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Programs & Events of 2018

Come visit Harriton House 

Daily visits and t
ours through the historic Harriton House:

Tours are available Wednesday through Saturday, from 10:00am to 4:00pm by appointment only. Admission to the house is $6.00 per adult, students free.  Group visits of more than 5 persons should make their reservations at least a week in advance. 

The grounds of the park are free and open to the public from dawn to dusk everyday. Come stroll along the grounds and visit our barn animals. 

School Groups and visits:

We invite teachers and students to utilize Harriton as an educational resource, and we will work with teachers to tailor a program to specific interests or curriculum needs in field trips.  We especially enjoy working with homeschooled individuals and groups.  Please call us to discuss your needs or requests. 

Click on one of the red links here to see a specific program or just scroll through the page below.


Raffle for dinner hosted by Chef Walter Staib

 An extraordinary experience awaits you and your seven guests, to dine on a six course immersion of the senses in Historic Harriton House. You will relish the finest fare prepared by the proprietor of the City Tavern Restaurant of Philadelphia, and 12 time Emmy award winning Chef Walter Staib himself, in his favorite "Taste of History" backdrop, Harriton’s great open hearth.


The dinner includes the full 18th century experience of servers in colonial garb, food prepared from colonial recipes chosen by you, in collaboration with Chef Staib, a harpist and formal place settings in the candlelit dining hall of Harriton House. Additionally, you and your guests will enjoy a private tour of Harriton with Curator Bruce Cooper Gill. Enter this fundraising raffle here, for a prize worth more than $5000!


This fundraiser is generously sponsored by Chef Staib in an effort to support Harriton House, a nonprofit historic site right in our backyard. Harriton was the home of Charles Thomson, a scholar, philosopher and gentleman farmer who served as Secretary to the Continental and Confederation Congresses. Please visit our website to learn more about Charles Thomson, the 1704 house, as well as the various educational programs that are held there throughout the year.


All who enter the raffle are invited to join us at the Wassail Party to be held on January 21st, where we will enjoy 18th century beverages, classic to the winter months, and to warm up in the 1789 hearth kitchen where Chef Staib will serve warm cider over the fire. The raffle will be drawn at this event, as well, you won’t want to miss it! This event is open only to members of the Harriton Association, and those who have purchased raffle tickets. Please click on the PayPal link below to purchase a ticket. Raffle tickets are $100 per entry. After your purchase you will be e-mailed a receipt with your raffle ticket number/s. Thank you for your support!



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Members (and Chance Takers) Only ~ Wassail and Dinner Drawing Event

Join us for the 2018 Wassail and Dinner Drawing event, January 21st from 4-6 PM.  Executive Chef Walter Staib has again generously offered to provide a very special prize, an enticing incentive to fundraise for Harriton. This prize features an evening of glorious food and entertainment provided for you and seven of your closest friends at Harriton House. This dinner for eight persons will be prepared by Chef for the lucky winner of the drawing in the hearth kitchen of Harriton House. Tickets for the drawing are $100 each and are limited to 100 tickets - no need to wait till the Wassail party, tickets are on sale now - tickets will be available to purchase until 5:30 PM precisely on December 31st.  The drawing will take place promptly at 6:00 PM at the Wassail Party in the Harriton House Hearth Kitchen.  The Wassail is a free event for Members of the Harriton Association, but reservations are absolutely necessary due to space limitations. Call 610 525 0201 for reservations and ticket information.

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Feb. 13th to April. 3rd ~ Be a Woodturner: Homeschoolers Immersion Series

Immerse yourself in the Art of Woodturning, an historically popular pastime of nobility. Be introduced to the pleasures of creating your own personal pen, candlestick,  baby rattle, or spinning top. To be held on Tuesdays, February 13th to April 3rd, this class for Homeschoolers will be sure to deliver multiple opportunities to create holiday presents for friends and family.  For further information & to register, contact Harriton by e-mail at or by old fashioned telephone at 610 525 0201. 

