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Ilove taking walks during the fall and early winter. I find the crisp air and cool blue sky to be invigorating. When walking through Doylestown I am pleased passing by friendly people, open stores, bistros and beautiful structures. One such architectural beauty is the Aldie Mansion where William and Martha Mercer once lived and is the present home of the Heritage Conservancy. We are grateful that Bucks County historian and past director of the Heritage Conservancy, Jeffrey Marshall, in conjunction with Amy Fulton wrote “The Revival of Aldie Mansion” for our Fall/Winter 2022 issue of Doylestown Town & Country.
Another thing I love about Doylestown’s townscape are the church buildings that historically document the town and give an identity derived from the waves of people who came here and the importance they put on worshipping God. Photographer Lisa Bridge chose black and white photography to highlight these venerable structures and display the transcendence these buildings symbolize.
Alan Fetterman, a truly gifted Bucks County artist, painted the Fall/Winter cover with a stunning painting of the intersection of State & Main Streets. And now he is going to have a truly momentous 50th solo show. I tell the story behind this show in “Land, Life & Light,” which is also the name of his show.
In our Art department we meet Bob Richey, whose concern for the relationship of shapes, color and value make his painting luminescent and compelling. Our People department is about Christine Higney and her ability to organize a group to help parents get the baby formula they need during a the recent formula shortage.
We also have much more about Doylestown people, places and things in this issue, so use it as your guide as you take your fall and winter walks thorugh Doylestown.
William N. Waite
Vicky M. Waite
BCM MEDIA, INC.
Lisa Bridge, Bobby Waite
Doylestown Town & Country Living Guide is published annually by BCM Media Company, Inc., 309 W. Armstrong Drive, Fountainville, PA 18923. 215-766-2694. Published 2x a year in the spring and fall. All contents copyright by BCM Media Company. All rights reserved.
Doylestown Historical Society
Come visit and see our collections and artifacts of our past in Doylestown. We also collect stories. The narratives are the human connection to our past and it is these stories that help bring history alive. Without the stories, all those photos, documents, and objects are just interesting things to look at. Museum Hours: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Wednesday-Saturday or by appointment. 56 S. Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901;215- 345-9430
Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce
November 10: Art Exhibition & Sculpture Show
November 17: Spark Bowl Delaware Valley University
Through December 31: Everyday Rhythms
Music at the Mercer
December 6: Holiday Open House
84 South Pine Street, Doylestown, PA 18901;215-345-0210; www.mercermuseum.org
Saturdays: Walk in Tours
November 20: The Art of Stillness: A Wooded Watershed by Daniel Garber
December 1,8,15: Stained Glass Workshop
December 18: The Art of Stillness: Exploring Walk this Way Exhibition
138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, PA18901;215-340-9800; Michenerartmuseum.Org
Mercantile at Doylestown
December 10: Kids Glass Class
Learn the art of glass fusing (melting pieces of glass together to create an object or form). You will learn basic safety and use of non-power tools to cut, shape and arrange pieces of colored glass to create your own holiday ornaments (3). Projects will be fired off site and returned to The Mercantile within one week. Doylestown Shopping Center,444 – 446 N Main St, Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901; www. mercantiledoylestown.com
Through December 31: Holidays at Fonthill Castle
December 8-29: Holiday Evening Castle Tours
East Court Street & Route 313,Doylestown, PA 18901; www.mercermuseum.org.
109TH Annual Tree Lighting
November 24: Join us for the 107th Annual Tree Lighting. More information to come soon! Discover Doylestown’s Holiday Celebration, including seasonal lights and decorations as well as Free Weekend Parking, is supported by the Borough of Doylestown, the Doylestown Fire Department, and our wonderful sponsors. www.dtownwinterfest.com.
Pearl Buck Holiday Craft Show
November 25-December 4: Juried artists and crafters display their works in the pre-Civil War barn located on the historic Pearl S. Buck estate. There will be art, ceramics, glass, pottery, wood, and jewelry. Visitors also will find decorative accessories, holiday décor, antiques, and holiday candies, jams, and jellies. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Admission. 520 Dublin Road, Perkasie, PA. 215-249-0100; www.psbi.org.
Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio
Ongoing: A full-service fine art investment firm specializing in 19th- and 20th-century American paintings. There is an emphasis on the Pennsylvania Impressionists, the Philadelphia Ten, and artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Fine art framing services, as well as conservation services, also are provided. 5230 Silo Hill Road, Doylestown, PA. 215-348-2500; www.gratzgallery.com.
Pearl S Buck
November 17 – January 9: Festival of Trees tours of the Pearl S. Buck
November 25-December 4: Holiday Craft
Show 30-year annual holiday show
December 15: Community Holiday Open House
520 Dublin Road, Perkasie, PA 18944; www.pearlsbuck.org.
Bucks Country Gardens
December 19: Bonus Bucks Redemption
December 22: Gift Card Sale
1057 North Easton Road, Doylestown, PA; www.buckscountrygardens.com.
Patricia Hutton Galleries
Through November 21: Colors of Autumn II -
A gallery wide exhibition celebrating the beauty of Autumn. Oil, pastel and watercolor paintings celebrating the colors and feelings evoked by the crisp, clear days of Fall, a favorite subject for many of our Bucks County and New England painters. Over twenty awardwinning nationally and regionally recognized gallery artists offer their interpretations of this special season. The exhibition also includes seasonally inspired still life. Patricia Hutton Galleries, 47 West State Street, Doylestown. 215-348-1728; www.patriciahuttongalleries.com.
