Archibald Crawford owned the large parcel of land around the crossroads for about 15 years. Around 1768, he sold a 10-acre parcel to brothers Robert and Henry Magill, recent Scot-Irish immigrants.
The Magill brothers operated a mercantile business at the southwest corner of the crossroads opposite Doyle’s Tavern. In 1776, Henry retired and moved to a farm in Bedminster. He transferred his ownership of the land to his brother, who became sole owner of this parcel.
In 1782, Robert died without a will, leaving behind a wife and one child, William Magill. Young William was only 7 years old when his father died, but his father had requested that his only son be educated and apprenticed to a trade. William apprenticed as a clockmaker and followed that trade for many years, manufacturing large, old-fashioned clocks. He spent his boyhood living with his mother and her new husband, Jacob Troxel, by the crossroads. His education was provided by itinerant schoolmasters and local teachers. As he grew into a young man, he operated his mother’s hotel, The Mansion House, at what would later be State and Main Streets (where Paper Unicorn is today).
William married, had five children, and enlisted in the military service during the War of 1812. He became a captain in a unit known as the Buck County Rangers. He continued as an officer in the militia until his death.
The little crossroads was beginning to grow into a small village. The first stagecoach route between Philadelphia and Easton was established, running directly through the village. The 62-mile trip took 1½ days. In 1813, the county seat was moved from Newtown to the crossroads.
Three streets in the new village were named for the members of the Magill family: Mary Street, Louisa Street and Arabella Street. (Arabella Street eventually became most of what Hamilton Street is now, with the remaining portion becoming Arabella Alley. That’s the current entrance to Hargrave House’s parking lot.) William Magill died in 1824. He had no will.
December happens to be one of our favorite months here at Hargrave House. Doylestown is all gussied up for the holidays – from the stately Christmas tree set up in Starbucks’ parking lot at State and Main, to the snowflake ornaments adorning streetlamps, to the larger-than-life dreidel at Hamilton and State streets. It’s just so pretty to walk through town! We also love the long-standing tradition Mercer and Michener museums have of jointly hosting their holiday open houses on the same night. Make sure you set aside a few hours Tuesday evening, Dec. 10, to sample some of their seasonal spirit and maybe check out a few things you’ve never seen at the two cultural institutions. It runs from 7 to 9 p.m. And don’t forget to throw an evergreen branch into the bonfire near Mercer’s log cabin as part of the annual “burning of the greens.” The symbolic gesture allows you to “wish your troubles away” in hopes of a better new year to come – a perfectly pleasant idea!
Have you gotten your tickets yet for the Grace Kelly exhibit at Michener Art Museum? Don’t delay. We hear they’re selling fast and furiously. “From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly – Beyond the Icon” opens Monday. The art museum, celebrating 25 years, will be closed to the public Saturday and Sunday while it gets ready. (There is a special members-only reception on Sunday.)
The museum also has additional programming to complement its exhibition, some with advance registration. “Adorning Grace: Jewelry Fit for a Princess” will be held Nov. 3 and include talks, demos and displays. On Nov. 7, join the lecture series for “Grace Kelly: Beyond the Icon.” And on Nov. 12, the curator’s lecture will focus on Bucks County Playhouse, which is celebrating its 75th year and where Kelly made her stage debut. BCP is the subject of another exhibit opening at Michener the same day.
We’ve also noticed some of the businesses in town have caught Grace Kelly fever. Cowgirl Chile Co. Jewelry’s display window features the many faces of the beautiful 1950s actress. Across the street, L.A.D. & Co. Hairdressing of Distinction offers Grace Kelly cuts. And The County Theater on Nov. 13 plans a 3-D showing of Hitchcock’s “Dial M for Murder.” It’s part of their “Grace Kelly & Hitch Series.”
So, make your plans to visit – the exhibit runs through Jan. 26 – and keep us in mind for your overnight stay.
A recent guest at Hargrave House Bed & Breakfast had quite a “small world” experience. Julie is from a small town in southern Australia where she helps make lunch for a children’s day school, and she was staying with us while her husband was in business meetings.
One morning after breakfast she was walking up Main Street doing some shopping when she heard her name called out, “Julie, oh Julie”. She assumed they meant someone else, as the only two people in Doylestown that she supposed knew her name were either at a meeting (her husband) or cleaning up after breakfast (Lorna, our Innkeeper). She kept walking, but she heard “Julie” again rather breathlessly and heard running footsteps approach. She turned around to see an unexpected but familiar face. It was a woman from her home town in Australia!
Over a pleasant lunch at the Pennsylvania Soup & Seafood House, they compared notes. The woman was one of the Moms whose child Julie had been preparing lunch for only a week or so prior in Australia!
Believe it or not, a large portion of our clientele are from over seas. Who would have thought that quaint Doylestown was a hub for international tourism? But in just the past few months we received guests from China, Europe, and most recently, Israel.
As with all guests, we go the extra mile to suit the needs of all those who come to our lovely B and B. This is especially true when those staying with us are not only in a a new town, but a whole new country. We’re careful to extend our personal service and care to those particular travelers, even when there is a language barrier, and have been very successful to this end. In fact, we recently obtained a translation of a couple Hebrew notes that were left for our Inn Keeper, Lorna, and here is what they said:
I will warmly recommend this place to all of my friends. Your warmth and your willing to help and answer all our needs, turned this stay to a wonderful experience.
With deep friendship,
P.S. I will surely return here with my family every chance I could!!!
