There will be lots to do in Doylestown Memorial Day through June 2. That’s the week that Doylestown celebrates 200 years as the county seat of government.
According to the bicentennial committee, the decision to move Bucks County government from Newtown to Doylestown actually took several years to come to fruition in the early part of the 19th century. Doylestown’s close proximity to being the geographic center of the county while at the crossroads of Philadelphia and Easton in the north-south direction as well as the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers in the east-west direction, the enclave, circa 1812, was transitioning from a sleepy hamlet into a village and soon could boast in addition to the public buildings, a school, a post office, a newspaper, several houses of worship and a few roads.
Hargrave House itself was built between 1813 and 1815, so we’ve got a milestone birthday coming up too!
But back to 2012. The events kick off Memorial Day with Doylestown’s annual parade through town, beginning at 10 a.m. Head on over to Fonthill to catch the antique car show they’ve got on the grounds of Henry Mercer’s famed castle-like home. And speaking of Henry, look for him throughout the week. He may even have his faithful canine companion, Rollo, at his side. Each time you spot him, ask him for a free entry ticket to Central Bucks Family YMCA’s Bicentennial Picnic and Fireworks June 2. You might just win some great prizes in a raffle drawing.
Our next-door neighbors, Doylestown Historical Society, will host a series of events throughout the week, starting Wednesday, May 30 at 7 p.m. with a lecture on the Lenape Indians, the Native American tribe that settled in the Bucks County area. Come back the next night and hear a talk on the Civil War given by Dick Neddenriep, portraying Lt. Edwin Fretz of Bucks County’s 104th Pa. Voluntary Infantry Regiment. If you return Friday at the same time, you can learn about Doylestown’s best-kept secret explorer, William Edgar Geil, the first Westerner to document his travels across the Great Wall of China. It’ll be a fascinating journey through the ages, to be sure.