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January 20th ~ Bookbinding Class

Come Learn Bookbinding at Harriton! Bookbinder Ramon Townsend, who trained at Colonial Williamsburg, will join us to teach, step by step, how to make your own hand sewn leather bound book! Bring your volumes in disrepair for a free evaluation. Reservations absolutely required, 610 525 0201 or  Saturday, January 20th, 10 AM - 3 PM, limited to 6 participants. ~* HURRY! ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT *~

This workshop is $85 per person, which includes all materials.  To sign up, call (610) 525 0201 or email

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Be a Gardener: Community gardening in the growing season of 2018

Members are welcome to come and participate in our community garden at Harriton.  If you do not have enough sun or space at home, take a plot here by joining us and expressing your interest. Grow for your table, grow for a food cupboard, or just have fun teaching your children that their food does not really come from the supermarket!  Our large garden is located where food has been grown for over 300 years at Harriton.  You can be part of that continuum.  The garden is not a re-created 18th century kitchen garden, sitting as idle as a flower arrangement or unused land, but we do ask that gardeners grow something which was grown in the garden here which we might sell at the Harriton Farm Stand at our annual September Plantation Fair.  Join us:  it is fun, it is educational, it is socially responsible, and it tastes good!  Time is limited before the gardening begins, so please contact us about your interest to join our community of growers. The Community Growers introductory meeting is TBA shortly. This gathering is open to any active member who wishes to participate in the upcoming growing season in the garden. Bring your favorite dish for this informal potluck. Reservations telling us what you are bringing to the meeting are required. Please make your reservations by e-mailing us at

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Turn, Turn, Turn, Introduction to Woodturning

Everything from bowls to candlesticks to staircase parts and fountain pens can be made on the lathe. Lathe turning is a popular hobby for young and old(er), and it was historically a popular pastime of nobility.

Work with Bruce Gill, Executive Director of Harriton House on these dates:

March 17th, 10:00 to 3:00

March 24th, 9:30 to 3:00 

Workshop Dates


Get a lesson in sharpening (which might even come in handy around Thanksgiving - turkeys as well as wood need sharp tools!). Come and be introduced to the pleasures of creating your personal pen, candlestick, baby rattle, or spinning top (take THAT home to your grandchildren and see what happens!). We will look at the historic Harriton House and its contents to see lathe-turned objects from the 1700's.   


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Pandora's Garden - A Parent and Child Nature Class

This special program for members of the Harriton Association is a toddler nature class designed to stimulate and expand young inquisitive minds. Activities are directed towards children of eighteen months to three years, although babies and children of all ages are welcome and will benefit from play and discovery in the beautiful surroundings of Harriton House. The private cottage in the grounds of Harriton House provides the perfect setting for children and caregivers to explore the wonders of nature together. Children will plant flowers and vegetables in their own private garden. On warm sunny days we will hold teddy-bear picnics, read stories and sing songs in the open air. Creative activities such as painting are also held outside weather permitting. Babies under 6 months are always free. Sessions are seasonal, being held in the spring and in the fall. 

The dates for the Spring 2018 session are:

Tuesday mornings, 10 to 11:30 - April 3rd to June 12th

Thursday mornings, 10:00 to 11:30 -  April 5th to June 14th

Thursday afternoons, 12:30 to 2:00 - April 5th to June 14th

For further information or to register online please visit

Please make your payment out to the Harriton Association. Thank you!



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Homeschooler's Immersion Series: Bookbinding A La Carte ~ Coming in April!


Beginning Bookbinding will be offered at Harriton House on Tuesdays, Dates in Feb - March to be Announced for Homeschoolers aged 12 to16. 

Combining all the segments of our bookbinding series, you will be invited to construct your own leatherbound book, repair an antique acqusition, or try your hand at marbling paper! All the techniques in bookbinding are fair game for a workshop series full of fun! To register, call (610) 525-0201 or e-mail us at 

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Antique Book Repair and First Aid for Old Books

Join us Saturday April 14th to learn how repair the damage of the toll of time on your treasured antique volumes.

Participants will be taught basic book repair techniques, and in the process learn about the book’s components and traditional hand bookbinding methods. They will dissect a book and reassemble it. Particpants will deconstruct the book by detaching the covers and spine; removing the sewing; and disassembling the text. They will then reconstruct their book by performing page repair; resewing the text; and rehinging the covers and spine.

You don't have to have your own book to attend, if you still would like to learn this skill we will provide you with one. All additional materials are included, and tools will be provided.

Cost per Person: $100/Adult 


Class size is limited to 4 people. Participants must be over the age of 18.

