I have had a number of emails, phone calls and conversations with people – all asking me about Community Matters and expressing concerning that something may be wrong since there have been no recent blog posts. I appreciate the concern but I am OK, it’s just been a very busy couple of months — the House Tour Preview Party on Sunday, September 21 at Duportail House, the 10th Annual Historic House Tour on Saturday, September 27 and then the sixth annual Paoli Blues Fest last weekend. With all of the meetings and planning required for these community events, I had to relegate Community Matters to the backburner.
The 2014 House Tour was a wonderful success and broke last year’s attendance record with over 500 tickets sold. The tour featured five historic estate homes in Easttown and Tredyffrin Townships, the Great Valley Mill and St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley. The tour celebrated the work of renowned Chester County architect Brognard Okie. For the tenth straight year, Mother Nature cooperated and provided a perfect, sunny 80 degree day, make the house tour even more special!
Since the first Trust house tour a decade ago, the tour has featured three centuries of structures, including 64 historic private homes of which seven served as Revolutionary War headquarters; eight barns, four churches, three schools, including two ‘one-room’ schoolhouses; a springhouse, a museum, a mill and a special historic playhouse.
Between ticket purchases and tour sponsorships, the house tour raised $30,000 for the Jones Log Barn rebuilding project. When the final phase of the project is completed, the barn will join two National Historic Register properties – Duportail House and the Federal Barn – and serve as the ‘Living History Center at Duportail’ in Chesterbrook.
There are many people to thank for this annual historic house tour, including the wonderful homeowners who opened their homes, the enthusiastic volunteers, the individual and corporate sponsors, the local police departments, other nonprofits groups (Chester County Open Land Conservancy and Duportail House) and most of all, we thank the many residents who supported the tour. (For a full list of sponsors, click here).
The Paoli Blues Fest celebrated its sixth annual music festival and street fair last Saturday, October 4. The day started out overcast with an occasional spritz of rain but as if on cue at noon, as the musicians warmed up, the clouds parted, the sun began to shine, the temperature soared and memories were created. Touted as the largest annual blues festival in the tri-state region, the party in Paoli didn’t disappoint. From the brass sounds of Big Bang Theory to Blue Jay Slim & the Tone Blasters, Russ Lambert, Blues Bizness, Deb Callahan and then the finale band, Blue Plate Special, it was a day of great music, food, drink and a lot of fun. A real community event, thanks goes to the musicians, vendors, sponsors, volunteers and all the hundreds of people who attended!
With the Annual House Tour and the Paoli Blues Fest completed, I look forward to getting Community Matters off the backburner.