32ND ANNUAL MT. GRETNA TOUR OF HOMES & GARDENS
Saturday, August 5, 2017, 10 am – 5 pm (Always the first Saturday in August.)
Mt. Gretna, PA – Enjoy a fascinating glimpse into the architecture and style of Mt. Gretna’s iconic homes. A self-guided walking tour includes homes and gardens of contrasting sizes and styles, reflecting the various styles and tastes of Mt. Gretna homeowners.
A trolley will transport you to one home, the Mt. Gretna Inn will be open and serving lemonade on their porch, the Historical Society Museum will be open and staffed with volunteers to answer questions on all things Gretna, and Chautauqua homeowners will have food and drink available at the Hall of Philosophy. The Mt. Gretna School of Arts studio and three gardens designed by a local artist, Ryan Fretz will also be on the tour. The result is a delightful day in the shady, nostalgic surroundings of Mt. Gretna.
Tickets are $20 (in advance) or $25 (day of). $5 for age 12 and under. For more information, call 717-361-1508.
- Lancaster County: All Stauffers markets
- Dauphin County: Brownstone Real Estate, Hershey; and Stauffers Garden Centers in Hummelstown and Linglestown
- Cumberland County: Stauffers Garden Center, Mechanicsburg
- Lebanon County: Brownstone Real Estate, Lebanon (Quentin); Gretna Emporium, Mt. Gretna, and Stauffers Garden Center in Lebanon
- York County: Stauffers Garden Centers in East York and Dover.
On the day of the tour, $25 tickets will be sold outside the Mt. Gretna post office on Princeton Avenue and in front of the Mt. Gretna Playhouse at 200 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Brownstone Real Estate Company is the sponsor of the tour. Proceeds benefit Gretna Music, an organization that has been presenting chamber music, jazz and other musical genres in central PA for over 40 years.
Trolley provided by Expressions Limousine of Lancaster.
Highlights for the 2016 Tour
The 2016 tour includes 8 homes, 3 historic buildings, 3 gardens, the Mt. Gretna School of Art Studio and a trolley ride to one of the homes by the lake.
The Sweet In-Between
This warm and cozy cottage has great, although sometimes crooked and uneven, bones. The French doors off of both the living room and the dining room allow for an open feel in the summer and contribute to a private warm and cozy atmosphere with a great fire place in the winter. When you travel straight through the chef’s kitchen to the back of the house, it’s surprising how the house appears to be perched on a completely different location. The deck drops off to a gorgeously landscaped garden deep below the first floor. The views are dramatically spellbinding.
Mt. Gretna School of the Arts (MGSoA) is a new, innovative art program designed to provide intensive art instruction to a talented and motivated group of students in an inspiring setting. In its fourth year, the school attracts gifted and motivated students, instructors and lecturers from across the country. The artistic energy and excellence of expression they bring to the area enhances Mount Gretna’s stature as an arts destination and young artists develop enduring relationships with the Mount Gretna community.
The school purchased and renovated the cottage this year to provide lodging and work space for student artists engaged in the immersive summer art program. Artists live family style in the cottage which offers a relaxing porch, art library, reading room, and kitchen on the first floor.
Visit the bright work room and storage area on the lower level and peruse creations by former students – some offered for purchase to support the non-profit educational program.
Summerdale and its adjoining cottage was constructed in 1896 by two sisters who wanted to be together but did not want to live together. Architecturally, most of three-season cottage is original. An upstairs porch had been added which was later converted to a bathroom when indoor plumbing became available. Smell the pine steeped wood inside, check out the original farm sink and all the decorated space which is an ode to the owner’s late father and grandfather, including vintage collections from the dairy her grandfather owned and where her father worked as a milkman.
The Hall of Philosophy in Chautauqua
The Pennsylvania Chautauqua Summer Programs committee is sponsoring a “Grab ’n Go” lunch beginning at 11 am. Homemade items in the serve-yourself lunch include sandwiches, salads, and desserts.
Perry Good, owner of Good Builders will also be at the HOP. Stop by Perry’s table to register for a FREE raffle to win tickets for next year’s Tour and 2016 Music at Gretna tickets of your choice.
The HOP is the heart of a community distinctive in its striving to live up to the Chautauqua mission: “advancement of literary, scientific, intellectual, physical, and social welfare and the promotion of cultural and religious activities, recreation and entertainment.” Plans for building the current building began in 1908, with the announcement that Rorer Hall would be torn down. The building’s exterior, inspired by classic Greek architecture, has remained unchanged since it was erected, and the interior has experienced minor alterations over the years.
Actors portraying Ann Hark and Sarah Tyson Rorer, two historic women of Mt. Gretna will make 5-10 minutes appearances at the Hall of Philosophy every half hour starting at 11:15am, 11:45am, 12:15pm, 12:45pm, 1:15am, 1:45pm, 2:15pm, and 2:45pm
The Mt. Gretna Area Historical Society
Docents are available for tours 10 am to 5 pm. The Society is charged with preserving the heritage of the entire Mount Gretna area, including Mount Gretna Borough, the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, Mount Gretna Campmeeting, Mount Gretna Heights, Timber Hills, Conewago Hill, Stoberdale, areas of Colebrook once occupied by the Pennsylvania National Guard, and areas of Cornwall which involved the Coleman family.
If the Museum looks like simply another cottage in Mt. Gretna, those who restored it will consider their labors a success. Among its most important roles today is helping modern-day owners who plan to restore their cottages here. The museum is also a repository for audio and video histories – memories recorded in the voices of Mt. Gretnans who helped shape the area’s history.
Mt. Gretna inn
Relax on the Mt. Gretna Inn porch. Mt. Gretna Heights homeowners will provide complimentary water and lemonade.
This three-story inn was once the private home of Mt. Gretna builder and developer Abraham Kauffman. Design inspirations here stemmed from the Arts and Crafts Movement popular during the 1910 to 1925 era. The home has also served as a church camp and a restaurant. It is now a bed and breakfast. Guests relax amid an eclectic mix of furnishings in this elegant inn, which the owners strive to make “comfortable and casual, rather than fussy.” Each of the seven guest rooms is unique, with private baths. Some have private porches, gas fireplaces or whirlpool tubs. All rooms also have access to a butler’s pantry, microwave ovens and other amenities. One of the favorite spots of both owners and guests is unquestionably the front porch. “It is a place you can escape to with a glass of wine, listening to the crickets at night, or with coffee in the morning, catching the birds’ chorus. . . a little bit of heaven.”