Length of Class: Typical class lasts about 5-6 hours with a lunch break

Registrations are required

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The Art of Beekeeping: a Beginning Beekeeping Course

Learn about the importance of the honeybee to our landscape.  Dress up in a beesuit and participate in the installation of package bees in the apiary at historic Harriton. Taste the differences in various honeys and savor the taste of Harriton's award winning honey. You will attend a meeting of the Harriton Beekeepers group, where you can meet and rub elbows with local beekeepers from the age of 11 to 89.   Coffee, donuts, and lots of good information provided! 

April 21st from 9:30am to Noon

April 28th from 9:30am to Noon

June 9th from 9:30 to Noon






Workshop Dates
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Chef Walter Staib, City Tavern
The Eighth Annual Epicurean Extravaganza

 Come to the eighth annual Epicurean Extravaganza at the historic City Tavern in Philadelphia, Date in April 26th, from 6-8PM. This major fund raising food event is being prepared for Harriton by internationally known chef Walter Staib, who is the proprietor of the City Tavern.  Chef Staib is an author and the television personality who hosts the Emmy-winning series entitled A Taste of History on PBS, in which historic Harriton has been featured.  This event is by invitation or by interest. This is a full buffet dinner event complete with an open bar. A portion of your ticket price is a tax-deductible contribution to the Harriton Association for the continued operations of historic Harriton House in Bryn Mawr.  Save the date to come and graze the cuisine which was enjoyed by the founders of our nation! For reservations or further information please telephone Harriton House at 610-525-0201.  Tickets are $125.00 per person.  A portion of all ticket prices are tax deductible.  You may write a check or purchase your ticket through PayPal at  This is an event not to be missed---and come hungry!



ticket reservations

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The Harriton Association's Annual Meeting and Lecture

The Annual Meeting and Reception of the Harriton Association will be held on April 29th, at 4:00pm in the Educational Building of Harriton House.

During a brief business meeting the Membership will elect new Directors of the Harriton Association and will recieve the audited 2017 financial report. Several brief reports on current activities will also be received.

A brief reception will follow a presentation of educational value, featuring Lancaster County artisanal cheeses, and a few other small delicacies. This free event is open to members of the Harriton Association by invitation.  RSVP's are necessary by April 20th. Please phone for your reservation on 610 525 0201.

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Scarf & Tie Marbling Class, Saturday May 12th

Come learn how to marble! Saturday, May 12th, 9 AM-3 PM. Marbling is a useful and decorative craft -- and fun to do with the kids once you know how.  You will have the option to marble scarves, bandanas and neckties - you can also marble papers and use them to bind your own book or journal in our next bookbinding class. Marbled papers have been used in bookbinding for centuries, so come and join Colonial Williamsburg trained bookbinder Ramon Townsend for this wonderful class! 

Reservations are limited and absolutely necessary, so register by following the PayPal link below.


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Beginning Blacksmithing: From Colonial Times to Present

Beginning Blacksmithing will be offered at Harriton House on Saturdays on these dates: 

May 26th from 9:30am to 3:30pm

June 2nd from 9:00am to 3:00pm 

Workshop Dates


Come and work with Harriton Curator Bruce Gill and master blacksmith Stephen Sears, of Sears IronWorks in Ottsville, PA. You will learn about tools and fire and coal and metals. There will be a reference library of books and forged iron objects to see and handle. You will get hands-on experience in shaping small items of forged iron (steel actually), and you will go home with the product of your labor and instruction. Younger, older, or somewhere in the middle, or whether you think you have large biceps or small ones, you can participate.


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Dairy Days Ice Cream Social! Honoring Fathers on Father's Day!

Come and eat very special Guernsey ice cream at an old fashioned ice cream social on Father's Day, Sunday afternoon, June 17th, 2018, 2:00 PM. 

SPECIAL TREAT for Father's Day:  Father's (or any reasonable facsimilie thereof) eat ice cream for free that afternoon. 

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED!  See and meet the "Guernsey Girls",  Guernsey cows from the last 100% Guernsey herd in Pennsylvania which will be visiting historic Harriton for the week.  The ice cream to be served is Yoder's Ice Cream, made in Lancaster County  from rich Guernsey milk and cream.   Don't miss it!  $6.00 per person, $30.00 for families of 6 or more (Dad's eat free!)

