I have traveled a bit in my life, and I say this with a sense of gratitude and humility. I’ve just been lucky. Aside from some of the places I have mentioned in other posts, I’ve visited Milano, Lake Como, Paris, Mont St. Michel and Munich. They are all breathtakingly beautiful and full of overwhelming history. But this past weekend, I feel fortunate to say, I visited one of the most innocently beautiful, natural and man made corners of the world, right here in the United States, just over the border in Pennsylvania. This weekend we visited Grey Towers.
We had no ideas what it was. We’d only seen signs for it on the highway. But after a nice lunch with the girls we decided to take a look… just for a few minutes… on our way home. We stayed for over an hour. I could have stayed longer.
Once the home of Gifford Pinchot, a past Governor of the beautiful state of Pennsylvania respected for his role in the modern conservation movement of the United States, Grey Towers emerges slowly from its green shroud at the top of its mountain in Milford. As we walked up the gravel path signs cautioned us that the road was steep and uneven at points, but that glimpse of the large stone building at the top intrigued us – and we pressed on. It wasn’t a difficult walk for us and the reward was incredible. At first all we could see was a stone facade and a portion of a tower to the right. Slowly the mansion unfurled, as though large green curtains had been drawn to reveal a life sized stage. As the details came into focus I was stunned. It was surreal, quiet and breathtaking.
I didn’t expect to see what appeared to be a fountain before and below the mansion. I later learned this was meant to simulate a “moat”. Nor did I expect to find a gazebo, the “finger bowl” where guests would pass dishes to each other at outdoor dinners by floating them to each other, the “Letter Box” a stone salt box of an office building, or my personal favorite, the “Bait Box”. It was as though I had walked into an Edward Gorey book of illustrations in full color, without the grim statuary. We didn’t even tour the interior of the home. It wasn’t necessary. I believed what was accomplished with the exterior would overshadow whatever treasures the rooms held. I stand by that statement.
If I’ve ever appreciated that which this country offers, I appreciate it more. I’ve mentioned how wonderful the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service work is. Now I add to it the Department of Agriculture’s National Forest Service. Grey Towers might be a forest tamed respectfully around a home. But it was I that felt tamed and awed by it.
- The Letter Box – Copywrite Mommylogue.com
I took many more photos, but will leave you with these for now. I’m sure I will be posting more over time. I hope to take even more. I hope to visit again.
For more information on Grey Towers Visit:
United States Forest Service Grey Towers Site: http://www.fs.fed.us/wo/gt/index.shtml
After picking up our oldest from camp this past Saturday we decided to visit “Grey Towers”, a national historic site and the former home of Gifford Pinchot. Pinchot was a two time Governor of the beautiful state of Pennsylvania, the first Chief of the United States Forest Service and a father of the United States conservation movement. As we explored the incredibly beautiful grounds we came upon a small building called “The Bait Box” which was built as the playroom for the Governor’s only son. The exterior of the building boasted two circular “windows” which allowed anyone sitting within its archway to view the valley below. I promise to write more about it tomorrow.
As I moved on from the edifice my oldest took a few moments to reflect on her time away. I caught a moment of this time – half a minute as Matt Bianco’s song is titled – and this is what I saw. My “inquieta” little girl is not so “inquieta” anymore.