November 5-6: Apple Weekend
November 18-20: Merchants Open House
November 18-Januaray 7: Gingerbread Display
December 3-4: Holly Jolly Weekend
Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, PA. 215-794-4000; www.peddlersvillage.com.
Peace Valley Nature Center
Sundays: Naturalist Forays
November 12: Nature Center Discovery Day
November 18: Friday Night Owl Prowl
December 10: Wildlife Tree Ornament Workshop
December 16: Luminaria Stroll
December 21: Winter Solstice Hike
170 North Chapman Road, Doylestown, PA. 215-345-7860; www.peacevalleynaturecenter.org.
Borough of Perkasie Tree Lighting
December 3: Families can expect a traditional evening out, with Holiday music, food and fun. The event opens at 5pm with Perkasie Mayor, John Hollenbach and his annual reading of “T’was the Night Before Christmas”. Carols and Holiday music from local school choirs will be followed by rocking Holiday music from Mike Greer & Co. Santa Claus and Mrs Claus arrive on a Perkasie Electric Truck to light the Christmas tree at 7pm. www.perkasiebo rough.org/our-events.
Doylestown Book Shop
Thursdays: Virtual Book Club
November 12: Chuck Wendig:Wayward
December 16: Allison Gilbert:Listen, World!
16 S Main St, Doylestown PA. www.doylestownbookshop.com.
This is a dream that I have put my whole heart into and continue to do so every day. I want you to walk in the door and feel at home and relaxed. I want an experience for you, more than wanting you to shop. Tranquil Brazilian music softly plays in the background, while subtle notes of citrus and gardenia fill the air from our Capri Blue Candles and Kai Fragrance products. You are free to take in the store at your own pace, knowing if you need us, we are nearby to help you find what you are searching for, or perhaps you just needed a dose of beauty to lighten your day.
I am purposeful when buying, bringing in women owned companies and organic
apothecary lines as well as a focus on real women's bodies and what makes us feel beautiful. We want comfort, ease, and style to feel more confident and feel more at home in our changing bodies. Clothes play a big part in this ‘soothing of the soul’ and ‘quieting of the mind.’ What we wear sets a tone for our mood and our feeling of comfort and self-esteem. We clothe ourselves for our days, our moments. Make sure you choose something that is a vehicle for your mood and your chosen activity. Clothing is an integral part of our lives. Let's enjoy both!
Heather Bleu is located at 181 Hart Avenue, Doylestown, PA; 267-454-7064; www.heatherbleuhome.com.
The Doylestown Gold Exchange is a family owned and operated business that has separated itself from all other gold buyers and jewelry stores in the Bucks and Montgomery Counties area. It is hard to believe the Doylestown Gold Exchange opened its doors in November of 2011 in a small 300 sq foot office and is celebrating 11 years of being in business. The owners Greg Glemser and Kyle Goodman owe it all to the loyal customers that come in everyday and support their business and couldn't be thankful enough for now being a stable part of the community. As the jewelry business has evolved over the years, so has the gold exchange. Besides being a full-service jewelry store that offers jewelry repair, watch repair, new and estate jewelry and custom engagement rings, they also are a fullservice precious metals dealer where you can buy and sell investment grade metals or sell your unwanted jewelry. They have built a great a reputation in the community and you must stop in and see how
they set themselves apart from everyone else. The Doylestown Gold Exchange is located at 812 N. Easton Road, Doylestown, PA. For more information, call 215-345-6630; www.doylestowngoldexchange.com.
Dan Spirer, a Temple University graduate and former owner of several successful businesses, specializes in the sale of unique residential real estate throughout the five-county Pennsylvania and New Jersey metropolitan market. From eighteenthcentury Bucks and Hunterdon County farmhouses and log homes to mid-century modern homes and estate properties, Dan is committed to client success.
When working with buyers and sellers, Dan offers the services of his company, New Hope Building, LLC (NHB), a residential construction and remodeling company specializing in historical renovation. Dan says, “For years, buyers and sellers have enjoyed knowing that the team at NHB will handle their post-purchase remodeling and construction needs.”
Prior to real estate, Dan was a professional tournament poker player for five years.
He has played throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Dan also founded and operated an independent ATM company, which he sold before entering real estate.
Dan has been married for twenty-five years to poet and artist Ethel Rackin. They share two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, one, Miss Rosie, is pictured here.
Dan’s Pennsylvania office, Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach Realtors, is located at 6319 Lower York Road New Hope, PA 18938. For more information, call him directly on his cell phone at 215-432-1080 or the office at 215-862-3385 or visit www.danspirer.com.
Eagle Power Turf & Tractor maintains a huge selection of both new and used outdoor power equipment to keep your landscape beautiful year-round. In addition to the full line of Kubota products, they carry the brands you know and trust from Ferris, Toro, STIHL, Boss Plows, LandPride, MacKissic and more than 20 others. With over 50 years of combined experience in the industry, the sales team can help you choose the right equipment for the job—every time. You can contact the sales department for the latest new and used equipment selection.
The parts department stocks over 100,000 parts and accessories, for a wide variety of
brands, to keep your equipment going when you need it. These can be shipped UPS or next day to any location. Contact our parts department for more information.
Whether you just need routine service to keep your equipment in tip top running shape or you need a repair, their factory-trained technicians can help. You can trust the service team to provide the highest quality work at a fair price.
Eagle Power Turf & Tractor is located at 697 N. Main Street, Doylestown, PA. You can reach them at 215-348-9041 or visit online at www.eagleptt.com.
The Hattery offers modern American fare and comfort food that is sure to please any guest. In addition to some famous mainstays, the menu is updated to feature the tastes of the changing seasons. Join us for brunch, lunch, dinner or happy hour! Be sure to also keep an eye out for specials and events.
