One nice thing about growing up in Pennsylvania and the states surrounding it was there was no lack of history or places to go for field trips!.
One historic homestead that we visited a couple of times was the Daniel Boone Homestead. It was particularly memorable because my brother’s name is Daniel!
The most remarkable thing about the very ordinary house and barn with green grass surrounding it (a scene that is played out before your eyes over and over again in Pennsylvania!) was the barn. It was built in the side of a hill which meant that it had an upstairs and a downstairs. They were able to back up their wagons and load the hay onto the hay loft without having any sort of lift system. It was nifty.
I always admired Daniel Boone because he went off into the unknown to explore and map places that no one knew anything about. When he started exploring no one had gone further then the Application Mountains and Mr. Boone explored past those mountains and into what lay beyond. It was interesting to see where he grew up into such an explorer.
Another completely different kind of house we visited was Winterthur the childhood house of Henry Francis Du Pont in Delaware. It was opened as a museum in mid-1950’s. You can visit different collections of art that they preserve there and see the house as it was when the Du Ponts lived there. When we visited it was around Christmastime and they had each room decorated for Christmas in a different time period. The decorations were amazing and it was interesting to see how much Christmas decorations have changed in even a couple hundred years.
My favorite room was the one decorated in the Victorian style. Since they decorated so much with food (gingerbread, oranges, etc.) they hung their Christmas trees from the ceiling to try and discourage the pests (like mice! EEK!) that tended to be prevalent in their homes. I thought that this was a brilliant idea at the time. Later on when I had a toddler that wouldn’t desist from taking decorations off our Christmas tree I strongly considered the option of hanging our tree from the ceiling.
Winterthur is also the home of 60 acres of planned gardens that are said to be beautiful. Since we visited in December on a cold and rainy day we didn’t get to peruse them. However, I think that they would be worth a second look during some of the warmer months.
What about you? Have you visited any historic houses that captured your interest?