1785 "Newry"

The Governor Wolf Historical Society will open six private historic homes and four early buildings for the 38th Annual Christmas House Tour on Saturday, Dec. 1. The homes will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. This year’s theme is “Keep a Candle in the Window,” a German custom that welcomed travelers. The Home News will feature one of the homes each week until tour day.

This two-story house, known as the Newry, was constructed in 1785 by Jacob Bender. It was built into the hillside and features plank floors, deep windowsills, tall ceilings and stone fireplaces. As you walk through the house, note the two-sided fireplace in the living room. The hearth from the original kitchen is on the ground floor. Open original beams grace the dining room and ground floor. Old glass panel doors provide another distinctive touch.

Jacob Bender built an unusual feature into his springhouse. Since relatives had been captured by Indians in a raid, he included a trap door in the springhouse, where the family could hide in case of danger. The main and lower levels of the house and the springhouse will be open for the tour.

On the same day, the Annual Historic Christmas Family Day will fill the campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum hosts an exhibit of early lighting with expert Wayne Lauciusto. Historic craftsmen will demonstrate, the 153 Civil War Coddington Reenactors will be encamped. Taste and watch hearth cooking, spinning and weaving, iron crafts, early powder horns and flintlocks, and more, such as pony rides and arts and crafts for children. Make this a yearly family destination. No parking or admission fee. A free-will donation may be dropped into our “Preservation Jars” if you wish. The Daily Grind in The Schoolhouse Café will offer food to take with you on the tour, or to enjoy there. There will also be quality crafters selling their wares and fresh greens. In addition to selling fresh wreaths and swags this year, the historical society will be holding a Fresh Wreath Making Class on Monday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon. Complete a large fresh wreath with a bow of your choice for $25. Instructor is Linda Kortz, past president of the Moorestown Garden Club and former designer for Schantz Greenhouse. Sign-up by calling 610-837-7078 and leaving a message, or while visiting the campus.

Booklets are now on sale – $25 advance and $30 day of tour. A limited number of tour booklets will be sold at S Seem Antiques on Chestnut St. in Bath, Miller Ace Hardware on Route 329, Curt’s Cyclery in Nazareth, Bath Drug on Route 512 and Snow Goose Gallery at 470 Main St., Bethlehem.

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