A town favorite, The Hattery Stove & Sill is located inside the Doylestown Inn, 18 W. State Street, Doylestown, PA; 215-345-1527; www.hatterydoylestown.com.
Bob Richey is more concerned about the relationship of shapes, color and values than the overall subject matter
The whimsical skeletons dance on the paper in bright crayon colors, all smiling yet distinctive in their expressions. Their creator was only six at the time, but today Bob Richey values his first attempt at art as much as any of his current works. His childhood passion for creating art never waned even during his 25-year career as an aerospace engineer. “My art has been woven into my everyday activities—it’s always there as a part of my life,” he said.
Mainly self-taught, he painted in watercolor for many years before discovering soft pastels, his medium of choice. He relies on his powers of observation to portray ordinary subjects in a novel way, often returning to certain places to see them in a different light or angle. His small format landscapes enable him to quickly capture the essence of a particular moment and allow him to explore many compositions.
Composition and color are key elements in his work. “Overall subject matter is not as important as the overall relationship of shapes, color and values,” he said. “I think about my pictures in an abstract manner even though the end result is fairly realistic.”
Shadows and reflections are often key elements in his work, such as Little Bridge at Pond’s Edge, a restful scene he painted from historic Graeme Park in Horsham, PA. In the painting, reflections from the trees and sky are mirrored in the water with bold dashes of green and blue.
All of his paintings are done in his studio; however, he does quick sketches while sitting in his car and also takes photos for reference. His intent is not to copy what the camera sees, in fact, his finished piece is often strikingly different from the original photo.
A significant event impacted the way
Bob seeks out his subject matter. In 2012 his son, Bob III, suffered a severe spinal cord injury while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. During trips with him to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, Bob learned to look for inspiration in places he never considered before. “I used to drive around looking for inspiration,” he said, “but now I find it wherever I might be.”
Before doing a pastel Bob starts with a charcoal concept sketch that helps him plan the composition and determine light and dark values. The pastels are applied to textured paper with a sanded finish, and he often lets small flecks of the of the paper show through the painting.
Starting with the sky, he tends to work from the top down, building layers and texture with little dabs of color.
Depending on the subject matter,
some pastels are smoothly blended while others are more roughly done. “I feel that I have more than one style of working,” he said. “My urban scenes tend to be more roughly done since the scene itself is often a gritty one.”
Bob is included in the James A. Michener Art Museum’s data base of Bucks County Artists and was featured in the book, Artists of the River Towns by Doris Brandes, 2002. Despite his success, he remains down to earth and unassuming about his talent. “I’m not profound about my art—I just really like what I do.”
He admires the work of contemporary artist Stuart Shils and also Edward Hopper and the French Impressionists. In addition, he was inspired by the book, Being An Artist by Lewis Lehman, 1992, which chronicled the careers of 20 artists. One artist in the book, Austin Deuel, gave advice on art production and marketing that has stayed with Bob to this day: “Paint ‘em, pack ‘em and peddle ‘em!” Bob also does all of his own matting and framing, enabling him to minimize the cost of his work.
Bob and his wife Linda live in Warminster with their four adopted black cats. When not doing weekend art shows, the couple enjoys training for and participating
in local triathlons. In addition to Bob III, they have another son, Andrew. Since his accident Bob III has graduated with two master’s degrees and now drives a modified vehicle.
Though he’s represented by galleries, Bob enjoys going on the road to sell his paintings at various art festivals. Each year in Philadelphia for the past 40 years he has participated in the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show, the oldest outdoor art show in the country. Other shows include the Central PA Festival of the Arts at State College, Doylestown Art Festival and the New Hope Arts and Crafts Festival.
His paintings can also be seen at Artefact at the Village Barn in Furlong, PA and at the Church Street Gallery in West Chester, PA. Visit his website, www.bobri cheypastels.com to see more of his work, including his early skeleton drawing.
A baby formula crisis left parents without a way to get needed formula for their babies so, a Furlong mom, Christine Higney, created a Facebook group to help these
If you want something done, ask a busy person. So, when the baby formula crisis hit earlier this year, there was nobody more qualified to put her business skills to work at the problem than Furlong’s busy mother of three, Christine Higney. Through
determination and some research during midnight feedings, Formula Hunters was born.
“I was away with my family at a water park,” Christine remembered. “Sitting with my baby on my chest, I began thinking about other parents.” She noted that formula has a short
shelf-life—hours. And during a shortage, you hope you have a good solid drinker who can finish a bottle before time literally runs out. From the time the formula is manufactured till the time it is on the shelves takes a while.” Christine noted. “Add to that the fact that the birth rate went up through the pandemic, and you had a full-blown formula disaster to deal with. Only four production plants in the US were clearly insufficient.”
That’s how bad it got. Parents were down to a twoweek supply; some running on empty. One of her parents drove to 18 stores in one day in hopes of finding his child’s formula—and no luck. Another Pennsylvania mom, Sherry Asbury had infant twins. “Everything went crazy six months ago, so the babies were on two different formulas. I had family, friends, everyone looking for formula.” Sample cans from her pediatrician only went so far. So, while she was on Facebook, she learned about Formula Hunters. “This was incredible,” Sherry said. “There were people on there that don’t even have their own babies, looking for mothers in need to just bless someone.” She wound up getting formula from a New Jersey mom, along with toys and encouraging notes. Feeling blessed that she never ran out, she later paid it back by shipping formula to families in Kentucky and Florida. With bare shelves and production facilities shut down, the problem became real in a hurry. So, Christine’s resource management skills began matching supply
with demand. She noticed some of the dozens of brands of formula weren’t equitably distributed. You might find one on the West Coast, yet some desperate parent on the East Coast needed it, with no supply in sight. “I see the world through a lens,” Christine said. That lens is problem-solving, and she quickly dove into researching what was out there for parents through the portal for all knowledge— namely Facebook.
