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.

  • Cecil County Fair

    07/30/2015
    08:00am — 09:00pm

    There is something for everyone at the Cecil County Fair. Highlights include the carnival midway,...


  • Turtle - Kids Paint with LouLou!

    07/30/2015
    10:30am — 12:00pm

    Looking for something fun for your kids to do on a summer morning? Join LouLou for 1.5 hours of p...


  • Sunday Brunch

    07/30/2015
    11:00am — 02:00pm

    Every Sunday from 11-2PM Continental Buffet, Waffle bar, fresh fruits, Mimosa, Bloody Mary an...


  • Coatesville Youth Initiative Open House

    07/30/2015
    04:00pm — 07:00pm

    Please join us to welcome our new space! Light refreshments - drop in format - ample reserved pa...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    07/30/2015
    06:00pm — 07:00pm

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • NFL Flag Football Fall Season Sign-ups

    07/30/2015
    07:00pm — 11:55pm

    NFL Flag Football Fall Season Sign-ups Avon Grove NFL Flag Football has begun on-line registra...


  • Cecil County Fair

    07/31/2015
    08:00am — 09:00pm

    There is something for everyone at the Cecil County Fair. Highlights include the carnival midway,...


  • Sunday Brunch

    07/31/2015
    11:00am — 02:00pm

    Every Sunday from 11-2PM Continental Buffet, Waffle bar, fresh fruits, Mimosa, Bloody Mary an...


  • NFL Flag Football Fall Season Sign-ups

    07/31/2015
    07:00pm — 11:55pm

    NFL Flag Football Fall Season Sign-ups Avon Grove NFL Flag Football has begun on-line registra...


  • Gentle Yoga

    08/05/2015
    05:00pm — 06:00pm

    Reduce the aches and pains of age by increasing your range of motion through the practice of yoga...


  • Hatha Yoga

    08/05/2015
    06:30pm — 07:30pm

    This series of vigorous exercises is designed to strengthen the body and increase flexibility whi...


  • NFL Flag Football Fall Season Sign-ups

    08/05/2015
    07:00pm — 11:55pm

    NFL Flag Football Fall Season Sign-ups Avon Grove NFL Flag Football has begun on-line registra...


  • Art & Inspiration: Summer Art Camp

    08/05/2015
    07:00pm — 08:30pm

    Join us for five fun-filled nights of Art and Inspiration. Beginning Sunday, August 2nd at 7 p.m....


 

Chester County High School Sports