View from the porch

Williamsport Sun-Gazette
June 1, 2008

With warm weather upon us, there’s nothing quite like enjoying fine wines and good food on the porches of Williamsport’s most historic homes.

Preservation Williamsport will hold the second “View From the Porch: Springtime on Millionaires Row” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. First Friday on Millionares’ Row in downtown Williamsport.

All funds raised will benefit Preservation Williamsport and the Rowley House Museum, which is undergoing extensive interior and exterior renovations.

The first “View From the Porch,” held in fall 2006, was a major success, attracting more than 100 attendees, according to Edward Lyon Jr., chairman of Preservation Williamsport.

This year, Lyon said the number of porches open on Millionaires’ Row has been expanded, and he expects about 250 people to attend the event.

“This is a great opportunity for the people in the area to see the fantastic homes on Millionaires’ Row,” Lyon said. “And funds are benefiting Preservation Williamsport, which has a sole purpose of protecting Williamsport’s historic buildings.”

The featured porches for this year’s event will include Park Place, 800 W. Fourth St.; the Rowley House Museum, 707 W. Fourth St.; the Elias Deemer House, 711 W. Fourth St.; the Timothy Clark House, 907 W. Fourth St.; the Hermance House, 405 W. Fourth St.; the Cochran-Lyon House, 1005 W. Fourth St.; and the Hiram Rhoads House, 522 W. Fourth St.

Two trolleys will transport all ticket holders to and from each location, and Lyon said Mayor Gabriel J. Campana and J. Marlyne Whaley will act as the honorary conductors.

Trolleys will depart Park Place Gazebo starting at 5:30 p.m., with parking available behind Park Place.

The Rowley House Museum is open to the public for tours, Lyon added, and more than 60 bus tours already are scheduled for this year’s event.

Music and elegant menus also will be available at each venue, Lyon said, including a selection of fine wines, cheeses, a pig roast, chocolate truffles, champagne, oysters and more.

“We try to keep things unique every year,” Lyon said. “Attendees can expect great food, drinks and wine. People will be in costume — it’s going to be a fun time.”

Lyon added that he hopes the event will attract more people to appreciate the historic homes in downtown Williamsport, specifically on Millionaires’ Row. He said that stretch of mansions is unique to Williamsport — there’s nothing like it anywhere else in the nation.

“This event is a great chance to show off these places and get a look at how architecturally beautiful they really are,” Lyon said.

“People in the Victorian days used to entertain a lot more — we’d like to relive that,” he added.

Tickets are $45 for Preservation Williamsport members and $50 for non-members.

For more information or to buy tickets, call 323-8080.


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