Yup, another farm today. I must in Berks County, PA.
Today’s New Place is actually a very old place. The brick house dates to 1868, but the farm is much older, harking back to revolutionary war times. Indeed, its history (which you can read about here) includes the grandfather of Daniel Boone and the sons of William Penn. Before those popular History book characters showed up, the land was a popular gathering point for the Native American tribes of the region.
For my part, I didn’t know the farm existed, tucked away off a back road in Virginville, PA (cue titters here), only about 15 minutes drive from where I grew up. But I took advantage of their annual Farm Festival today to check it out with my sister C., who knew all about it and had been there before.
Walking around the grounds and poking our heads into the different outbuildings (brick chicken house, milk house, spring house) was fun, but to me the most amazing thing was the inside of the house, which, remarkably, had all of the furniture and carpets and flooring intact from its 19th century construction–old cradles and beds and spinning wheels and a beautiful old 19 c organ. Quite extraordinary.
It’s funny. Every time I come up to Pennsylvania to visit in my home town, I worry that I won’t find as many New (to me) Places to explore as I do in DC (where I have only lived for a mere 13 years). But every time I come up here, this place keeps getting bigger and bigger. Is there some theory of relativity to explain this? Or just another part of the magic of New Places.