c. 1800 Valley Forge Residence

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Standing along old Nutts Road in Valley Forge, this c. 1800 residence witnessed George Washington on his many trips to Bull Tavern during the Revolutionary War. The original road can still be seen on the property as the flat area of the lawn immediately in front of the stone wall. Originally constructed in 1802 by John Gwinn, the home is a wonderful representation of a 19th-century Chester County farmhouse.

The home has seen many occupants in its 200+ years as well as different ways to utilize the space such as an inn and later a country store. With its two front doors, the main door enters the central hall and family living area, the other into what might have been the common rooms of the inn which are the current dining room and kitchen. In 1860, Joseph Valentine opened a country store in the home, probably using the current dining room as the store, with the current kitchen as the storeroom. There is a smoke house in the attic that was used during this time which features Mr. Valentine's name written on the slide for the stove pie in the door to the smoke house.

A typical building technique of the era, the stones were quarried directly from the property, in an area just north of the house, currently occupied by an apple orchard. The best stones were reserved for use at the front of the home, next best placed on the sides, and the rear utilized the oddly sized or shaped stones. Additionally, the most expensive, time-consuming German pointing was used on the front and sides of the home, with plainer, less expensive pointing on the rear. The stones on the rear of the home were covered with horsehair plaster but has since been removed to expose the beauty of the stone.

In 2014, the current homeowners enlisted Period Architecture to reimagine the home to better suit their everyday lives. The renovation and two-story addition were designed to create a safer and more private family entrance as well as provide the necessary space for a growing family. The new spaces include a sun-filled breakfast room, ample kitchen to prepare meals and hurry off the kids to school, a family room large enough for everyone to gather, along with a primary suite, mudroom, and garage. The new spaces respect the original character of the home by incorporating similar materials such as reclaimed wood beams, character grade random width hardwood floors, herringbone antique brick floors, restored fireplace mantels, beadboard wainscot and exposed interior stone walls. The home now tells the tale of a 19th-century home expanded over time to suit modern-day lifestyles.

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