In a picturesque setting, atop a hill overlooking the once Erie Feeder Canal in downtown Meadville, sits the historic Baldwin – Reynolds House Museum. This was the dream home of Supreme Court Justice Henry Baldwin and his wife Sally. The home was modeled after a residence in Tennessee named Hunter Hill, which Henry fell in love with while visiting his son. Construction on this southern styled Greek Revival mansion was completed in 1843 and at that time was nicknamed “Mount Vernon of Meadville”. The original 2 story structure was lived in by the Judge for less than one year when he suddenly passed away.
The property was then briefly a girl’s finishing school before it was deeded to William Reynolds, Sally’s nephew. William and his wife Julia along with their daughter, moved into the residence in 1847 and William became the first mayor of Meadville.
The mansion transformed from the once southern plantation interior into the Victorian interior it is today. A third story was added for more children and servants and the couple lived in their beloved home for the next 60 years.
The youngest of William and Julia’s four children, John Reynolds become the next to own and love this family home and he married Katherine Shryrock. The couple were pillars in the community and John was mayor of Meadville for three terms and Katherine was one of the charter members of the Meadville Garden Club.
After the couples’ death, the home was purchased by the Crawford County Historical Society in 1963 and has remained a special place in Meadville’s history.
The now museum is filled with furniture, art, and historical items which can be toured by the public. Located at 639 Terrace St Meadville, Pa and open June, July and August for general tours Wednesday through Sunday. The tours begin on the hour at noon, 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm and reservations are not required. The general tour for the summer of 2019 are provided FREE courtesy of Armstrong Cable. Admission fees may be required for special events. A calendar of events can be found here
Imagine playing crochet on the front lawn as it was done so many years ago in a much simpler time. Time period clothing is encouraged to make the experience magical during this annual event called the Eleanor Davies Croquet Classic and Garden Party and tickets are on sale now.
How about a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater or a Monster Mash Halloween Costume Party just in time for the crisp fall days? A great time to celebrate with your friends and have a chance to show off your best costume or sleuthing abilities. Grab a few friends and reserve your spots before the witching hour comes.
If Christmas time is more your style, then the biannual Trees of Christmas (next one is 2021) may just be your ideal event. The Meadville Garden Club, which has a large part of its history due to the mansions’ former owner Katherine Reynolds, decorates a Christmas tree for nearly every room in the first and second floor to a different theme each event. Generations have attended and many have admired not only the trees, but the wonderful home.
In keeping with the Christmas theme, the annual Fezziwig’s Christmas Dinner is sure to please. Enjoy a glass of wine and dinner as the characters from the classic Charles Dickens tale meander through the crowd. Meet Scrooge, Marley, the Ghost of Christmas Past, and even Tiny Tim as you eat, drink and be merry. The tickets for this years’ event are already on sale, so be sure to reserve your spot in what is becoming a very popular event.
How about a classy New Years Eve party with a Great Gatsby theme? Get gussied up in your gown or tuxedo and dance the night away to bring in the new year. 2020 is approaching and what a year it will be, so be sure to join the fun.
As you can see, this historic mansion is so much more than just another old house with old stuff. It is a magical place which is transformed with the seasons for events and gatherings, a place memories are made and family traditions are started.