Chestertown Historic House Tour

Fashion & Lifestyle, Travel & Leisure

Yesterday, I visited my first Chestertown Historic House Tour, in Pennsylvania. Scott’s Godfather, Uncle Curt, bought us tickets and graciously volunteered to coordinate and chaperone our day. (I must say he is as good if not better in coordinating a field trip than I am, and I was a teacher for twelve years!)

It was one of the most extraordinary days Scott and I have had in a long time. For me, it was a great opportunity to get to know Uncle Curt a little better. For Scott and I both, we desperately needed a break from and inspiration for finishing up the final phase of The House on High Street.

The past few weeks have been very hectic and stressful. I guess it’s normal when you commit to the restoration of a monstrous, 200 year old eye sore, that you will go through phases of “I can’t believe this is happening” to “Why the HAYLLLLL did you talk me into this?”  While most of our experience has been smooth, Scott and I have been challenged, stretched, and tested through this entire process.

The good news is that we learned more about compromise, sacrifice, perseverance, sharing the load, and NOT GIVING UP…EVEN IF IT’S HARD. We appreciate the friends and family members, like Uncle Curt, who have encouraged us to keep our eyes on the prize.

We could have never done this without doing it together. For every hour Scott has spent supervising, lifting, carrying, mowing, hauling, and running around (he’s probably been to Lowe’s and Home Depot over 300 times)…I have either been by his side, making everything easier for him at home (making sure a delicious dinner is on the table, his clothes are washed, his lunch and snacks are in the pantry, etc), or doing most of the behind the scenes things like this…

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There have been many times when Scott or I wanted to call it quits, but thankfully, something always occurred to give us just enough encouragement and motivation to persevere. Yesterday, was one of those occurrences…

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(On the first Saturday in October) the celebrated historic houses of Chestertown open their doors! This is one of the oldest regional house tours; join visitors…as they stroll through the streets of a community named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the nation’s Distinctive Destinations, touring a dozen or more historic houses and properties. (Click here for Reference.)

So, I’ll share the day with you in photos. At one point my phone battery died, so I wasn’t able to capture the last few homes we toured. I also did not get photos of one of my favorite architect’s work. (Peter Zimmerman) But thankfully, I was able to take photos of dinner (at the Kimberton Innsince the very kind owner allowed me to borrow his phone charger. Talk about service.

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As you can see “Chester County Day” has been celebrated for 74 years. Uncle Curt has been attending for the past 20 years. He purchased our tickets and sent them to us along with a map and this paper in the mail a few days prior to the event.
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Uncle Curt and Scott both reading the map en route to one of the houses.  Aren’t they adorable?
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This was our first house. Uncle Curt’s favorite and my second favorite. It was definitely the coziest.
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There were at least a dozen “nook” areas in this home to make you just want to curl up with cup of cocoa and a good book.
...And this house had hundreds of books to choose from!
…And this house had hundreds of books to choose from!
Library
Library

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Scott said he would love this office. I would, too, actually!
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Uncle Curt
Colonial Wall Sconce
Colonial Wall Sconce
Sunroom
Sunroom

Let me pause here. There were only a few homes that I was able to take some photographs. The daughters that were raised in this particular home were so lovely and gracious. I gave them my card in hopes that they will send me some more photos to share with you , on LE Woman, in the near future.

Here I am with Uncle Kurt. The day was warm...then rainy...then perfect...then cold!
Here I am with Uncle Curt. The day was warm…then rainy…then perfect…then cold!

We saw a LOT of these…

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And, these…

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No wonder why these are so expensive even at the auctions!

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And, these…

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Uncle Curt playing the part!
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Remember this image ; )

And these…

rooster

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Remember this image, too.

We visited old homes that were rustic colonial…

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Rustic Colonial

When we were in this kitchen yesterday with several other folks, the volunteer was telling us that the floors were original…and the walls were original..and the ceiling was original.  I asked if the radiators were original.  What can I say? I just love an opportunity to embarrass my husband.

We saw homes that were traditional and elegant…

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Traditional Elegant

Tangent: During the past few months, Scott and I have transitioned our style (sconces, furnishings, fixtures, etc.) from a rustic colonial to a more elegant feel. While we love the cozy Colonial look, the House on High Street is too tall and stately. Once we got into the interior decorating we realized we needed furnishings and fixtures that were more grand and ornate. We have already incorporated several period pieces that are shown in these pictures. You’ll need to wait and see…

Scott loved the HUMONGOUS BARNS (that were also used for game rooms, storing fancy cars, and hosting parties)

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Don't get used to this, Hubbs!
Don’t get used to this, Hubbs!

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I love the old stone walls. Reminds me of the Ice House at The House on High Street.
I love the old stone walls. Reminds me of the Ice House at The House on High Street.
Horses EVERYWHERE in Chesterfield/Kent County!
Horses EVERYWHERE in Chesterfield/Kent County!

At one point when we were walking towards the front entrance of a house, I hear, “Rachel??”  I’m thinking, “Oh dear. What have I done, now?!” It was a teacher (or course) that I worked with a few years ago (a beautiful teacher). How ironic that we live in neighboring towns, but we bump into one another an hour away from home? That was a nice surprise. It was also nice to learn that she likes to read LE Woman. Thank you, Felice. You are looking mahvelous!

This reminds me of the brick floor we'd like to put down in the Ice House at The House on High Street.
This reminds me of the brick floor we’d like to put down in the Ice House at The House on High Street.
Many of the homes (Including The House on High Street) have a wooden spiral staircase for the Servants' quarters.
Many of the homes (Including The House on High Street) have a wooden spiral staircase for the Servants’ quarters.
Common Landscape of Chestertown/Kent County
Common Landscape of Chestertown/Kent County

Our day concluded with a wonderful dinner at the Kimberton Inn.

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Uncle Kurt brought a friend of the family with us who only wanted to be in one photo! She and I hit it off immediately!
Uncle Curt brought a friend of the family with us who only wanted to be in one photo! She and I hit it off immediately!
The Inn was charming, elegant, and cozy!
The Inn was charming, elegant, and cozy!
How Romantic!
How Romantic!

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Our second night in a row (and my second time ever) eating lamb chops! HmmBoy!
Our second night in a row (and my second time ever) eating lamb chops! HmmBoy!
Crabcake cooked to perfection with the perfect balance of crab and savory filling!
Crabcake cooked to perfection with the perfect balance of crab and savory filling!
Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee
Raspberry Cheesecake - Heavenly!
Raspberry Cheesecake – Heavenly!
Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake. Scott's Fav!
Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake. Scott’s Fav!

Overall, yesterday was an extraordinary day! Everyone needs to take a field trip from time to time, to break up the monotony, spend some quality time with loved ones, learn something new, eat something new, and/or recharge your battery. (Not your phone battery, silly!) I sincerely hope this post encourages you to look up something fun and NEW to do with a loved one, soon!

EXTRA Ordinarily Yours

 

 

 

***Thank you, Uncle Curt for thinking of us, yesterday! It means the world to Scott and me that you have taken such an interest in our endeavor and more importantly you have supported this venture and given us the hope we needed to finish the final phase. It shall never be forgotten. May God bless you. We love you. Rachel Maria & Scott  

 

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Comments

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  • October 6

    Rachel, Thank you for the kind words. It was great to see you. This was my second year at Chester County Day. We also attended the fox hunt. It is an interesting and fun day with friends.

    • October 7

      It really was great bumping into you, Felice. Retirement suits you well. I hope I see you again, soon. Maybe at the house. xo