Christine found groups that were addressing the problem by providing inneed parents with a forum to post their needs. But she pointed out, “It was disorganized. Not only were you relying on a random parent seeing your post and having what you need, but you were dealing with problems.” According to Christine, people would get on and compete for formula. Someone would post a picture saying my store has it, but it didn’t help when you were across the country. Then there were the scammers; those who would say they bought it, asked the parent in need to send money, then never send it. Or those who would bulk buy formula when they found it, marked up the price and sold it at a significant profit. And parents who would get into a bidding war in order to secure it. Yes, it got ugly.
How to provide parents with what they need, quickly, while taking the profit motive and scammers out of the equation was the goal. Christine realized she didn’t have the skill to avoid scamming but realized you can’t get scammed if you’re not asking for money. “Parenting is already a stressful job,” she said, “Add to that the
real problem of figuring out how you’re going to feed your baby makes it that much more so.” So, she decided to launch a Facebook page that was donationbased. Yes, formula for free.
So, what would make a virtual stranger want to send you the formula at no cost to you? Payback. That’s right. Christine did some software research that provides a spreadsheet. Parents fill out a form that essentially asks for three pieces of information—Facebook display name, type of formula needed and time until your supply is depleted. The most urgent needs rise to the top of the list. When they’re met, the next set of families rotates up. So, in doing good works, you receive good works.
So, how well does it work? According to the founder, “In a week, we had 500 in our group. Now there are 1,500. And we’ve fed 500 babies. All over the country, people send formula to others somewhere else. People were incentivized to move through a list and get their turn. It’s amazing as a parent,” Christine said, “Seeing people want to pay for others (including shipping costs) and do it through other people paying it back.” As of this writing,
the situation has eased a bit. Shelves aren’t as bare, but it still doesn’t mean your local store has your particular formula So, the community continues. While Christine got something successful off the ground, her longtime friend, Mary Hales, who is also a nurse and mother of three has jumped in. “I got involved four months ago when Christine told me about the problem.” She didn’t have infants, but what she did have was a flexible schedule. “Based on my assessment, the formula shortage is easing up for some, but there are still caregivers struggling to find their brand,” she said. When parents learn about the group, the demand spikes, but there are those who are still donating. Mary loves seeing the needs of parents met, a community that’s come together and hugs from her six-year-old when they celebrate shipments made.
It's truly a heartwarming story. And one that demonstrates that it is true—you can really rely on the kindness of strangers. Contact: www.face book.com/groups/formula hunters.
Someone would post a picture saying my store has it, but it didn’t help when you were across the country. Then there were the scammers; those who would say they bought it, asked the parent in need to send money, then never send it.
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The Aldie Mansion, built in 1927, now houses the Heritage Conservancy and is available to be rented for weddings, conferences and other eventsBy Jeff Marshall and Amy Fulton
The historic Aldie Mansion is a monument to Doylestown’s storied past. The charming Tudor-style mansion, with its gorgeous brickwork and arched windows set amidst rolling green lawns and carefully tended gardens, is an oasis amid surrounding shopping centers, apartment complexes, and single-family homes.
But what are the stories behind this exquisite property and its dreamy architecture? And what stories does the building help continue to tell today?
Constructed in 1927, Aldie Mansion began its history as one of the grandest houses built during the Roaring Twenties by an artistic and lively couple. William and Martha Mercer commissioned the mansion as an ode to an English Tudor manor named Compton Wynyates, located in Warwickshire, England. Many common characteristics of the Tudor revival style, including steeply pitched roofs, intricate brickwork, dramatic chimneys, and tall, mullioned windows, remain visible at Aldie Mansion today. Additional details like carved interior woodwork, patterned tile floors, stone terraces, and ornate concrete fountains all lend the property an Old-World elegance that’s increasingly hard to find in the present
William Mercer himself sculpted many of the mansion’s architectural details. William was the younger brother of Henry Mercer, Doylestown’s famous tile artist and builder of Fonthill Castle. While Henry was well known for his Moravian tile-making, William worked primarily with cement and plaster, creating fountains, fireplace mantels, and intricate plaster ceiling designs. Examples of William’s work can be found all throughout Aldie Mansion, including in the dining room, which features an impressive ceiling design with floral and animal motifs and a massive fireplace displaying the initials W&M.
For quite some time, Aldie Mansion was full of life. Martha and William were well known for their elaborate parties, and dignitaries came to visit from far and wide.
Martha famously once hosted a Christmas party where the Von Trapp family, known for the Sound of Music, performed Christmas carols for her guests in the Great Hall. While William and Martha loved their home at Aldie Mansion, they had no direct heirs. After they both passed away, the mansion changed hands several times, until it was abandoned. Unfortunately, by the early 1980s, the mansion fell into disrepair and abandonment. It was victim to arson and overgrowth, and it suffered from looting. During this period, most of the sculptures and artistic works from the mansion and its gardens were stolen or disappeared.
In the late 1980s, Heritage Conservancy acquired Aldie Mansion with the promise that it would restore the mansion to its original grandeur. Aldie Mansion stands today as a result of collaborative stewardship thanks to community support. By adaptively reusing historic Aldie Mansion as its base of operation and as a special events venue, Heritage Conservancy helps to safeguard the unique history of this building and its landscape for the heritage of our community.
