Grey Towers 2014 Public Programs Highlighted
– “We so often hear that Grey Towers is the ‘best kept secret’ in Northeast Pennsylvania, so we have set out to change that,” said Lori McKean, Visitor Services Specialist for the US Forest Service at Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, PA. The staff and many community partners have put together an exciting calendar of public programs for 2014, with a little bit of something for everyone!
Grey Towers, ancestral home of eminent conservationist and two-term PA Governor Gifford Pinchot, is an impressive stone mansion with lavish gardens that stands sentry on a hilltop above picturesque Milford, PA. The US Forest Service operates Grey Towers as a public natural resource education, conservation, conference center and museum. Public tours of the mansion and grounds are offered every day from 11 am to 4 pm on the hour from Memorial Day through the November 1 this year. The beautiful and inspirational gardens are open free of charge for pedestrians from sun-up to sundown.
Some of the larger, signature events already scheduled for 2014 include:
- Friday, July 4: A fee-free day and traditional ice cream social;
- Saturday and Sunday, August 2-3: 10th Annual Festival of Wood;
- Saturday, Sept 26: National Public Lands Day, free mansion tours.
A full calendar of events that lists out special tours, hikes, lectures, musical events and public programs is available at www.greytowers.org or by request by calling 570-296-9630.
In addition to the larger public events, the US Forest Service has improved the mansion tours. “Our interpretive tours bring guests through the first floor of the mansion and into the garden spaces,” McKean said. “The story that we tell while touring the mansion and grounds is more than just a checklist of the antiques and artifacts; it’s a biographical sketch of the Pinchot family and all that they did to benefit Americans and this nation.”
For example, most people don’t know that James Pinchot, who built Grey Towers in 1886 as his family’s summer home, was a patron of the arts and supported the Hudson River School artists. His oldest son, Gifford Pinchot, introduced scientific forestry and sustainable management of forests to America, while founding and serving as first chief of the US Forest Service. Gifford’s brother Amos contributed to the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union. Gifford’s wife Cornelia was a suffragette who was instrumental in getting the women’s right-to-vote amendment passed. And the list goes on.
Another approach to attract visitors is a number of new specialty tours that focus on specific topics, such as Landscape Walks and Architecture and Artifact tours that are offered throughout the season. Also, in response to visitor interest, special tour times are set aside for visitors to see all three floors of the mansion. Partners such as the Grey Towers Heritage Association offer numerous free programs, such as the Screen on the Green outdoor environmental film series, and the Kindred Spirits Arts Program will once again offer musical programs.
For more information about the public tours, fees, programs, hours, and special events, visit the website www.greytowers.org or www.fs.fed.us/gt. Call 570-296-9630 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.