Former $50 Million Dollar New Hope Estate Now Being Sold Separately

TREND photos via

TREND photos via

Update 2/30, 9:33am: We got in touch with agent Caryn Black who updated us on the Fashion Farms property. The estate consists of three parcels in three different townships that were split up and are now being sold separately, this being one of the them.  Black also informed us the 1713 manor home burned down some time ago, so the main house that is now there is not the antique original. The title of this post has been updated to reflect this information.

Here is additional info on another Fashion Farm parcel, provided by agent Maria Taylor.

Now this is a price cut.

Granted, the formerly on the market for $50 million estate was originally listed with three off-site farm properties. This time around, there’s no mention of these parcels in the sale, so we’re guessing (until an agent gets back to us) their absence is what helped knocked down the price.

Still the New Hope home, which is now going for $10 million, is part of the renowned Fashion Farms, a group of horse breeding farms. Included in the sale is around 190 acres of ponds, pastures, historic outbuildings, and a stone manor home built circa 1713.

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Accused of Fraud, Bucks County Man Kills Himself

Thomas French

Thomas French

A member of the Bucks County family accused of accumulating a fortune through insurance fraud, has killed himself.

Thomas French was married to Claire Risoldi. “Risoldi’s family set fires in their matriarch’s home so they could collect more than $20 million in insurance claims, then used the cash float an ‘excessively extravagant lifestyle’ marked by $1.2 million in jewelry and six Ferraris, according to charges announced last month by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane,” NBC 10 reports.

French, 64, “shot himself in front of a Risoldi family home” on Thursday, the station reported.

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Officials to Introduce the Richboro Master Plan Next Week

The former Grist Mill at the Willow Mill Complex in Richboro | Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The former Grist Mill at the Willow Mill Complex in Richboro | Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Bucks Local reports the Bucks County Planning Commission and Northampton Town officials will hold a public meeting next week to introduce citizens to the beginning stages of the Richboro Master Plan, a new planning initiative set to revitalize the Northampton village.

According to Bucks Local, the meeting is meant as a way to not only inform residents of what changes are projected for the area, but to encourage public input for the plan officials and planners hope will bring the village up to speed:

The village, located at the crossroads of Routes 332 and 232, has had a rich history and has played a fundamental role in the development of the township. As the township transformed from a rural farming economy to a modern suburb, Richboro has faced many challenges. Traffic congestion, land use concerns, and environmental constraints have led to the need to reevaluate the village in a comprehensive fashion, said officials.

The town hall meeting will take place at the Northampton Township Building (55 Township Road, Richboro, PA) on Thursday February 12th at 7:00pm.

Town Hall meeting to solicit public input on the future of Richboro; initiative moving forward to revitalize crossroads village [Bucks Local]

Jaw Dropper of the Week: The Picturesque Wonder You Will Never Want to Leave

Photos presented by Donna Tyson via

Photos by John Armich.

Updated 1/27/2015, 1:54pm to reflect that the neighboring Cuttalossa Farm was the former home of Daniel Garber, not the property we are profiling in this post.

Let me preface this by saying that you’re lucky I’m not in charge of running this blog because if I were you can be certain I’d have never shared this beauty with you. (And that’s saying a lot since I’m not wont to fall for homes that fall outside of a ten mile radius of Philadelphia.)

So why this budding selfishness on my part? For starters, just look at that verdurous scene! (Warning: annoying, slightly cliché hyperbole ahead.) It literally looks like an image you’d be left with after hearing the happy ending of a storybook fairytale. And guess what? In addition to the lush grounds, the interior of this stone carriage house (built in 1820, mind you) is another prize to behold: exposed stone walls, chestnut floors, hand-hewn beams, and original stable doors all merge, with what might possibly be the touch of someone with the gift of interior design, to comprise this hidden jewel of a home.

Also on the property, which the listing makes sure to mention has sheep next door (Cuttalossa Farm, the former home of artist Daniel Garber, is a neighbor!), is a stone guest house with a “sophisticated studio / home office space.” This mini gem comes with hardwood floors, high ceilings, a full bathroom and kitchen area, and sits above a 2-car garage.

So, interested?

Magnificent Centuries-Old Farmhouse with Renovated Apartment Addition For Sale

TREND photos via

TREND photos via

It’s better known as the Maplewood Farm Bed & Breakfast these days, but this lush 5-plus-acre Pipersville property has been around for over a century. The main floor, for instance, was constructed in 1792; while the second level was added in 1826. And if the photos are any indication of what the home is actually like in person now, it seems to have taken on that charming air historical buildings tend to acquire over time.