Founded in 1958, Heritage Conservancy is a nationally accredited not-forprofit conservation organization that specializes in: open space preservation, natural resource protection, property stewardship, historic preservation, Municipal and Community Planning Services and public education and outreach.
The mission of Heritage Conservancy
is to preserve and protect our natural and historic heritage. Since its founding, the organization has worked with citizens, community groups, private landowners, municipalities, and government agencies to protect over 16,000 thousand acres of land and dozens of historic sites that are so essential to our region's quality of life.
Heritage Conservancy owns and maintains several publicly accessible ambassador properties that allow community members to get outdoors, explore, and connect with nature. On properties such as Croydon Woods Nature Preserve in
Bristol, PA, and Hart’s Woods Preserve in Doylestown, PA, visitors can enjoy recreational activities including hiking, walking, jogging, nature study, and dog walking (leashed).
In addition, Heritage Conservancy offers educational public programs throughout the year for groups, including municipal officials and schools. By hosting field trips at preserved properties or holding in-school presentations, Heritage Conservancy provides several hands-on educational opportunities that can supplement a teacher or school’s in-class curriculum. The
organization’s At Home with Nature virtual series also contains videos and activities for supplemental learning on topics such as Amphibians & Wetlands, Birds & Wildlife, and Pollinators.
Finally, Heritage Conservancy hosts several events throughout the year that are open to the community. Taking place at their Russell-Mandel Nature Preserve, Heritage Conservancy’s annual Farm to Table event connects guests with nature and highlights the importance of safeguarding land to protect the food we eat. Guests are treated to a delicious, locally sourced farm fresh menu, refreshing beer and wine, and live music on a gorgeous backdrop of preserved space.
Every December, Heritage Conservancy also hosts Christmas at Aldie Mansion, a magical evening to kick off the holiday season with gilded hallways, sparkling decorations, festive music, and delicious cuisine.
To learn more about Heritage Conservancy’s work, or to find ways you can get involved, please visit heritageconser vancy.org or call 215-345-7020.
As a venue for weddings, receptions, and conferences, Aldie Mansion provides guests with the unique ability to connect with history and nature. From stone terraces ideal for a breezy cocktail hour to a gorgeous atrium perfect for dining and dancing, plus the more intimate library,
gallery, and great hall, the various spaces at Aldie Mansion all come together to transport visitors back in time and make the mansion one of the area’s most soughtafter locations for gatherings of all types.
The grounds also provide a variety of romantic outdoor ceremony locations, including:
• Beneath the long-reaching boughs of our 300-year-old Bur Oak tree
• On the steps in front of the Tea Garden fountain
• In the brick courtyard with the Tudor-style estate as your backdrop
• Overlooking the terrace and gardens from the Great Hall
• In the window-lined Ballroom
For several decades, Heritage Conservancy has partnered with Philadelphiabased Jeffrey A. Miller (JAM) Catering to expertly plan events at Aldie Mansion that have been delighting guests with delicious cuisine and warm hospitality. These events also generate ongoing revenue to support the Heritage Conservancy’s work, which protects open spaces and historic places like Aldie Mansion.
For more information about event rentals, please visit jamcater.com/venues/aldie mansion/or call 215-348-3509.
Jeffrey Marshall is retired after 40 years with the Heritage Conservancy, ten of which he served as president. Now he is a senior advisor to the Conservancy. Amy Fulton is a senior communications associate, who is responsible for creating engaging content highlighting Heritage Conservancy’s mission, impact, and initiatives.
TebWeb Innovations LLC is the brainchild of Thomas Brunt, a nearly lifelong resident of Doylestown who has had a varied career in many aspects of television and video production, now passing 35 years. He started with the local cable company in Doylestown as a junior in high school. “I took to video production instantly, and quickly realized that it would be my career choice.”
Prior to taking TebWeb Innovations full time in 2021, Thomas worked for a mobile broadcast production company, serving as a main engineer providing equipment support on some of the largest sporting events for the largest broadcasters. World Series, Super Bowls, Olympics— Thomas has worked many of them, and lots of shows in between, including game shows and live entertainment.
“Volunteering in the community is very important to me. I started helping local organizations and civic groups doing what I enjoy doing—creating video content. During the pandemic I was furloughed for several months like so many others, so I put my video production skills to use helping produce pandemic related video resources for the community through Doylestown Borough, Discover Doylestown and the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce.
After nearly 22 years of supporting events all over North America, Thomas wanted to shift his focus back to his local community and help his clientele create their own visions using video technology.
“Being so involved in the community greatly helped TebWeb move from a part-time venture to a full-time service business. I had so many connections from different business and civic leaders in the community. What started as volunteer work began turning into paid projects, helping me realize that I can do this full-time.”
Tom also supports the Doylestown Historical Society, Discover Doylestown, Doylestown at Dusk Car Show, and during the cold winter months he volunteers as staff for the local Code Blue shelter to help our homeless community.
For more information, call 267-935-9075 or visit www.tebweb.com.TebWeb Innovations LLC • Thomas Brunt, Owner
Doylestown resident Joanne Petrun, when she was working in Northeast Philadelphia would take gift cards to Dunkin Donuts and leave them with the cashier. In Doylestown, when she and her children were at Borough Bagels, she paid for someone’s to-go order, while she was waiting for her own order. The recipient of this random act of kindness came in and the cashier motioned to Joanne as having paid for her order. Joanne said, “She thanked me over and over again. She was just so grateful. And it got me thinking if I can do this and have such an effect on a stranger, imagine what it would be like if our entire community got involved with doing things like this.”
