Hibernia Park ready to mark 50 years
● By Lev
The public is invited to mark a half century of conservation and recreation at Hibernia Park on Oct. 4, 50 years to the day that the park was originally dedicated.
Events are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with Chester County officials, current and former park staff, and park users celebrating memories and park progress over the past 50 years.
As it did in 1964, the ceremony will take place on and around the porch of the 19th-century Hibernia Mansion. At 11 a.m., a musical performance will kick off the celebration, followed by comments from county officials, dignitaries and an address by Gene DiOrio, one of the original park board members appointed in 1967. Following the ceremony, guests can take ranger-led hikes and wagon rides to explore Hibernia Park.
The anniversary celebration activities also include an open house at Hibernia Mansion, refreshments and viewings of photo displays, scrapbooks and documents.
With more than 900 acres, including the 90-acre Chambers Lake for boating and fishing, and approximately five miles of trails, Hibernia County Park is the largest in the Chester County park system. The park’s six picnic pavilions, two campgrounds, children’s pond, playgrounds, programs and special events play host more than 175,000 guests annually.
In 1894, Philadelphia lawyer Colonel Franklin Swayne acquired Hibernia and transformed it into a gentleman’s estate. His many changes to the Hibernia Ironmasters’ Mansion over the next 30 years resulted in the building as it stands today.
Since 1980, the annual Chester County Old Fiddlers’ Picnic has been held in Fiddlers’ Field. Hibernia County Park is in Wagontown, four miles north of Coatesville, off Route 82. More information can be found on www.chesco.org/ccparks.