I arrived from Israel for business, to a town I’ve never heard of. I stayed a week at Hargrave House. The town is enchanting and the hotel feels like home and is charming, with gorgeous rooms that spoil you. Lorna, the hostess, imposes a fun and relaxing atmosphere with services I have never encountered.
It was an amazing week on all accounts. I recommend it very warmly!!! I will come back here with my family.
Enjoy the arts in the heart of Doylestown PA. Stay at the Hargrave House Bed and Breakfast, 50 South Main Street, in the center of Doylestown. They don’t make small towns like this anymore! Almost everything you want to do is within two blocks of Hargrave House. There’s the Annual Art Festival taking place in the streets of Doylestown on Saturday, September 12/13, just 1 block from Hargrave House. And, there’s the James A. Michener Art Museum which opens the doors to the premier exhibit of Jim Henson’s Fantastic World on Saturday, September 12th through November 29th. This exhibit is the inaugural show in the Della Penna-Fernberger | Paton | Smith Galleries, the new exhibition space that is the center-piece of the Museum’s $12 million expansion. Then Sunday the Univest Grand Prix international Bicycle Race will circle downtown between 10AM and 1:30PM Sunday the 13th.
Have fun walking through the art exhibits and galleries in the streets of downtown on Saturday. Shop and dine at your choice of great restaurants. Attend a movie at our wonderful restored Art Deco County Theater (2 tickets on us!) which features smaller and independent films. Enjoy the night life, and then walk (don’t drive) back to your luxurious jacuzzi and featherbed at the Hargrave House. Have a hearty breakfast cooked in-house especially for you in the mornings. Many of the streets may be closed for events like the Art Festival and bicycle race, but you won’t worry because you are parked (for free) in our private lot. Walk over to the Jim Henson exhibit and enter Jim’s world of Muppets and Sesame characters. (Again 2 tickets on us – And these are untimed tickets, not the timed tickets the Museum sells at the door.)
Our price for this terrific art-filled weekend (Friday and Saturday nights) at the Hargrave House is only $350 to $400 for the weekend – depending on room availability. We are sorry, but only two-night reservations are being taken. If you want to stay over an additional night, add a mere $100 for either Thursday or Sunday nights to this offer. See you soon!
Take a step back in time and enjoy this home, built between1813 and 1815. Whether it is a business trip, vacation, honeymoon, anniversary or weekend get-a-way, make The Hargrave House your home away from home. Experience Doylestown – it is one of the “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” named by the National Trust for Historical Preservation.
Perfectly nestled in the heart of the Doylestown Borough Historical District, Hargrave House offers luxurious guest suites with personal service and the ambiance of home, including a delicious breakfast. Our B&B overlooks the Doylestown Borough Historic Society’s pocket park.
Hargrave House B&B is conveniently located between New York City and Philadelphia. The B&B is mere steps away from the historic Bucks County Courthouse, a diverse selection of shops and boutiques, and an array of fabulous restaurants. Enjoy a short walk to many of Bucks County’s most visited sites: The Mercer Museum, The Michener Art Museum, The Civil War Museum, Font Hill and The Moravian Tiles Works, and The County Theater. The Pearl S. Buck House, Peddler’s Village Shopping Area, New Hope, Washington’s Crossing Historical Park, Bowman’s Hill, Czestachowa and other attractions are all within a short drive.
The Train and Bus Station is a short two block walk from our door, with connections to Philadelphia (1 Hour) and New York City (2 Hours). Free on-site parking is available to all of our guests for the duration of their stay.
Hey, September is not all that far away! So if you’re coming to in for the Doylestown Art Festival 2009, start planning your lodging now.
Our B & B is located in the heart of Doylestown and is newly remodeled, beautiful and lavish. We have jacuzzis is most rooms and internet. And free on-site parking-which is a big plus for the busy weekend!
Here is some info about the Doylestown Art Festival:
Saturday, Sept 6 & Sunday Sept 7, 2008!
Doylestown’s largest festival of the year, brought to you by the Doylestown Business and Community Alliance and The Thompson Organization, is scheduled for Saturday (10am-5pm) and Sunday (11am-5pm), September 6th and 7th. Like previous years, this festival offers wonderful artisans presenting their work for sale (crafts, photography, furniture, jewelry and more) plus great entertainment to fill the town’s streets with beautiful tunes. The festival will take place in the center of town on State and Main Streets along with West Oakland and Hamilton Streets. There will be a food court in the Hamilton Street parking lot and live entertainment.
See other Bucks County events at http://buckscountyalive.com/events/index.cfm
Why come in and out of Doylestown for the Art festival when you can stay at our beautiful B & B? Make your reservations here. We are your place for doylestown lodging.
The next performer at this years jazz fest is Sean J. Kennedy.
Sean J. Kennedy is a Philadelphia based drum set artist and teacher, and is a proud Bosphorus Cymbals and Silver Fox Drumsticks Performing Artist.
Sean leads the critically acclaimed Philadelphia based jazz quartet, The Sean J. Kennedy Quartet. Their new CD, Queen Anne’s Revenge, features Bob Mintzer (Yellow Jackets & Buddy Rich) and Liberty DeVitto (formerly with Billy Joel). The CD is already creating quite a buzz, jazz legend Dave Brubeck recently wrote the following about Kennedy’s newest CD,
While enjoying the Bucks County Jazz Fest, why not stay at our beautiful B & B? We have newly renovated rooms-many with jacuzzis, free on-site parking. We are located in the heart of Doylestown and are one of Doylestowns premiere Bed and Breakfasts. We a favorite spot for Doylestown Lodging and Bucks County Lodging. Make your reservations here.