WYOMISSING, Pa. – It's four centuries of history in Wyomissing, all wrapped up into one tour.
"It's interesting to think of the passage of time and how it has circled around this home," said Benjamin Neely, executive director of the Berks History Center.
The 4 Centuries in Berks Historic Property Tour runs Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It includes stops at nine historic houses in the borough.
"The story [is] told through architecture," Neely said. "At each home, you'll get a little history and also the opportunity to walk around [and] look at the landscape."
One of the oldest houses on the tour is the "Violet Fields." It was built in the late 1800s. Since then, it's been remodeled several times, however, the current owner said her goal is to keep the character of the house alive.
Margaret Vath has lived at the house for 40 years, making her its longest owner. In the 1900s, Vath said the house served as a doctor's office. At one point, when it was vacant, it became the neighborhood "haunted house."
"Kids used to dare each other to come in the house," Vath said, recalling a conversation she had with an elderly neighbor who grew up on that block.
Flash forward another 50 years, for Vath, the home has become a place filled with happy memories.
"Raised my family here, a wonderful house," she said. "I loved the style of it."
It's a place she'll continue to treasure, while also sharing it with her family, and on occasion, with the rest of Berks County.
"I just I love the house, and I want everybody to be able to see it," Vath said, smiling.
Tickets cost $35. They can be picked up at several locations across the county, including the following:
- Berks History Center, 940 Centre Avenue, Reading, 610-375-4375
- Weaver's Orchard, 40 Fruit Lane, Robeson Township, 610-856-7300
- Riverview Nursery, 3049 Pricetown Road, Alsace Township, 610-929-5049
- Esbenshade's, 721 Park Road, Maidencreek Township, 610-944-3000
- Wyomissing Library, 9 Reading Boulevard, Wyomissing, 610-374-2385
- Lori's Candy Station, 21 West Penn Avenue, Robesonia, 610-693-6441
- Wyomissing Restaurant, 1245 Penn Avenue, Wyomissing, 610-373-3353
Ticket purchases the day of the tour can be made at the Nichole Stoltzfus Homestead, located at 1700 Tulpehocken Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610.