I admit it, I love books.
And I have been on the hunt for the three books you see pictured above for a while, and now I can say I have added them to my library.
These three fabulous books (Forty Years of Days, Chester County & Its Day, and Barns of Chester County Pennsylvania) were all written by a Chester County treasure named Berenice M. Ball.
Once upon a time, the late Mrs. Ball was a long time Chairman of Chester County Day. As a matter of fact her former home was on the 2015 Chester County Day house tour which benefits the Chester County Hospital Foundation.
I am pretty sure Chester County Day is one of the longest running house tours in the nation, if not the longest.
Mrs. Ball published these fabulous books in the 1970s and 1980s. 1970 (Chester County and Its Day), 1974 (Barns of Chester County), 1980 (Forty Years of Days).
The books are full of old photos, sketches, history, anecdotes. Famous Chester County properties, even ones familiar to us today, are in these books. Like the often discussed Bryn Coed Farm, once home to Justice Owen J. Roberts.
Yes that Bryn Coed in West Vincent. It was restored back in the day by R. Brognard Okie. I only knew the property made Chesterbrook look tiny, but I had non idea about Justice Robert’s actual home. I love Okie houses.
Reading Chester County and Its Day it was interesting to learn that once upon a time this property Bryn Coed was a favorite on the Chester County Day circuit.
“Can anyone who ever saw Mr. Justice Owen J Roberts forget him in his country tweeds, standing in the driveway, pipe in hand, greeting each guest as if he were a visiting ambassador or posing for a picture after picture with groups and individuals? What a truly great human being he was and what good friends of the Day they both were.”
Given the constant discussion of the potential of development at Bryn Coed this sent chills up my spine!
Forty Years of Days has at the end of it a complete listing of homes and landmarks open on Chester County Day between 1936 and 1980.
You can find these books on Amazon and eBay and in secondhand shops if you’re lucky. They were all produced back in the day as limited editions, and all of the ones I found are first editions and were signed by Mrs. Ball. I can’t tell you how awesome they are. If you are a Chester County history junkie and you don’t have these in your collection, you should definitely seek them out.
I hunted these books down to learn more about the history of the county I now call home. I’m so glad I did they are fascinating.
Thanks for stopping by on a rainy foggy day.