Been dying to try some of Domani Star’s famed meatballs? What about that luscious creamy crab soup served piping hot by Pennsylvania Soup & Seafood House? Here’s your chance. Both are among the more than 20 restaurants participating in the second annual Doylestown Restaurant Week April 21-27.
Special menu options will be showcased, along with the restaurant’s normal culinary fare. You can get a preview of some of the offerings April 17 when Discover Doylestown will hold its brand launch party at The Standard Club.
Our town has so many options when it comes to dining out. From casual to more formal, BYOB places, al fresco dining, and a multitude of ethnic eateries – there’s bound to be something for anyone’s taste!
There is plenty of history behind what is now Hargrave House. And it began with William Penn, who asked England’s King Charles II for land in America as payment for a debt owed to his deceased father. The king granted him 40,000 acres in 1681, which eventually became known as Pennsylvania.
Eleven years later, Penn sailed to America and decided, as a way of enticing people to emigrate here, to offer land at a cheap price – 100 pounds ($166 in today’s U.S. dollars) would buy you 5,000 acres. During that trip, he established both Bucks and Philadelphia counties. He also made a treaty with the Lenni Lenape tribe of the Delaware Indians who are also native to our area.
Realizing the massive amount of land he owned was too large to manage alone, Penn sold about 20,000 acres to The Free Society of Traders, a wealthy group of Quaker merchants in England. The Society had offices in Philadelphia too, close to the Delaware River, in an area that later become known as Society Hill.
In 1724, The Society sold large tracts of land to Jeremiah Langhorne. Nearly half of his land was located in what is now Central Bucks County – Doylestown, New Britain and Warwick townships, to be exact. We’ll talk about that a little more in our next blog about Hargrave House’s history.
We have so many wonderful little shops around town – anything you can imagine, really. And we’ve got one as a new neighbor, right around the corner from us, to which we’d like to extend a heartfelt welcome. Cowgirl Chile Co. Jewelry just relocated to 4 W. Oakland Ave. Laura Rutkowski handcrafts her own designs of jewelry, but you’ll also find an eclectic mix of women’s accessories, vintage items, artwork, hot sauces and lots of other cool stuff. Stop by their grand reopening this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for some goodie bags and live music. Your own zest for life may just mirror the boutique’s own celebration of cowgirl spirit.
Doylestown is a treasure box filled with all kinds of interesting historical nuggets. We stumble on them now and again as we look into Hargrave House’s past and celebrate its 200th year at what is now 50 S. Main St.
J. Kurt Spence of Doylestown Historical Society pieced together our 200-year history through various sources. It’s much like detective work. One lead points the way to another. Property deeds, found in the Bucks County Courthouse, show land transfers, with some going back to the late 1700s. The records give the names and addresses of the buyers and sellers, description of the property and the purchase price. Sometimes maps were even attached.
Federal census information – gathered every 10 years since 1790 – is also culled. Where you were born, if you immigrated to the United States, when you were married, your occupation and your approximate personal worth were all recorded. (One of those curious historical tidbits from the 1930 census even notes whether a resident owned a radio!)
Other particulars came from old maps, tax records, newspapers, books, local publications, and, yes, the Internet also was used as a research tool.
Spence also credited the late Wilma Brown Rezer, an avid Doylestown historian, for providing firm groundwork in researching early Doylestown land transfers and history.
In the upcoming months, we’ll let you in on some more HH history – who some of its owners were, problems with a property line and renovations along the way. It’s a fascinating trip through time.
This year is an important year in Hargrave House’s history. We’re celebrating the building’s 200th anniversary!
According to historical research, the three-story stone building was erected sometime between 1812 and 1814. The house itself has had several owners with varied professions during that time period, including a doctor, a Bucks County judge, a family whose young son would grow up to be a noted Doylestown reporter, and a successful marble carver whose surname has graced the building in its most recent existence as a flourishing bed and breakfast.
Join us over the course of 2014 as we share some of what we’ve learned of our past and what that means to our future in Doylestown. We’re looking forward to having you celebrate with us!
