Nantmeal, West Nantmeal, and Warwick townships.

As always, the homes on display will showcase a wide array of striking, architectural styles. In East Nantmeal Township, history fans can enjoy an 18th-century farmhouse with wide plank floors and a walk-in fireplace; it boasts a left side dating back to 1742 and a right side added in 1789.

A short distance away, an 1808 barn spotlights the vision of its owners, who saw the building after it had lost its roof to a 1991 hurricane that also severely damaged the walls. Undaunted, they reused the existing materials, transforming the structure into a welcoming, three-story residence.

Visitors who prefer a more modern approach can marvel at a 2015 Colonial-style home in Olde Bulltown Village, built to look as if it has withstood many centuries.  Another contemporary dwelling in the northwest quadrant of the county also pays homage to the past. It was built in 1978 by Jim Cherry, who specialized in reproduction Colonial homes; in addition to many period details, it contains two studios: one for art and one for woodworking.

Many of the homes have outdoor areas and gardens that rival the impressive interiors, and a couple offer picnicking opportunities.

Chester County Day will open with the pomp and pageantry of a classic foxhunt. Dr. Addis’ Warwick Village Hounds and the Gable/Swisher Hounds will set off promptly at 9 a.m. from Warwick County Park, 382 County Park Road, Pottstown.

From there, ticket-holders can chart their own course, beginning and ending at the locations of their choice. At each locale, volunteer docents will be on hand to provide historic insight and anecdotes about the homes.

Tickets are $50 per person and are available online, by phone, or in person at the hospital or numerous satellite locations that are listed at On Friday, Oct. 6, preview parties featuring photos from each home on the tour will be held at the Longwood Gardens Visitors’ Center auditorium at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. and in Courtroom One of the Historic Courthouse in West Chester at 6 and 7:30 p.m.

Warwick County Park and Marshall Square Park will both serve as refreshment stops, where pre-ordered gourmet boxed lunches by Arianna’s Gourmet Café will be available, and Wyebrook Farms is offering a pre-ordered, pre-paid $20 per person buffet.

Those who opt to double their donation to $100 for the event will have a number of extra perks that are detailed on the event website. They include a gourmet boxed lunch from Montesano Bros. Italian Market & Catering, and access to a VIP house.  This year, the home will be an additional stop on a walking tour of residences around Marshall Square Park in West Chester, the original home of Chester County Hospital.

The Women’s Auxiliary’s to Chester County Hospital organizes Chester County Day, which has contributed $5 million to the hospital, the fastest growing medical facility in the region. Proceeds from the event will fund expansions and renovations to the hospital’s Newborn Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).



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