Friday, May 23, 2014

A Wedding at Graeme Park: Brandy & Adam

Brandy and Adam had a perfect day in May to get married in front of the historic Keith House at Graeme Park. Natural looking boquets of flowers in mason jars lined the aisle, 

and the wedding party coordinated with the blue trim on the house. Mayor Norm Hawkes of Hatboro performed the ceremony.

After the ceremony, the wedding party led the way to the cocktail hour near the Open Aire Affairs reception tent. And yes, the couple's bulldog was a part of the wedding party.

The wedding was catered by Joey G's of Newtown, and the hors d'oeuvres included sliders, fried mozzarella, and fruit and cheese platters.

The wedding tent continued with the garden theme set up by the birdhouse at the entrance. The blue tables were dressed with burlap runners in a gardening theme, more casual flower arrangements, and a chicken wire fence held the escort cards.

The large "M" (the couple's last initial) served as the guest book with guests signing their well-wishes in gold Sharpie.

The cake was traditional with a silhouette topper made modern and fun by personalizing it with the groom fishing.

After enjoying their meal, guests danced and played lawn games as the sun went down.

Congratulations Adam and Brandy and thank you for choosing Graeme Park for your wedding celebration.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Graeme Park to Participate in Blue Star Museums

Graeme Park is participating in  Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014.

Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation's cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available at‐star‐museums.

“As we kick off our fifth year of Blue Star Museums, more museums than ever are part of this military appreciation program,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “Together with Blue Star Families and more than 2,000 museums, we are proud to help connect military families with the cultural resources in their communities.”

“Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth‐Douquet. “It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved  partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science‐Technology Centers.  This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but
also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and dozens of children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, The Thinkery children’s museum in Austin, Texas, the Mass Audubon Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, Massachusetts, and Henricus Historical Park in Chester, Virginia.

About Graeme Park

Graeme Park is a National Historic Landmark and the only surviving residence of one of Pennsylvania's colonial-era governors, Sir William Keith. Much of the original 18th century architecture is preserved, including fine Georgian paneling, paint, flooring, hardware, tile and glass. During the American Revolution, Graeme Park was owned and inhabited by Keith's granddaughter, the writer Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson and her Loyalist husband, Henry Hugh Fergusson. Elizabeth's ghost is said to still roam the halls of Graeme Park.

Edward Lamson Henry's "Drafting the Letter" depicts the master bed chamber at Graeme Park

About Blue Star Museums

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 26, 2014 through Labor Day, September 1, 2014.

The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173‐1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military ‐ Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps ‐ and up to five family members.  Some special or limited‐time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museum directly. To find participating museums and plan your trip, visit‐star‐museums.

All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #BlueStarMuse, on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.

Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact, or Wendy Clark at 202‐682‐5451.

This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. With our partners, Blue Star Families hosts a robust array of morale and empowerment programs, including Books on Bases, Blue Star Museums, Operation Honor Corps, Blue Star Careers and Operation Appreciation. Blue Star Families also works directly with the Department
of Defense and senior members of local, State and Federal government to bring the most important military family issues to light. Working in concert with fellow nonprofits, community advocates, and public officials, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable.

Our worldwide membership includes military spouses, children, parents, and friends, as well as service members, veterans and civilians. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Wedding at Graeme Park: Laura & Cory

Laura and Cory were married at Graeme Park during a rainy day in May. Despite the weather, they chose to go ahead with their outdoor ceremony - fortunately the rain held off to a light drizzle for most of the time.

After cocktails under an open tent, guests proceeded to the large Open Aire Affairs wedding tent on the property. 

After being greeted by fun orange, lime green, and white pom poms hanging at the entrance, they found their seating assignments on these adorable sliced logs (what a great way to make use of all those fallen limbs from earlier this year!)

Everyone was organized alphabetically to make it easy to find their assignment.

The tables were set with simple white and chocolate (more on that later) linens, and decorated with lime green lanterns with orange flowers and coffee beans on mirrored circles to pick up the brown. What you can't tell in these photos, is that each lantern had a few battery operated candles hidden down inside, so as it got dark they glowed - so pretty.

So, back to the chocolate - see those little white favor boxes with the orange ribbons? Each one contained three sweet heart-shaped truffles hand-crafted by the bride, her father and their family - as it turns out, the father-of-the-bride was a former employee of one of Pennsylvania's best-loved and most well-known chocolate-makers! The table numbers were also made from bits of Sycamore wood.

