Oscar Hammerstein II Farm

”In 1941, during a lull in his career, Oscar Hammerstein II and his wife, Dorothy, came to Bucks County looking for a retreat from New York City. While driving up the hill to Highland Farm, Dorothy spotted a rainbow and sensed this would be a magical place for her professionally floundering husband and their family. The move proved immensely wise as the bucolic countryside truly inspired Mr. Hammerstein. Legend is told that he was so moved by the views of cattle and corn fields in the early morning that he was inspired to write, “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” the opening song for Oklahoma!, on the front porch. Arguably, his most famous works were written while residing at Highland Farm including South Pacific, The King and I, Flower Drum Song, and The Sound of Music.

The Hammerstein family lived at Highland Farm for 20 years. During their residence, the home was constantly alive with many guests and children. Mr. Hammerstein was known to fly different colored flags as a message to the local children. One said, “Come and swim.” Another meant, “Let’s play tennis.” And still another said, “Stay away today.”

Oscar died at The Farm in August 1960 and was buried in New York. After his death, Dorothy moved from Highland Farm and sold it a year later. By the mid-1980’s, Mary and John Schnitzer had purchased the home, renovated it, and operated a Bed and Breakfast for almost 15 years. Mary sold Highland Farm to Shawn Touhill, a local developer, in 2003.

In 2007, Highland Farm was purchased by Doylestown resident, Christine Cole. While looking for a Bucks County barn to renovate, she was shown Highland Farm and instantly fell in love. Her business plans changed and she embraced the idea of becoming an innkeeper and starting a new venture. She immediately began remodeling and redecorating the home.” [source]

Each guest room has a theme dedicated to one of Hammerstein’s musicals; ours was the South Pacific, once the family’s master bedroom.

While the house is still operating as a B&B, the innkeepers have formed a nonprofit organization in an effort to raise funds to restore the property and build a museum and theatre education centre, in the premises.

Highland Farm B&BThe Oscar Hammerstein Museum

Doylestown, PA

February 14-16, 2020

We Rode in Style

On our way back to New York, we hopped out of the car and into the luxury of a Strasburg Rail Road First Class Parlour with velvet sofas, upholstered armchairs and chilled wine, carried by a steam engine for a 45 minute trip through the fertile, lush Lancaster County where the time stood (almost) still.

The Strasburg Rail Road is a shortline built to connect the town of Strasburg with the main line. It is the oldest continuously operating railroad in the western hemisphere and the oldest public utility in Pennsylvania.

September 3rd, 2018

Fallingwater || The Masterpiece

It is said that Fallingwater is the most beautiful house in the world. Blending in yet somehow managing to stand out, it certainly is one of the most unique structures we have ever seen and, from all Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses, the one I would love to live in (if I could afford the millions necessary for its preservation).

Fallingwater was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2019.

September 3rd, 2018

Kentuck Knob || The Grounds

No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other. – Frank Lloyd Wright

Thus Kentuck Knob was born of sandstone and tidewater red cypress, out of the side of the hill, being one with the hill, belonging to it.

We did not see the interior, building our anticipation and excitement for our upcoming tour of Fallingwater. But the surrounding woodland can be visited at any time during opening hours, no booking slot required (a pass must be bought at the visitor’s centre). It offers a walking trail through a large collection of sculptures adorning the grounds.

And the views over the surrounding hills are simply breathtaking. You can tell by my little ”Sound of Music” moment.

Troilus (1999) by Wendy Taylor – Bronze


Three Right Angles (1992) by George Rickey – Aluminium


Room (1992) by Andy Goldsworthy – Field Stone


Berlin Wall Section & Butterfly


Untitled (1950-) by Michael Warren – Irish Oak and Welded Steel


De-Creation (First Version) by Michael Warren – Irish Oak


Jute (1990) by Nicola Hicks – Bronze


Kentuck Knob, by Frank Lloyd Wright

September 2nd, 2018

We reached the Summit

On top of a mountain overlooking Uniontown sits the historic Summit Inn, first opened to the public in 1907. It was built as a mountain resort for Uniontown’s elite as, according to the hotel’s history page, due to the coal industry in the early 1900’s, Uniontown boasted one of the highest rates of millionaires per capita in the world(!). Their goal was to build a mountain resort of “exceptional quality and durability” and they did a great job with the Summit Hotel.

Today, managed by the third generation of the family that owns it since the 1960’s, it offers a historic ambience, magnificent views and, most importantly, proximity to Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, which was the main reason of our visit.

September 2nd, 2018

Little Nothings || Good Deeds

A trip to Pennsylvania. Two stops on the way to Farmington. First, Intercourse. I’m sure it was not done on purpose, but the name still makes me laugh. Kitchen Kettle is a a village of shops with locally-made goodies and eateries – touristy but great for lunch and snacks.

Early evening in Gettysburg. One could learn everything about the American Civil War by walking the streets of this lovely town. Or just take home a little nothing for fun. Until recently, I thought one could meet Greeks everywhere; now I realize that it is Poles who hold this record. No matter where we go, all kinds of Polish shops keep popping up.

The building you see above, is the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station where President Lincoln arrived the evening before he delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Gettysburg Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

It was November 19, 1863, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg. It is one of the best-known speeches in American history.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln

September 1st, 2018