Pattye Benson

Community Matters

7th Annual Historic House Tour

7th Annual Historic House Tour – A Success!

Many of you have asked me about last weekend’s House Tour. Thank you; the tour was a great success thanks to the homeowners, sponsors, guests and volunteers. I am hopeful that the following Letter to the Editor will appear in this week’s edition of the Main Line Media News.

Thank You to Homeowners, Sponsors, Guests and Volunteers for another Successful Historic House Tour

The mission of the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust is to help preserve and protect historic and cultural resources in Tredyffrin Township and to educate the public about the preservation and protection of historic and cultural settings. As President of the Trust and Chair of the Annual Historic House Tour, I would like to thank the special homeowners who opened their doors to Tredyffrin’s past for the 7th Annual Historic House Tour held this past Saturday, September 24.

What a truly delightful group of old house owners on this year’s tour – the effort and time spent on details by each homeowner was remarkable. Old house owners are very special people and this year’s House Tour participants were no exception. It is wonderful to live in a community that has people who cherish their historic properties and then allow others the opportunity to enjoy them!

As one of the Trust’s most anticipated annual events, the Board of Directors is extremely grateful to our historic homeowners who by sharing their extraordinary homes allow us to better understand the significant and unique history of our community. The annual house tour provides an opportunity for our historic community to showcase their neighborhood architectural heritage and demonstrate how historic homes can be a perfect fit for our modern lives. Opening their doors to 300 guests, the House Tour raised $15,000 to benefit the final phase of the rebuilding effort of the Jones Log Barn in Chesterbrook as a living history museum.

The Board wishes to thank the many corporate and individual sponsors who appreciate historic preservation and understand its importance in the community including Penn Medicine, Period Architecture, Montessori Children’s House of Valley Forge, Golden Valley Farms, Jim and Janet Bruce, Michael Heaberg, Warren Claytor Architects, Murph Wysocki, Strategic Realty Investments, State Rep Warren Kampf, Tom Hogan and Victoria Silbey, Glenna LaSalle Keene, Michelle and Michael Kichline, Pete and Bonnie Motel, Victoria ‘Tory’ Snyder, Wise Preservation Planning, Paul Olson, MJ Monahan Builders, Kristen Mayock, Tredyffrin Township Historical Commission, Liz Mercogliano,, James and Nancy Sanborn, Cottage Industries, Main Line Life Media News, Main Line Neighbors, Around Main Line and TE Patch.

Thank you to the Trust Board members and the many community volunteers who offered their time and talents; to the special historic homeowners and to the corporate and individual sponsors who helped make this another successful Trust event. And a special thank you to the House Tour visitors who through their ticket purchase showed their support for historic preservation in the community.

Following the house tour, I received many emails and calls, but think the following excerpt from a guest’s email probably best sums up the house tour for her and other visitors —

“ . . . I was on your house tour yesterday with my family and I wanted to thank you so much for organizing this. It was one of the best house tours I have ever been on. Not only were the houses interesting and diverse but the volunteers were incredibly knowledgeable. They also seemed to really enjoy the history of each house. I will definitely sign up again next year.”

Pattye Benson
Chair, Annual Historic House Tour
President, Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust

7th Annual Historic House Tour — Foxmead of Strafford

Foxmead, circa 1911 was designed by the prolific Philadelphia architect, Charles Barton Keen, in the colonial revival style that was popular at the time. This Strafford historic home is one of eight featured stops on the 7th Annual Historic House Tour, Saturday, September 24, 12 Noon – 5 PM.

Tickets are $35 and are available at the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation website, The Trust is a registered nonprofit 501C3 and your contributions are tax-deductible as the law permits.

Old houses have stories to tell and the houses of Tredyffrin do not disappoint!

Foxmead, circa 1911

7th Annual Historic House Tour Saturday, September 24 . . . Tickets Now Available!

Old houses tell wonderful stories, and the houses of Tredyffrin Township have many tales to tell!

On Saturday, September 24, 2011, 12 noon – 5PM, the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s 7th Annual Historic House Tour will open doors to our community’s past. This year’s tour will opening the doors to eight unique historic homes in Tredyffrin Township in Strafford, Berwyn, Valley Forge and Malvern. Featured houses span 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and offer visitors an opportunity to experience Chester County history through original, restored and historically significant homes.

We are delighted to announce that this year the Montessori Children’s House of Valley Forge will serve as the pick-up point for House Tour tickets. The school is at Ivy Hollow Farm on Thomas Road inside the Valley Forge National Historic Park. The MCHVF classrooms are in Ivy Hollows’ barn and the administration and offices are in the original 1750 farmhouse; both buildings will be open for tours. Believing in historic preservation, the school opened last year at their new location after the school raised the necessary funds for the multi-million dollar renovation to the barn and farmhouse. In addition to participating on the House Tour, the school is also supporting the Trust’s historic preservation efforts through a House Tour sponsorship.

The 2010 Historic House Tour enjoyed an 83 percent increase in ticket sales from the prior year, so the ‘bar’ is set high for this year’s House Tour! All monies raised from the Trust’s annual fundraiser go toward the rebuilding efforts of the Jones Log Barn at Duportail in Chesterbrook. When rebuilt, the barn will serve as a living history museum for the entire community. Tickets for the House Tour are $35/person — The Trust is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization, so all contributions are tax-deductible as the law permits.

With the help of the community, I am looking forward to another successful House Tour. How can you help? Several ways . . .

Sponsorship: The 7th Annual Historic House Tour is a great way to gain targeted visibility for you and/or your business. I am pleased to say, that a number of citizens and local businesses have already agreed to help in this way. This is a great way to show your support of historic preservation in our community; and to show others of that support – sponsors will be listed on the Trust website, publicity press releases, tour brochures and on Community Matters. Invitations will also be extended for a private cocktail party hosted by the Trust’s Board of Directors on Friday, September 16 at a former House Tour participant’s home. For further details on sponsorships, click here.

Volunteering: We have a dedicated core group of people who help with the House Tour each year but as the tour increases in attendance, there is a greater need for volunteers. There are a number of opportunities to help with the House Tour prior to September 24, envelope stuffing, posters and signage, but most importantly ‘extra hands’ are needed on the day of the tour. Help is required from 10 AM – 12 Noon on the tour day to help with check-in, parking, etc. If you would enjoy serving as a volunteer docent in one of the historic houses, we are in need extra volunteers. If you have a willingness to help, we can find something for you to . . . just give me a call at 610.644.6759 or email me at

Advertise: Another important way for you to help is by spreading the word about the House Tour. Mention the tour to your friends, neighbors, family and co-workers. Forward this post, add a Facebook note (if you search on Facebook under ‘7th Annual Historic House Tour’) I created a page. Are you a social media wiz, consider tweeting about the event. Can you help us make this a wonderful community event?

Purchase Tickets: Lastly, please buy House Tour tickets — you won’t be disappointed. Over the years, over 50 homeowners in Tredyffrin have opened the doors to their beautiful historic homes and this year’s group is just as special. I’ll mention some of the specific details on the houses in the days leading up to the tour. To order tickets online using PayPal, visit the Trust website, To download a House Tour ticket form to pay by check, click here.

Thank you to those who will show their support of historic preservation by serving as a sponsor, a volunteer or by purchasing tickets. And a very special thank you to this year’s homeowners who have graciously agreed to open their homes for the public.

Pattye Benson
Chair, 7th Annual Historic House Tour
President, Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust

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