From 1909 until almost 1930, Harriton was known as the Harriton Guernsey Dairy. This farm, which provided rich milk and cream to the neighborhood, was  an active and important participant in a flourishing dairy industry in southeastern Pennsylvania. Today  we are familiar with concerns about our food supply and the debates over pesticides, growth hormones, and unpronouncable chemical names listed as ingredients in what we eat.  This is not the first time that the American public has become aware of  what is in our food.  You may remember reading Upton Sinclair's The Jungle when you were in high school.  The growth and quality of Pennsylvania's modern dairy industry is directly related to similar concerns for milk at the turn of the 20th century, and the Harriton Guernsey Dairy  was part of that evolution. We will explore through programs and an exhibit the early 20th century dairies in and near Lower Merion Township, including herd types, estates, and a collection of embossed milk bottles from 35 dairies - only one of which still sells milk today (can you guess which one?).  We will have programs for children,  a trip to a dairy farm, Guernsey cows visiting the Harriton park ,  a small exhibit of old milk bottles and dairy equipment,and the ice-cream social.  Reservations required. Please e-mail us at, or phone us at 610 525 0201.


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Continuing Bookbinding, June 23rd

In a  full day workshop building upon the bookbinding class, we will gather on June 23rd to learn how to emboss and decorate the leather of our book covers.

This is an advanced class only for participants who have taken the introductory Bookbinding I workshop. The students will take home a 3/4 leather or fully leather bound book. They will learn new techniques that are not taught in the basic course such as Rounding & Backing; Headbanding; and Blind & Gold Tooling the leather.

All materials are included, and tools will be provided.

Cost per Person: $100, and the class lasts about 5-6 hrs with a lunch break.

Class size is limited to 6 people. Participants must be over the age of 14. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Again, pre-registrations are necessary and classes are limited to 6 students per class (lots of personal attention and help!)

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Campers carding wool from the sheep.
Harriton Apprenticeship Summer Camp: 2018 dates are here!

 Our summer camps allow today's youngsters to learn to feed sheep and chickens, a horse and to bottle feed calves. We'll work with traditional tools in woodworking, blacksmithing, paper marbling, bookbinding and weaving. We'll tour through the historic house and learn about antique houses and furniture. We'll run down and have lunch on the creekbed, and on the last day we have our big picnic! Harriton's "Apprenticeships" are designed for children aged 11-16. Our summer camps in the 2017 season will be run on these dates with the following themes:


June 25th – 29th  (woodworking & blacksmithing)

July 9th – 13th (woodworking & blacksmithing)

August 13th – 17th  (paper marbling, bookbinding)

August 27th  - 31st (paper marbling, bookbinding)


Camps run from 9:30am to 3:00pm. Each week is priced at $250.00 per child, for children of members of the Harriton Association only. Fee includes all materials and the big picnic on the last day of the week. Please call (610) 525 - 0201 to reserve your child's spot in our program, then send your completed registration form to, or by snail mail to P.O. Box 1364, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010


Additional Camps are run at Harriton through the Township of Lower Merion, weeks July 23rd - July 27th, & July 30th - August 3rd. Sign-up for these camps are through the Lower Merion Recreational Department.

Harriton also hosts camp programming in cooperation with the Riverbend Environmental Center in Gladwyne.  Please register with Riverbend by calling (610) 527 - 5234 for these programs which are held at historic Harriton.

We are currently accepting applications for volunteer camp counselors! Please e-mail us at for the application to become a camp counselor. Counselor’s families must be members of the Hariton Association and over 16 years of age. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Annual Beekeeping and Honey Festival

Honeybees are kept in the Harriton Park, and our annual public beekeeping program will be held on  Saturday July, 21st, 2018, 11 am- 1pm - weather permitting.  Adults and children can try on beesuits, visit the hives, and help extract honey. Come and learn about the importance of the honeybee to our landscape and to our food supply.  This annual  beekeeping program and honey harvest is co-sponsored by The Harriton Association and Riverbend Environmental Education Center in Gladwyne. This is a free event and open to the public --- BUT RESERVATIONS are absolutely necessary.  This is a family event; children are welcome.  Riverbend nature educators will have special activities for little ones. Please call or write for reservations and information. 


