If you’re not into history, well, I suggest you go ahead and just skip this post. And a disclaimer for the future: I am a self-professed history nerd. The history and stories attached to the Anniversary Home, and our village, were a deciding factor in choosing to move there.
We’ve joked that our village is the Bermuda Triangle of the county. It’s impossible to find on a physical map and it rarely exists on your average GPS. Our home has three possible addresses when you do try to use your GPS or Google Maps. Even people who’ve lived in the area their entire lives don’t know where it is.
But once you find it, and settle there, it appears you stay for a long time. The “newest” neighbors have been there 17 years. The average is more about 30-35. There’s one woman who’s been in town 50+ years. We’ve been there one week and already causing quite a stir.
We met several of the neighbors recently. Everyone was incredibly gracious and welcoming. “It’s so nice to have a young couple in the village.” “Walter would be so happy to know such a lovely couple is in the home now. And the husband is English!” “You kids sure are ambitious for taking on this project. Hats off to you.”
One of our neighbors is the village historian and has published a book about the town’s founding with excellent research on the original residents. Another neighbor runs an extremely successful Auction House and knows the origin of any object and local character associated with it from the last 100 years. We’re in history heaven.
A teaser of what we’ve learned so far? Our village was established in the late 1800’s when a railroad line connecting the area to Philadelphia was built. One man, John Walton, purchased a huge parcel of land around one of the train stops and began to build a small community. He became the unofficial mayor of the town and built his home, one of the largest and grandest in the area, a short distance from the train station. The local paper at the time gushed, rather enviously, about his large staircase and front porch. The Anniversary Home, we now know, is locally referred to as the John C. Walton house. Well, I’ll be darned.
I’ll save more local history for later – there are plenty more stories to share. And as for that staircase and front porch? They’re still the envy the of the town. With a little TLC, they might once again look the way they did when Mr. Walton was around.