Exciting update – Fonthill and BCHS plans

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We were thrilled to see the article in today’s Intelligencer describing the plans of the new executive director of Fonthill and Mercer Museum, Kyle McKoy.  We plan to reconvene our group and offer to help with the efforts to revive the Little House site.

http://www.theintell.com/news/20171218/lavo-little-house-in-woods

Some of you might remember the article from two years ago which mentioned our group: http://www.theintell.com/69393a68-de5c-584e-b2d0-d392b8c4e946.html

Thomas E. Brunt’s first drone video of the Little Stone House, from August 2015: https://vimeo.com/135701924

One immediate way to help is to contribute to the Fonthill Woodlands Project.  From their page:

“The graffiti and spray paint that appears on the exterior and interior of the little house in the woods will be removed and the façade will be cleaned to expose the architectural features of the structure. One of the most unique features on the exterior of the house is a beautiful Mercer tile that depicts a bird and the Latin phrase “Silva Vocat” (the forest calls), and it is this wonderful art that serves as the showpiece for the mission appeal graphics.”

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Volunteer update

We’ve been updating the Facebook group and page, but this page is long overdue for an update. Since August, we’ve met with Douglas Dolan, Executive Director of Bucks County Historical Society and Ed Reidell, Site Administrator of Fonthill, to plan how we can best work with them.

The house is in their plans, but the Fonthill Gates are the priority right now.  The renovation of the gates is currently being funded by the Questers group. It would be great if we could get some more volunteer commitment and/or fundraising donations  underway (or at least promised) for the house to show that it too is worthy of saving and restoration.

In the meantime, we have offered to clean up the grounds around the house and the gates.  We began yesterday by cleaning up some trash, cutting and cleaning up some brush, and removing vines from the house.  Susan cleaned up most of the trash and did most of the cutting, while Val heaved branches to the other side of some large logs/trees and Sara cut and pulled invasive vines from the walls of the house.

We hope to make this a weekly thing to make up for lost time.  It took us a while to schedule today’s clean-up and we’re hoping to have at least a few more before winter pays a visit.

If you would like to volunteer, please complete, sign and date this form VOLUNTEER APPLICATION Bucks Co, scan it, and e-mail it to ereidell AT fonthillmuseum.org.

Consider volunteering with us…

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Our representative, Valerie-Anne Lutz, met on August 7 with Mr. Douglas Dolan, Executive Director of the Bucks County Historical Society, to learn more about the Fonthill Trustees’ plans for the Fonthill grounds. At this point, they are in the middle of the project to the restore the Fonthill Gates, and hope that all interested will volunteer to help that project. We will be meeting with a volunteer coordinator to discuss plans to clean up the grounds from the gates to the area of the house in the very near future.  If you’re interested in learning more about this, please comment here or contact valerieanne1222@gmail.com.  More soon…

Beautiful film about the Little Stone House by Thomas E. Brunt

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This beautiful film shows views of the Little Stone House that were never before possible, photographed with a drone above the house:

Little Stone House video by Thomas E. Brunt

Thank you so much for this, Tom.  Words cannot express the appreciation from all of your friends who also love the Little Stone House.

Little Stone House painting by Alan Fetterman

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Artist Alan Fetterman has generously offered to allow us to use an image of his beautiful painting of the little stone house for our group.  Thank you so much, Alan.

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The painting was given to Mr. Frank N. Gallagher by Judge Ed Ludwig of the Doylestown Historical Society.  Mr. Gallagher gave it to the Doylestown Nature Club, who at one time had the house as their meeting place.  The Club currently has no permanent home for the painting, so they donated it to the Doylestown Historical Society.  Read the story on the Doylestown Nature Club site.

Welcome

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The little stone house is near Fonthill Castle, the home of Henry Chapman Mercer. Originally part of the Bestler tract of land purchased by Mercer in 1907, the house was restored by him in 1916, with the inscription below in Mercer tiles under the roof line.  There is also a charming tile with an image of a bird at top center which reads “Silva Vocat” (“The Forest Calls.”)

In May 1917, the Doylestown Nature Club began using the building for meetings and to store its archives.  After many years, unfortunately, the little house fell into disrepair and has undergone much damage from vandalism and the elements.

house_with_inscription

The forest, and the house, are now calling for our assistance.  One evening, several of us began talking in a Facebook group about a little stone house in the woods near Henry Chapman Mercer’s Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, PA.  An article about the history of the house was posted.

That night, we began our group, which grew to over 100 members in just over a week. We’ve been in touch with several people and have offered to help with everything from fundraising to hands-on assistance with cleaning and, we hope, restoration of the little house.  The efforts are, we hope, moving in a positive direction.

We’ve set up this site as a home for the little stone house online.  Welcome!

Everyone is welcome to like our Facebook page and join our public Facebook group.  If you’re interested in helping with preservation efforts, please join our Friends group.