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Chester County Press

Tour the area's finest homes during Home and Garden Day

05/21/2013 01:05AM ● By Brian O

Garden Tour - Illustration by Wanda Kevis

By John Chambless

Staff Writer

This Saturday is your chance to tour historic estates, see fine art and enjoy gourmet foods during the Home and Garden Day tour to benefit the Bayard Taylor Memorial Library.

There will be eight locations on the tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and maps are provided to each participant. You can start at any of the locations and see as many as you want. Each home features original artwork by regional artists, as well as elaborate floral displays and elegant foods from local businesses. The locations on this year's tour are all in the Unionville area. Specific locations will be listed in the map and brochure given to all participants.

Upland House is the home of Russell and Donnan Jones. It's on 40 acres with a history that goes back to 1734. The core of the home was built in 1850 and has been extensively expanded. It is furnished with antiques from the owners' families. Artist E. Jean Lanyon will be displaying her original artworks throughout the home, and Boyd's will supply the flower arrangements. Food will be served by the Mushroom Cap and Waywood Beverage.

Brooklawn is the home of Nancy and Crosby Wood. The brick farmouse dates back to the early 1700s. The current home has 14 fireplaces, four staircases and ten baths. The ballroom has been the location of countless events over the decades, particularly for the area's foxhunting community. Paul Scarborough will be showing his paintings in the home, the flowers are from Barber's Florists and Gifts, and food will be served by the Sunrise Cafe.

Primitive Hall is the ancestral home of the Joseph Pennock family, and was built in 1738. Generations of the Pennock family lived in the historic building. Family portraits and furnishings from the family are still displayed there. Sunny McGeorge will be displaying artworks, the flowers are by Botanical Splash, and Barber's Florists and Gifts. The food will be from the Kennett Inn.

The home of Frances and Tom Roosevelt has an original portion that was built in 1730, with additions made in 1824. Paintings by Frances Roosevelt are displayed in the home, which is furnished with antiques, some of which have been passed through the family for generations. The exhibiting artist at the home will be Cathy Deaville. Flowers are by Kati Mac Floral Designs, and the food will be from La Verona.

Highland Mede is the home of Marion and John Kirwin. It's on 25 acres, and it was built as a "country mansion" by Joseph Pennock in 1738. The home preserves many of the original elements, which were inspired by Primitive Hall in West Grove. The gardens were designed to echo 18th-century American agricultural practices, with stone fences dividing different areas. Artist William Ressler will be showing paintings, the flowers are by Sweet Pea, and food will be from Portabello's Restaurant.

The home of Mrs. Richard I.G. Jones was once a tavern located down the hill from its current location. It was moved 45 years ago and expanded. The one-time inn and tavern had a sitting room, dining room and bar area, which has been preserved. Artist Roe Murray will be exhibiting, the flowers are by Green Meadows, and Starbucks will supply coffee and treats.

Kinloch Woodworking, Ltd. is a Unionville business that makes and restores furniture. The shop turns out furniture ranging from 18th-century designs to modern creations. The showroom is in an 1890 house that's in the middle of the village of Unionville. Artist Wanda Kevis will be exhibiting original works.

Last Chance Garage is also in the village of Unionville. The business, run by Lou Mandich, repairs antique cars ranging from the early 1900s to muscle cars from the 1960s. The two buildings are packed with tools, memorabilia and vintage car parts, and there are always classic cars being repaired in the garage, which has a long waiting list.

Tour participants can pre-order a lunch at the Stone Barn which will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets for the tour are $35 (lunch is an additional $20), and must be ordered in advance by calling 610-444-2702 or visiting
Proceeds from the tour fund programs for children, as well as adult literacy classes, at the Bayard Taylor Memorial Library in Kennett Square. The children's program at the library attracted more than 10,000 participants in 2012, and the literacy program helped 328 adult students in 2012. 

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, e-mail [email protected].