Saturday, September 12, 2020

Radnor Township, PA II (9/12/2020)

Saturday, September 12, 2020
Stoneleigh's signature tree: Magnolia acuminata/
Cucumber Magnolia
Stoneleigh Main House (1878, by Everett & Mead)
Original front of the Stoneleigh Main House
Trellis arch; The original owner of Stoneleigh, Edmund Smith
of the Pennsylvania Railroad, hired landscape architect
Charles H Miller, who trained at Kew Gardens in England
and later served as chief gardener for Fairmount Park
When Samuel Bodine, head of United Gas Improvement
Company, acquired the property in 1900, he had the
landscape architects George F Pentecost and Ferruccio Vitale
redesign the gardens in the more formal Beaux Arts style,
as seen here in the Circle Garden (KSS)
Branch crutches (KSS)
Catalpa Court, with the catalpa tree filling the R side of the photo
Instead of cypress knees, this tree has cypress hips? (KSS)
The Pergola is another remnant of the Beaux Arts period (KSS)
The Pergola was restored in 2019 (KSS)
In 1908, Bodine retained the Olmsted Brothers (sons of
Frederick Law Olmsted) to effect a gradual transformation
of the gardens to more natural style, including this
Rockery (1929) as an informal garden "room"
"In" the Rockery is a plaque dedicated to John & Chara Haas
and family who donated the property for public use (KSS)
One of many lychgates/roofed gateways
separating different "rooms" of the garden
Bog Garden is located at the former swimming pool (KSS)
Bog Garden curly plant (KSS)
Bog Garden: A red form of Sarracenia leucophylla/
White-topped Pitcher Plant, perhaps
Sarracenia flava/Yellow Pitcher Plant
Stoneleigh Pet Cemetery (KSS)
Meadow Vista (Olmsted Brothers) provides nesting areas,
food for birds, nectar for pollinators, and shelter for insects
Wood plank bench (KSS)
Hare Sculpture (2017 replica of 2002 original,
by Marty Long) representing the Haas family,
parents and five children (Haas means 'hare' in Dutch)
Stoneleigh Main House seen across the Great Lawn
Next stop: Harriton House.
Remnants of 19C stone dairy barn, converted to pool house
and pleasure garden in 1929, and now the Education Center
Harriton House (1704, early Pennsylvania farmhouse)
was originally named Bryn Mawr by its Welsh Quaker owner,
Rowland Ellis, who received the land from William Penn
In 1719 the property was sold to Richard Harrison, also a Quaker, who was a Maryland tobacco grower. Tobacco was apparently a principal crop in Pennsylvania when William Penn arrived. Harrison also had slaves.
Detached root cellar (KSS)
A closer look at the root cellar
Yes, there are gun ports in the root cellar facade (KSS)
This horse buggy is still used
Often Harriton House offers blacksmithing classes;
these are a variety of blacksmithing forges (KSS)
Small blacksmithing forge looks like an animal (KSS)
Barn remnants that may have become a pool house
"Inside" the pool house
The most famous resident at Harriton House was Charles Thomsen, first and only Secretary to the Continental Congresses, who married the daughter of Richard Harrison. As Secretary he designed the Great Seal of the United States and his last act was to travel to Mt Vernon in April, 1789, to inform George Washington that Washington had just been elected first President of the United States under the new Constitution.
Charles Thomsen retired to Harriton House in 1789, where he pursued interests in scientific agriculture (including beekeeping) and classical studies. As a Quaker, he became an ardent abolitionist, and managed his farm with paid labor and by letting his land on shares with his workers.
Last stop: Ashbridge House:
The former chicken coop (KSS)
There is an upper barn/carriage house and lower barn
Ashbridge House (1769)
Mystery post (KSS)
Stone gazebo at Ashbridge House (KSS)

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