Skip to main content

The history of the mansion

05/14/2014 12:08PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, Home+Garden


The Ware Mansion in Oxford was built in 1888.



The showhouse property is in the heart of the Ware Village campus and is a 22-room, Gothic revival, palatial brick mansion decorated in the traditional Georgian style. It was built in 1887-88 by Milton Walker. Prior to World War I, the owner, Dr. Lent, converted the house into a sanitarium. During the flu epidemic in the area, it served as a hospital. The current location of the kitchen served as an operating room.

John H. Ware, Jr., purchased the house in 1926.

 Legend has it that Ware fell out with his neighbors and decided to move, house and all. On Nov. 21, 1931 at 11 a.m., the house started its journey, pulled by a small locomotive on train tracks. By Dec. 11, 1931, it was crossing where Route 472 is now. Its progress was slowed by several winter snowstorms until it reached its present location by January of 1932.

Ware, who was an engineer and a public utilities operator, supervised the move. It was a half-mile down one hill and up another. To accomplish the move, the building was raised up on 110 steel beams and was winched on rollers over eight railroad tracks laid for the project. It could be moved one foot per minute and traveled a few hundred feet per day. Forty guests were present at a luncheon on the first day of the move and traveled with the building while dining. The lights were reconnected at the end of the day and the Ware family lived in the house during the move. Supposedly, it was at this time that  Ware bought the Gas Company of Oxford when they refused to maintain a gas supply to the house.

John H. Ware, Jr., and his wife Clara “Babbie” Ware lived in this house they called “The Woods” very happily until her death in 1962 and his in 1963. Their son, Sen. John H. Ware III and his wife, Marian, donated the house and 26 acres in 1967 to Presbyterian Homes of Central Pennsylvania. With many expansions over the years, Ware Presbyterian Village has served local residents as a retirement community since that time.


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline



oxford ware presbyterian village ware village


You might also like

Carrying out Eli’s wishes

Editorial for the week of August 20, 2014.
Thumb_dsc_0446

Town tour highlights Oxford’s historic district

Oxford is the southernmost stop on the Chester County Town Tours and Village Walks program.

  • Volunteer Meeting & Open House

    05/05/2015
    06:30pm — 08:30pm

    Join us at the Marshall Steam Museum in May for our Volunteer Meeting & Open House! Newcomers rsv...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Stateline Loop 5K/10K Run For Conservation

    05/09/2015
    09:00am — 12:00am

    We invite you to get color the natural way—mud and grass stains on the trails! Join The Land Cons...


  • Famous Chicken BBQ

    05/09/2015
    01:30pm — 04:30pm

    Landenberg Church Chicken BBQ Sat. May 9, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Dinner: half chicken, baked potato...


  • Jewelry Silent Auction & Vendor Fair

    05/09/2015
    10:00am — 02:00pm

    Come bid on several unique pieces jewelry for women, men and girls! Several vendors including Ori...


  • Community This & That Sale

    05/09/2015
    08:00am — 11:30am

    5/9, 8-11:30am, on the grounds of Sacred Heart Church, 203 Church Road, Oxford PA. Spaces availa...


  • Newark Symphony Orchestra Concert

    05/10/2015
    03:00pm — 05:00pm

    THE NEWARK SYMPHONY PRESENTS “Traveling Through the Old World” Mother’s Day at the Symphony Sim...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Famous Chicken BBQ

    05/09/2015
    01:30pm — 04:30pm

    Landenberg Church Chicken BBQ Sat. May 9, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Dinner: half chicken, baked potato...


  • Famous Chicken BBQ

    05/09/2015
    01:30pm — 04:30pm

    Landenberg Church Chicken BBQ Sat. May 9, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Dinner: half chicken, baked potato...


  • Famous Chicken BBQ

    05/09/2015
    01:30pm — 04:30pm

    Landenberg Church Chicken BBQ Sat. May 9, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Dinner: half chicken, baked potato...


Chester County High School Sports