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Harriton Peach Festival

Be with us for the second annual Peach Festival at historic Harriton on Saturday, August 4th, beginning at 2:00 PM.  Peaches are a fruit to love.  We will have several varieties for sale depending on those which are ripe at the time ----- part of the wonder and love of fresh fruit is the weather and the surprises in the fruit bins as to what is actually available.  This is not the fruit bin at the local supermarket.  Our peaches come from sustainable orchards in Lancaster County.  So come and be surprised to find "John Boys", "Lorings", and more! Phone or e-mail for further information, 610 525 0201 or  Admission fee charged which will be discounted with your first purchase of peaches!

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Estate Furnishings and Art Sale

Come to this special fundraiser where we are offering antique furniture, art, rugs and linens donated to us from the estates of the Main Line! Redecorating? This event will be the place to be!

September date TBA from 10 AM to 1 PM! 


Free VIP Tickets can be obtained through Eventbrite - just click on the link (link coming soon)!

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The 28th Annual Harriton Farmstead Fair

The 28th Annual Harriton Farmstead Fair is scheduled for Saturday, September 29th, 10am to 4pm (rain or shine). This major event in Lower Merion Township features crafts, antiques, sheep herding, pony rides, historic house tours, childrens' games, muskets and soldiers, blacksmiths, stone carvers, cabinetmakers, spinners, skep [beehive] weavers, Bluegrass music, falconry and other birds of prey, and much more.  The Fair also features the Harriton Attic Treasures Booth, which is the best flea market on the Main Line, the Harriton Farm stand featuring flowers and organic produce (some of which is from the Harriton garden).   Lapps Country Market will be roasting chickens and ribs for lunch.  The historic 1704 house will be open for tours during the day.   Don't miss the day!

All of these activities and your contributions help to assure Harriton's continued operation as an historic site.  Call  610 525 0201 for further information. And be sure to COME TO THE FAIR.   Visit our Photo Gallery for views of past Harriton Fairs.   Contact us at 610 525 0201 or for further information.

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Fall Apple Tasting


Can't find a good apple at the supermarket?  Join us for the annual Harriton Apple Tasting celebration on October 20th at 3:00 pm. $6.00 admission (refundable, see below) - -children under 3 feet tall free if well behaved! --  So come taste, decide, and buy your autumn apples not available in the supermarket. Enter the APPLE PIE CONTEST- entries must be received by Noon that day.  Pumpkins also available.  It is THAT time of year.  RSVP's ARE A MUST 610 525 0201.


Apples are a fruit to love. Come and  sample heirloom varieties of America's favorite fruit - tart, sweet, crunchy, soft-fleshed, yellow, pink, and green.  Some of our apple varieties are over 300 years old, others are more modern..  Apples were extremely important in colonial America.  They were eaten "out of hand";  they were baked into pies or baked by themselves; they were cut and dried into "schnitz" for use all winter long; or, they were converted to cider (hard and soft) and vinegar. Learn who Johnny Appleseed was (yes, he was a real person) and why he spread the seeds he did.  You will also learn that apples don't "come true" from seed and how we do get the delicious varieties which survive today.  Charles Thomson who lived here at Harriton was a nurseryman who grew apples and other fruits.  All this while you munch apple slices, and partake of a glass of cider. While you are browsing and learning about apples, you will have a chance to bid on slices of the winning apple pies entered into the annual Apple Pie Bake-off. You can also choose to enter your best apple pie creation into our contest.  Pies & other confectionary goodies with the main ingedient being apples, will be judged by Creativity in appearance, Crust, Filling and Overall Flavor/ Taste or Character. Winner receives a ribbon and becomes inaugurated as Harriton's Apple King or Queen for next year's event! An honor not to be taken lightly!  Don't Miss It! Children welcome if well behaved.  Apples will be available for purchase.  $6.00 per person. SPECIAL!! We will also have chances for a drawing for a private dinner prepared by Chef Walter Staib, Proprietor of the City Tavern and Host of the PBS series titled A Taste of History, some segments of which are filmed in the colonial kitchen here at Harriton.This is a special private dinner for eight, prepared for you by Chef Staib over the 18th century open hearth here at Harriton.  All inclusive with wine and music.  Each ticket buyer at the Apple Tasting receives free admission to the Apple Tasting and a complimentary DVD of the PBS show. Reservations required (call 610 525 0201)

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