Joanne posted on the Doylestown Facebook page and asked if anyone would be interested in initiating a random act of kindness movement? The response was immediate. Over 100 people said yes. One of the people who responded was Dublin resident Edie Weinstein, who said, “I'm in PR I would love to get involved.” Edie’s friend Eric Labacz created cards that say, “Please accept this thoughtful gesture from your neighbor and pay it forward with a random act of kindness for someone else.” Joanne Petrun created a Facebook group for Bucks County Kind, for which Edie and her friend Thomas Brunt handle the administration.
Edie says that both Joanne and she are concerned over the extent of divisiveness in society. There needs to be a space where people can just appreciate each other for their common humanity. Random acts of kindness do not have to be more than saying “hi” to a someone you don’t know, opening a door for someone, talking to a stranger, visiting someone at a nursing home who has no visitors, or just paying for someone behind you in line while getting coffee.
Kindness cards can be found in locations throughout the county, including the Doylestown Hospital, Fred Beans Hyundai, Poco’s, Class Harlen Realtors, and many other locations throughout Central and Upper Bucks County. Bucks County Kind can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/3245485652438919.
Paul Gratz is the owner and head conservator at Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio, located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The gallery offers an extensive collection of 19th and 20th century American paintings, specializing in American Impressionism, specifically those by artists of the New Hope School, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Philadelphia Ten. Gratz Gallery has represented American artists with numerous exhibitions and publications for four decades. Most recently Paul Gratz presented an extensive collection of works by American Modernist, female painter, Peter Miller. The collection of over 200 works went through careful art conservation and is accompanied by a monograph on the artist published by Paul Gratz in cooperation with art historian Francis M. Naumann.
Gratz Gallery has been a trusted representative for private collectors and museums in the expansion and upgrade of their fine American art collections for 40 years and Paul Gratz recently celebrated this anniversary in bucolic Bucks County, home of the gallery and conservation studio. The Conservation Studio has specialized in the conservation and restoration of oil paintings and gilt frames for forty years. Mr. Gratz’s formal training began at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and was developed through various apprenticeships with some of the nation’s most respected art conservators. While attending the Academy, Mr. Gratz studied with the esteemed Louis Sloane, the conservator and artist Joseph Amarotico, and the unparalleled instructor, Arthur DeCosta. Since 1982 Paul Gratz has provided his services to museums, historical societies, universities, churches, and private collectors throughout the United States. Paul Gratz was a founding member of the Society of Gilders. Paul combines modern techniques with Old World craftsmanship to offer the finest in treatment for oil paintings, murals, and gilt objects.
Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio is located at 5230 Silo Hill Road, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The gallery and studio hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am – 6pm, Sunday 12 –5pm, and by appointment. Phone: 215-348-2500, www.gratzgallery.com.Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio • Paul Gratz, Owner
Bill Haas graduated from Penn State in 1982 with a degree in political science and as he says he, “… literally stepped right into a full-time position with a local congressman from Northeast Philadelphia.” The congressman planned a high-end fundraiser where Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill was the featured speaker. Bill called a friend of his who was a chef and on 48 hours’ notice, they worked together to cater the event. The congressman had another affair at the Glen Foerd Estate in Philadelphia and not only did Bill and his friend cater it, but Bill wound up being the general manager there for six years, greatly increasing the numbers of weddings at that venue. He bought the Penn Ryn Estate while it was abandoned and in disrepair and turned that historic mansion into a unique waterfront event venue where more than 350 weddings are held yearly. Bill bought the Water Wheel Tavern in 2015 and planned to turn it into another wedding venue, but something changed his mind. “As we were renovating, we were exposing drywall that covered hundreds of years old beams and stone walls that were behind the studding and the drywall, and I fell in love with the building.” Bill’s love of history made him want to restore the building that dates to 1714. “And we decided to bring it back to the original historic feel of a grist mill with its beam ceilings and stucco and stone walls. He also wanted to modernize the Waterwheel, so he took a small eight seat bar and put in an 18-seat bar with 16 taps and, modernized the all the mechanical systems. Waterwheel has been doing well ever since, because of its very loyal customer base. The restaurant, known for its delicious American cuisine also has rooms for events and parties.
Bill has been a board member of the Bucks County tourism agency, Visit Bucks County, since 1995. He has been chair of the board five times for a total of 10 years and currently serves as immediate past chair. Bill was founding president of the Friends of Washington Crossing Park and currently serves on the Board of Directors as secretary. For information about Penn Ryn visit www.penrynestate.com. For information about Waterwheel, visit www.waterwheeltavern.com.
As Chief Operating Officer of Peddler’s Village, one of the top most-visited attractions in the Philadelphia area, Bob McGowan oversees all retail and hospitality operations on the 42-acre property. Under his leadership, the Village has emerged as a preeminent year-round entertainment destination as well as a shopping and dining destination. He has expanded the events calendar, instituted new corporate programs, strengthened community partnerships, introduced new promotional strategies, directed property improvements and renovations, and reshaped the corporate structure to include new employees and consultants that together provide a full complement of skills and expertise. A longtime hospitality expert, Bob is committed to guest and employee satisfaction alike. He maintains a strategic perspective but also makes a point to interact daily with Village employees at all levels to build rapport and trust, and to assess the day-to-day impact and efficiencies of Village operations.