The holidays are past us. Perhaps you’ve just put away the last of the Christmas decorations. Time to settle in to what could be a few long and cold winter months. (We don’t even want to HEAR an utterance of the recent polar vortex weather oddity!) A good way to chase away those winter blues would be a visit to Michener Museum’s exhibit on actress-princess Grace Kelly. If you haven’t yet gone, you better hurry. The exhibit closes Jan. 26. Step through a portion of her world via film clips from some of her best onscreen roles, home movies from her growing-up years in Philadelphia and, of course, those spectacular designer gowns she wore. (Don’t we all wish for a 21-inch waist?) Call ahead for tickets.
All set for the Labor Day weekend? We are, though it’s hard to believe that summer has flown by so quickly! Still, even though it might be the unofficial end, there are plenty of fun things going on around town that will keep you busy.
What’s the next fun thing? How about the Doylestown Arts Festival? It’s a week earlier this year – scheduled for Sept. 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s the biggest festival of the year, with lots of visiting craft artisans, musicians, and food and drink to fortify you as you walk around.
Not into the whole arts scene? Not to worry. Stop by Sunday and you can watch the inaugural Thompson Bucks County Classic, a New Hope to Doylestown bike race featuring 150 professional cyclists. Riders hit the finish line at West Court and Main streets between 2:30 and 3 p.m.
Need more fun? Visit the Polish-American Family Festival and Country Fair nearby at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. You’ll get rides, crafts, dancing, historical re-enacters, Polish food and more. It’s the last of two weekends, running from noon to 8 p.m. both days.
Whew! All that fun is tiring!
Like games of strategy? Then come on out to Doylestown’s First Saturday Chess. You could learn a few moves while having loads of fun, too!
During summer months, the event is held right next door to Hargrave House in the pocket park behind Doylestown Historical Society. Pop in anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month (Aug. 3 is the next one). Chess sets are even provided. And it’s free and open to all ages.
If you’re a fan of cinema, you definitely should check out this year’s offerings of the New Hope Film Festival. It’s running now through July 21, and there are even a few Doylestown connections.
In its fourth year, this year’s festival boasts a record 108 entries from 17 countries … and a documentary from Antarctica, to boot! According to D. F. Whipple, chairman and CEO of the festival, the goal is to provide an outlet “to nurture filmmakers who have been overlooked or underappreciated in other channels.” That said, with that many selections, there’s bound to be something for everyone’s tastes.
Most of the films will be shown at the New Hope Arts Center at Stockton and Bridge streets in New Hope, but four will be shown Tuesday, July 16, at The County Theater here in town. The headliner is “Pechorin,” a Russian cinematic piece based on Mikhail Lermontov’s classic Russian novel, “A Hero of Our Time.” The movie took Best Feature Film honors at the 2012 London Film Awards. You can visit The County Theater online for a synopsis and to view the trailer. The evening also will include the short “Saving Bella” by Doylestown-native Alyssa Achuff, which focuses on the friendship between an 80-year-old dementia patient and her 6-year-old granddaughter.
On July 21, history buffs can view the documentary “Geil of Doylestown: Forgotten Explorer” at New Hope Arts Center. William Edgar Geil was the first man to traverse the length of the Great Wall of China and chronicle his journey in the early 1900s, becoming somewhat of an expert on the subject albeit almost unknown in his hometown. A trailer for the film is posted on the website of the Doylestown Historical Society, which houses the William Edgar Geil Collection.
We’ve always been fans of fresh-from-the-garden fruits and vegetables. How can you not be when they taste so good? So we’re thrilled that Saturday marks the season opening of the Doylestown Farmers’ Market right around the corner from us on South Hamilton Street.
The market, sponsored by Buckingham Township Civic Association, is celebrating its 38th year. Bucks County is home to some wonderful farms just down the road from us. Your friendly vendors sell a variety of products. How about some homemade granola or grass-fed Angus beef? Take home some of the all-natural scented soaps or a lovely, fragrant bouquet of fresh-cut flowers (that in itself will win you points with your honey!) You can get a whole list of what you can purchase on the BTCA website.
The market opens at 7 a.m. each Saturday and closes at noon. The last day of the season is the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Enjoy!