Character-defining features include wood-burning stove, built-in cupboards and bookcases in the main house, two-story bank barn with workshop and storage room, and a second barn with chicken coup and fenced-in pastures leading down to the Neshaminy Creek.

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Any Bookworms Looking for a Dwelling in Doylestown?

TREND photo via Addison Wolfe Real Estate

TREND photo via Addison Wolfe Real Estate

Last May, we showed you our top five favorite home libraries in the Greater Philadelphia Area. This Normandy-style, Zaveta-designed residence in Doylestown was one that made the list, and also struck my fancy for its exceptional reading nooks.

To begin, there’s the cozy-looking family room with a stone wrapped fireplace (a blanket and my tattered The Best Short Stories of Fyodor Dostoevsky Modern Library paperback would be here) and a connected granite-island kitchen with access to one of the two elevated decks (I’d have read the Nutter legacy piece over Sunday breakfast here for sure).

Next, there’s the master bedroom, complete with walk-in closet, additional built-in storage, and an en suite bathroom, which the the listing notes “captures the spirit of 20th century Art Deco design.” There’s also a courtyard right off this bedroom. (Two words: summer. reading.)

But I’ve saved the best for last…

Where Are They Now?: Lovely Longwood Estate in New Hope

All TREND photos via Lisa James Otto Country Properties.

It’s been awhile since we’ve checked up on Bucks County’s Longwood Estate, a splendiferously decorated Georgian manor that swept us away a little over a year ago with its delightfully verdant grounds and attractive interior. So what is its status now?

Glad you asked! Somewhere between late 2013 and now, the home has gotten a $200,000 price cut, bringing it to $2.95 million. The circa-1765 property includes guest house, pool house, barn, and springhouse, and is in possession of a tree-lined driveway with a gated entrance.

Click here to see the gallery.

Update: Missing Man Identified in Bucks County Silo Collapse

Update (12:15 p.m.): The family has identified the man missing the the silo collapse that occurred early Thursday morning at the Riverside Industrial Complex in Bucks County as Tony Gabriele. 6ABC spoke with his brother, who said that Gabriele “was the only person working in the silo last night, and he was supposed to get off at midnight.”

The initial discovery of the collapse was made by a police officer around 12:30 a.m., who “first believed the dust in the air was snow.” As reported earlier, the silo was used to store powdered concrete. Gabriele’s body has not yet been recovered and, given that officials do not know his exact whereabouts during the time of the collapse, he is presumed to be dead.

Original Post:

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Your Late-1800s Bucks County Farmhouse Awaits

Images by Lisa James Otto Country Properties via Zillow

Images by Lisa James Otto Country Properties via Zillow

We love to feature plenty of country farmhouses nestled in the bucolic landscape of the surrounding region. Catalpa Farm, aptly named given the Catalpa tree grove on the property, is essentially a property out of a novel: the Victorian homestead built in the 1890s, the two-story red barn and its address, sat on Apple Butter Road in Plumstead Township, has that classic Americana feel.

Seriously, a farmhouse on Apple Butter Road–are warm pies cooling on the window sill?
Smell that warm apple pie!

Disagreement in Doylestown Over Former Home of Legendary “Sound of Music” Songwriter

Left: Oscar Hammerstein II. Photo via Wikimedia Commons. Right: Highland Farm. Photo via Highland Farm B&B website

Left: Oscar Hammerstein II. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Right: Highland Farm. Photo via Highland Farm B&B website

Will Hammerstein, grandson of songwriter Oscar Hammerstein II (he of The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, and King and I fame), wants to convert his grandfather’s home in Bucks County into a museum with a 400-seat theatre called the Oscar Hammerstein II Music & Theatre Education Center. His plan also includes a parking lot that would be able to hold about “100 cars and several buses” for visitors looking to get a “classic Broadway fan experience,” according to Kathy Matheson at the Associated Press.

The property is, after all, steeped in musical history–what with Hammerstein having purchased it in 1940 and living there for twenty years. He penned many of his works there, most notably “The Sound of Music,” which was a collaboration with creative partner Richard Rodgers. Highland Farm, currently a bed & breakfast, also saw the likes of Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods, West Side Story) walk through its doors as he was a friend of Hammerstein’s son.

Despite this, some residents aren’t cheering for the idea…

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