Monday, September 5, 2011

Grey Towers, Milford, PA

Sunday, 9/4/11 - The sun is out and we are settled in to our new spot so we decided to go exploring in the town of Historic Milford, PA. Our campsite, Lake Adventure is about 11 miles from downtown Milford and they have several places in "the book" to see.

We arrive in Milford and drive down into the main part of historic downtown. We park the car and walk up and down both sides of the streets, going into Hotel Facuchere which was built in 1852 as a summer hotel for the rich and famous of New York City. The hotel and restaurant are still in operation. We walked through this beautiful place and Will even went up to the second floor to check it out. Next we walked into Fretta's an old Italian sausage place started in 1906 that had sausages hanging in all the windows. We then read a historical sign about Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946) who was governor of Pennsylvania twice and started the U.S. Forest Service. It seems his family had a summer home here and it is now a historical site that you can tour so we that's where we headed next.

Grey Towers National Historic Site This home was completed in 1887 by Gifford Pinchot's parents (who made their money in wallpaper) James and Mary Pinchot. Because of their French heritage it is built like a French chateau-style mansion. The bottom floor is unchanged from 1887 and the library and sitting room look like it did when Gov Pinchot and his wife Cornelia lived here. The second and third floors, originally bedrooms are now used for conservation center. Only Gifford Pinchot's bedroom is the only historic room on the upper floors and they say everything in it is exactly how it was. There is no dining room and it was explained that because this was a summer home, Gifford & Cornelia spent a lot of time outdoors. The outside dining table was know as the "Fingerbowl" which was amazing. A counter, table height, was centered around a pool of water that was 5 ft deep and about 6 ft across. The food was put into bowls and "pushed" off to the person across the pool. So food was not served by sending it around, but by the pool of water. Our group sat at the pool and pushed bowls of fruit back and forth to each other. Great fun and sooooo different. This was all under a gazebo with 70 year old lilacs covering it. The Pinchot son donated Grey Towers and the estate to the U.S. Government and President Kennedy was here in 1963 for the dedication.

The grounds and landscaping were equally beautiful and unfortunately we didn't have the time or stamina to explore it. Oh and speaking of "our group" we got lucky. Just as we purchased our tickets a bus full of Puerto Ricans came up and we shared a tour with them. Gosh, it made us home sick for Fresno, we were the only ones speaking English on the tour. You can imagine how thrilled Will was with this tour. However, because the group was so large they split it in two and we were able to see all three floors which they don't usually do, so that was nice. After the tour we headed home and boy you can sure see that fall is here. Everyday now we see more and more color in the trees. A fun day and beautiful place to see, Grey Towers.

Monday, 9/5/11 - Tropical storm Lee is HERE and it has rained most of the day. Fortunately, I was able to get my walk in this morning and we took a ride to the local grocery store this afternoon for a newspaper so we can keep up with the "outside world" as we have no TV. Will and I have decide we have the most "spoiled" life ever!!!! Will says he really understands why welfare people don't want to go to work.....when someone just keeps depositing money in your account, why bother. However, we are very grateful for this opportunity. Much love to all our family and friends.

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