Dressing up the sides of the tent were these cute and simple tin cans strung up with twine and holding an assortment of orange flowers.

The cake was an elegant and simple white and brown affair with ribbon, flowers, and a traditional, but modern looking topper.

At the end of the evening, the couple's friends and family lined the walk way to send them off in the rain with sparklers.

Congratulations Laura and Cory and thank you for choosing Graeme Park to start your life together.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Wedding at Graeme Park: Lauren & Ron

Lauren and Ron had a near perfect day at the end of April to say their "I Do's" by the waterfall at Graeme Park. Rather than a printed program, all the details on the wedding party were spelled out on this long chalkboard casually propped up on a tree near the ceremony site.

After the vows were said and done, the guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres prepared by Joey G's of Newtown on the lawn between the Keith House and the Open Aire Affairs wedding tent.

 Guests were greeted at the entrance to the tent with a decorated step ladder holding casual bouquets of flowers and a cheeky sign.

 The tent was decorated in navy blue and green lanterns and a grouping of simple green bottles with baby's breath for centerpieces.

The cake was a tower of cupcakes with a traditional cake top (Presumably to be saved for the first anniversary? Do people still do that?)

As evening approached, guests were able to enjoy a spectacular, moody sunset - dark and bright at the same time.

Congratulations Lauren and Ron and thank you for choosing Graeme Park for your wedding.

Friday, May 16, 2014

World War II Weekend at Graeme Park

We have a little catching up to do as things get busier here during the spring. Before we start in on wedding season, I wanted to do a quick re-cap (with a TON of photos) of our World War II Weekend, held May 3-4th. While Graeme Park's historical significance and interpretation centers around Colonial America and the Revolutionary War, we've been presenting a World War II Weekend for the last several years - the fact is, Graeme Park, which historically included the Penrose-Strawbridge House and caretaker's cottage, has been inhabited pretty much since the Keith House was built in 1722, and Welsh Strawbridge, who owned the property from 1920 through his death in 1969, was required to register for the draft (at age 63 no less!).

We are also neighbors to the Willow Grove Naval Air Station, which was a small airfield started in 1926 by Harold Pitcairn and purchased by the Federal government after the start of WWII under the threat of eminent domain. It was fear that the government would exercise the same rights here at Graeme Park when they wanted to expand the base, that lead the Strawbridges to donate the 42-acre parcel containing the Keith House to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1968.

So now that we've covered a little bit of "why" we have a WWII Weekend, the real fun lies in the "who" and the "what". 

First and foremost, we should start with a shout-out to our wonderful sponsors. Without them this would be a much less successful event for us as their support covered the cost of most of the entertainment and allowed us to keep admission prices reasonable. 

World War II Weekend Sponsor

Musical Entertainment Sponsor
Black Horse Auto Body Shop (

Iwo Jima Sponsor
Babylon Business Campus (

Normandy Beach Sponsors
Classic Pistol (
County Line Fence (

Battle of Midway Sponsors
Hanson Mechanical Restorations (
Susquehanna Bank (

Other Supporters
McDonalds, Hatboro/Horsham

Our next round of appreciation goes to the volunteers who served on the organizing committee, figuring out the logistics of the battle, contracting the reenactors, soliciting the sponsors and advertisers, and thinking of every detail to make the weekend run smoothly; 

the volunteers who showed up with a can-do attitude the day of the event to pitch in and do what they were assigned - whether they were selling hot dog tickets, parking cars, giving tours of the Keith House, or greeting visitors, they did so with a smile; 

the World War II veterans who made themselves available to speak with visitors about their experiences and with whom it was an honor and a privilege to spend the weekend; 

and lastly, the various reenactors and reenactment units who staged the battle, and set up wonderful displays of period collections, tents and vehicles, dressed in period uniforms, suits and dresses, and participated in the swing dance lessons, their attention to detail gave everything an authentic feel. 

In addition to a battle reenactment both days (the Germans won on Saturday, the Americans on Sunday), 

we had performances by the Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show throughout the weekend; 

a big band concert on Saturday and some patriotic music on Sunday; swing dance lessons; 

weapons demonstrations; tours of the historic Keith House; displays of period cars,

an honoring of veterans (those present and those passed on, represented by luminaries) by Representatives Tom Murt and Todd Stephens, and vendors selling military items.


We're planning to do it all over again next year, so make sure to mark your calendars for May 2-3, 2015. There truly is something for everyone.

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