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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Plumb Nilly

We recently celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary by treating our sons and daughters-in-law to a long weekend in a rental outside of Philadelphia called Plumb Nilly....

Built in 1736 by a Welsh farmer, it was added onto at some later date and totally renovated in the 1920's by architect, R. Brognard Okie, who had also overhauled William Penn's estate, Pennsbury Manor.

My purpose in choosing such a place was because my 5th great-grandfather lived in and around the Philadelphia area from 1740 to 1780.  I have located the three properties where he lived, but only one house remains standing and that one is in Chester County not too far from Plumb Nilly....

It has been expanded onto, like Plumb Nilly, and the oldest part, where he lived, now houses a country post office.  Several years ago I was able to stand inside and experience, for a moment, where my predecessors had lived from 1751 to 1780.  This was especially important to me because for the past 20 years I've been researching and writing the stories of my father's ancestors.  When you think about it, each generation is affected in some way by the previous generation.  There is a common thread that may run through families beyond DNA.  So I was thrilled to celebrate the continuity of our family in such a setting.  

I began the weekend by giving each of our offspring a mug with our picture on it--a photo taken in the 1970's before we started our family....
Since our anniversary is the day after Valentine's Day I chose this for the other side of the cup because it looked like a Family Tree.  I loved that the hearts represented the love we have for one another....

I spent a lot of time just sitting in the various rooms in the 4-story house....absorbing its history--all the families that have come and gone.  Sometimes all we may leave behind for future generations are the houses we lived our lives in, but that is enough if love was shared in those houses with those who lived and visited there.  

Here are some more photos of Plumb Nilly....
This entrance leads into a cozy den with fireplace
This is the entrance to the second floor that we used
That's the door we entered...behind the stairs are the stairs to the first floor kitchen/dining room
That's the door at the bottom of the stairs into the dining room
I absolutely LOVED this room and wished I could transport it to my house

Back up to the 2nd floor.  That's the view into the formal living room
This formal room was bright and cheery

Up the stairs to the 3rd floor bedrooms
This bedroom had its own bath

Back out in the hall to reach the Master bedroom around the corner

I came home and hung curtains on my 4-poster bed

This is the sitting room in the Master bedroom--there is a working fireplace just to the right
To reach the 4th floor bedrooms you had to open an attic door and climb some very steep stairs
Here is the other 4th-floor bedroom--there is a bathroom on this floor as well

Back down the stairs....

To that cozy den with the fireplace where we kept a fire burning each night

Adjacent to the den was another sitting room
It also contained a working fireplace

Plumb Nilly has been the summer home for a lovely lady from NYC for the past 28 years, but now it is up for sale because her family has grown up and find little time to come "home".  Another family will take their place, add their stories, share their love.  I felt privileged to spend a few days and nights there.  Thank you, Etan.  It was such a pleasure to meet you and to spend some time in your lovely home-away-from home.


  1. I wish I could stay there! What an utterly charming and romantic place to celebrate your anniversary. May you have many more that lead you to such beautiful places.

  2. Thank you, Wendy. You might be able to find such a place you could rent close to where you live. They come in all sizes. The websites I use to locate vacation rentals are: and

  3. Certainly a fun house and a great place to stay. Loved the house tour.

    Loved the post on your other blog too where I was unable to comment. It's like we get so taken up with the arrangements while God is busy making the plans.

  4. Thanks, Barbara. Isn't that so! As for the house, it's the closest thing we have to your quaint houses there in England. We have so few still standing and not greatly updated.

  5. Happy Anniversary!! What a wonderful place to spend it too. Love the cup idea, brilliant. Clarice

  6. Thanks, Clarice. Yes, I thought the cup idea was brilliant, too. :-) I wanted to give them a daily reminder that their parents were at one time as young as they are (actually we were younger in that photo than the two oldest are now).

  7. What a wonderful CELEBRATION. Family times are always the things memories are made of. I love the remembrance you gave everyone! Picture MUGS! What FUN to share the time together in a wonderful old homestead. We live on property that my great great grandmother purchased. Sometimes, in the quiet I like to think of times gone by and waht things must have been like. Happy Anniversary! You gave your childern a wonderful gift of time!

    YArdville, NJ

  8. Thank you, Georgie. How wonderful that you live on your ancestor's property!

  9. I love this old house, if walls could talk.
    Fondly Michelle

    1. Hi Michelle. We have a TV show here in the States by that name "If Walls Could Talk." They investigate the things that people literally find in the walls of their old home, or in the attic, when they renovate.


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