Prior to joining Peddler’s Village, Bob managed several of Philadelphia’s most active hospitality properties. He served as Area General Manager for the Valley Forge Hotel Management Company and PM Hotel Group, overseeing the complex that included the Crown Plaza and Fairfield Inn in King of Prussia, PA as well as the 44,000 square foot LA Fitness facility. Before that, he was General Manager of the Holiday Inn Select Bucks County in Trevose, PA. He also has extensive marketing and sales expertise; he became the Regional Director of Sales and Marketing serving five properties in and around Somerset, NJ, after serving for several years as the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Doubletree Hotel in Philadelphia. For more than a year, he was General Manager of Buckingham Mountain Brewing Company, which provided him with valuable hands-on experience in the restaurant business.
Bob holds a B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management from Penn State University. In addition to serving on the board of directors for the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, he is a board member of Visit Bucks County. He and his wife Kate have two children and live in Pipersville, PA.Peddler’s Village • Robert J. McGowan, COO
Chef Amy Koral, owner of Cherished Meals, has been surrounded by good food and home cooking her entire life. She says, “I started cooking with my mom at a young age and eventually went on to culinary school to study baking and pastry arts. After graduating in 2014, I moved to Portland, Oregon to start my career in a local French bakery. I worked as a pastry chef and production manager for the first few years that I lived in Portland and began personal cooking on the side each week in 2016. Two years later, I started Cherished Meals to pursue my passion for personal cooking full-time.”
Amy comes to your kitchen to cook. When you contact Cherished Meals, you will discuss your specific dietary needs, food allergies, favorite foods, taste preferences, the frequency of your personal chef visits, how you'd like your food stored, and when you would like to start. Together with Amy, you will choose a date for her to come and “take over your kitchen for three or four hours.”
Before Amy comes you will receive a customized menu with additional options. During this time, you can make requests and give input on what she cooks. She says, “Clients frequently ask for repeated menu items each week.”
When your cook date arrives, Amy will shop for the freshest, in-season ingredients and arrive at your home to prepare, package, label and store your meals in your refrigerator and/or freezer. You will be left with an organized refrigerator full of home cooked, healthy meals that you'll be able to enjoy throughout the week. And of course, a clean kitchen!
For more information and photos of food that Amy Koral has prepared, visit www.cherishedmeals.com.
Artist Alan Fetterman’s 50th solo show is about the letter “L,” the Roman numeral for 50 and the 昀rst letter of Land, Life, and Light— the guiding themes of his work /By Bob Waite
Thirty years ago, Alan Fetterman had decided to devote his life to art after a visit to the Louvre in Paris. In 1993 he was painting the fountain in front of the Doylestown Courthouse when the head of the Bucks County Republican Committee, Harry Fawkes, came up to Alan and said, “I want to buy that piece.” Alan says, “He bought it right off the easel.” Not long after that Frank Bianco, owner of the then prestigious Bianco Gallery in Buckingham, invited Alan to participate in a group show.
It wasn’t long before Alan began doing solo shows. Galleries invited him back and these solo shows were always well attended. He had solo shows for five consecutive years at the Bianco Gallery. He says, “Frank Bianco loved my work.” And so did a lot of other galleries. Sabine Rose, which was a gallery on Main Street in Doylestown, also showed his work in five consecutive solos.
Land, Life & Light, Alan Fetterman’s 50th solo show, is being held in the building where Alan has his studio, an 1887 edifice known as Freeman’s Hall, 181 E. Court St., which is now often used for art shows and other community events. Alan calls the
venue, “a gentleman's mansion in the heart of Doylestown.” Alan’s studio is located upstairs from the gallery space where he is displaying his paintings.
“Most of the paintings, that are going to be in the show,” he says, “are relatively current. I will also have old paintings. I'll bring some out from a decade ago or maybe even longer and juxta position them to what I'm creating now versus the ones I painted then. I'm just being thankful in life. With living and age comes the awareness that gratitude is often found in nuance—the little things and the beautiful things.”
Included in the show are florals, people,
landscapes, streetscapes, and Alan says, “It is all about the Bucks County vibration.”
Alan, whose following is national, and who has, so far, done 50 solo shows in 30 years says, “I am truly a Bucks County artist and the fact is that my whole life has been here where I paint the reality of life around me. I don't seek to paint a specific pallet and I don't want to suggest forms or light. I just create the energy. I try to document the energy of existence in my life and those around us. It's not hard to do in this County.”
Alan, who is a poet and musician, and a sculptor says he has truly embraced all the creative efforts in the arts. A thoughtful man, whose background is in academic philosophy, saw that art and the energy that he
has given to it for decades were to be put into his 50th show, but COVID hit and the show was put off. Although Alan never stopped painting, he had time to reflect on his 30 years as a painter, making this truly a landmark show for Alan, for Doylestown and for Bucks County art.
Alan Fetterman’s 50th solo art show, Land, Life, and Light, opens on two consecutive weekends: Fri. Nov. 4th 6 p.m. to 9; Sat. Nov. 5th 5 p.m. to 9; Sunday Nov 6th 1 p.m. to 4 . And Friday Nov. 11th 6 p.m. to 9; Saturday Nov 12th 5 p.m. to 9; Sunday Nov. 13th 1 p.m. to 4. 215.345.7769; www.alanfetterman.com.
Our photographer, Lisa Bridge, realized that no matter how trying life may become, she was always soothed by hearing the church bells ring on Court Street. Historian Jeffrey Marshall in “Historic Doylestown,” an article that appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of Bucks County Magazine, noted that the appearance of Doylestown and its architecture are influenced by the cultural groups who settled there according to their religious backgrounds. In fact, he says of Doylestown, “…Doylestown’s courthouse, church spires and the roof peaks of the Mercer Museum can be seen for miles around.” Church buildings and houses of worship are not only important for the history of the town but are beautiful edifices that invite people to come into the presence of God. Lisa asked us if she could photograph some of the church buildings and we agreed, knowing that her unique eye for detail and her ability to capture the spiritual realities that these buildings symbolize, would edify our readers, so that no matter how trying our times get, we too would hear those bells ring.
Doylestown Presbyterian Church
Slate Bleu, a favorite French restaurant for many repeat customers, describes itself as “a classic European bistro in a charming historic space in Doylestown's Agricultural Works.” The space, which was the Rhoades Livery is the oldest section of the Agricultural Works, dating back to 1864. The original timber and exposed brickwork meld with the classic décor and contemporary touches to create a space which preserves the charm that is unique to Bucks County.
Chef, Mark Matyas, honed his craft in Paris and New York City, attended l'Ecole Lenôtre and l'Académie du Vin and is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu du Paris. Mark is the former chef at La Grenouille, the fabled NYC French restaurant and he is a veteran of several Paris kitchens. Slate Bleu is family owned and the family is involved. His wife Susan and daughter Siena, oversee the dining spaces, and his son Eric is the sommelier & sous-chef at Slate Bleu Restaurant.
The menu changes and is called Menu Du Jour. On the menu can be found wellpresented salads such as Salade Ardoise (greens, figs, bleu cheese, Prosciutto and balsamic vinaigrette) and Riviera Salad (local lettuces, tomatoes, anchovies, pestocesear vinaigrette, crispy chickpea panisse). Appetizers and soups include items like Soupe De Poisson, Beef Tartare. En-
trées include dishes like Homemade Gnocchi, Seared Sea Scallops, East Coast Oysters, Poached Salmon, Steak Au Poivre. A Moroccan entrée that I would like to try is Pan Roasted Bronzino (saffron-honey tomato compote, Moroccan seasoning, charmoula, cous cous and vegetables). Sides include Side of Fries, Potato Puree and Ratatouille Provençale. The desserts include such sinful delights as Gateau Banne-Chocolat (chocolate banana cake, caramel mousse), Blackberry-Lime Tarte (vanilla crème fraiche), Mousse Au Chocolat, and ice cream and sorbet combinations.
A balanced wine list is broken down into three categories: Champagne & Mousseux, Blanc & Rose, and Rouge. Cocktails include Ol’ Old Fashioned, Quick Step (gin, blackberry oleo, lemon), Frozen Grapefruit Martini, A Nice Pear (pear vodka, pear nectar), Duke Falisco (mezcal, blended Amari, passion fruit, honey, lime), and other creative drinks.
The hours at Slate Bleu are Wednesday to Saturday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Slate Bleu is located at 100 S. Main Street, Doylestown, PA. Call for reservations, both bar and table are reservations only. For more information about Slate Bleu, visit www.slatebleu.com. For reservations, call 215-348-0222.
Caleb Lentchner and Carol Ann Della Penna created this warm and popular modern BYO eatery in Lahaska, PA, which is adjacent to Peddler’s Village, located where Routes 202 and 263 intersect. Caleb's American Kitchen (CAK) menus are inspired by all things American including steaks, burgers, lobster, shellfish, Creole, California as well as local and regional farmers from PA and NJ.
For eight years, Chef Caleb Lentchner worked as the general manager and executive chef of New Hope’s premiere restaurant, Marsha Brown. Caleb Lentchner holds degrees in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management from Johnson & Wales University and Florida International University.
The breakfast menu is full of everything that a breakfast menu can have, all with a creative flair and many options. At Caleb’s you can start your lunch with the Soup of the Day, and order entrees like Petite Sustainable Atlantic Salmon (crispy skin, honey-miso glazed, sautéed broccolini, macadamia nuts, coconut sticky rice) or maybe Cold Tuna Hot Rice Bowl (spicy chopped raw ahi tuna, avocado, watermelon radish, carrot, cucumber, seaweed, sweet wasabi soy glaze, coconut sticky rice). The Crab Cakes are especially delicious. There is a full selection of Burgers. The CAK Burger (gruyere cheese, roasted red onion, rosemary aioli, brioche bun) is a great choice.
There is also a selection of Big Salads and Sandwiches.
Dinner is amazing. Great salads and starters, such as Lobster and Shrimp Chowder, Braised Short Ribs Grilled Cheese and others. Creative dishes that hold my attention are Wild Mushroom Stroganoff (varietal mushrooms stewed in oat milk and rice flour, sweet potato noodles, shaved parsnips), Shrimp & Scallop “Risotto Style” Farro (butternut squash, kale, parmesan, trumpet mushrooms and walnut farro, topped with shrimp and scallops) and Beef Short Ribs and Mushroom Ragout (peppercorn tagliatelle, slow cooked tomato, shaved Romano cheese, wild mushrooms and boneless short ribs). And one of the best things about Caleb’s American Kitchen is that you can top off your meal by choosing from a large Dessert Menu.
Caleb’s American Kitchen’s hours are Breakfast 8 a.m. to 12 noon daily; Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily; Dinner 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The restaurant is located at 5738 Route 202, where Routes 202 and 263 intersect, in Lahaska, PA.
James Michener died on February 3, 1907, in Austin, Texas, but his home, although he lived in many places, was always Doylestown. He will be remembered for winning a Pulitzer Prize with his first novel, Tales of the South Pacific, at the age of 40, and from then he went on to write 39 more best sellers. He also made a run for Congress to represent Bucks and Lehigh County and taught at George School in Newtown. A living monument to his life and love of art is the Michener Art Museum.