The Governors Theater, Bucks County Playhouse has stood the test of time. This once working mill was happily turned into a theater and has since had many dramatic incarnations and a very colorful run. I am thrilled to report the BCP is open for business again.
Though BCP had many famous actors in many memorable productions over the years, the most famous (by VT standards) actor to grace this stage was Jelw!!! :-)
The following is taken from the history of BCP on the website..
"The sparkling reputation of the Bucks County Playhouse grew rapidly. It soon became known as America's Most Famous Summer Theatre, and for good reason. Not only did performances feature well known stars of stage, screen and television, but the Playhouse also became known as a pre-Broadway theatre premiering some of the most famous dramas in theatrical history. Dramas like Harvey, Nobody Loves Me (Barefoot In The Park) and Give 'Em Hell Harry made their premieres at Bucks County."
"The list of actors and actresses that have appeared at Bucks County Playhouse is impressive. Kim Hunter, Helen Hayes, Kitty Carlisle, Colleen Dewhurst, Shirley Booth, Sara Seegar, Lillian Gish, June Lockhart, Frances Reid, Peggy McCay, Grace Kelly, Bonnie Franklin, Kaye Ballard and Sandy Dennis have all appeared in performances. A list of actors includes Farley Granger, Robert Redford, Paul Lynde, Kevin McCarthy, Bert Lahr, Leslie Nielsen, Jack Klugman, Gale Gordon, Roddy McDowell, Walter Matthau, Merv Griffin and Larry Hagman."
The Playhouse is the Thing again. Please make the time to go see a production. You'll be glad you did.
Like many of the small towns in Maryland and Pennsylvania, New Hopes history revolves around the railroad. I have several VT pages on small towns in the area and they all share a theme of trains and railroads. New Hope has a renovated station and a steam engine train that offers tourists a chance to ride a historic train through the local hills and country side. The train leaves the station daily on the hour. I have been to New Hope many times and have never taken the train ride. Each time I visit I keep saying "next time I'm going on the train".
The Ivyland Steam Locomotive is a staple "To Do" in New Hope. This charming vintage engine runs through the beautiful Bucks County countryside daily.
Once you return from the rails take time to check out the Michener Museum and the Haas-Muth Gallery amongst other attractions.
Since 1957 there has been an antique car show in the summer in New Hope. We attended in 1969 when we were living in Philadelphia in our 1932 Plymouth. The car has an antique car license on the back from Pennsylvania, and on the front is a 1932 license from Colorado.
One of the features of the car is 'Floating Power'. In order to keep the vibration of the 4 cylinder engine from being a problem, the engine mounts were rubber topped. It also had 'free wheeling' which is illegal today. When you took your foot off the gas, the engine went to idle, so there was no braking effect of the engine. It meant that you could shift without using the clutch.
The cars are judged on authenticity and originality among other things. We have had this car since 1961. It has been repainted - when we got it, it was baby blue.
My father-in-law got this car in the 50s when a student from Florida drove it up to Maryland and traded it in on a Buick. The Buick dealer didn't want it on the lot, and my father-in-law traded him a rowboat that had washed up on their dock during a hurricane for it. My husband taught my mother-in-law to drive on this car.
The Delaware Canal is the only remaining continuously intact canal of the great towpath canal building era of the early and mid-19th century. The canal remains today with almost all of its features as they existed during its century of commercial operation.
Through its connection with the Lehigh Navigation Canal at Easton, the Delaware Canal helped to develop the anthracite coal industry in the Upper Lehigh Valley. The canals provided a convenient and economical means of transporting coal to Philadelphia, New York and the eastern seaboard.
Even before the canal was closed to commercial activities, many people used this waterway for recreational purposes. Fishing and canoeing were favorite sports. Since becoming a state park in 1940, people have flocked to this area each year to hike the towpath, canoe in the canal or picnic along its banks.
The U. S. Congress officially recognized the canal's importance to the economic evolution of America was by establishing the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor in 1988. The canal is a Registered National Historic Landmark and its towpath is a National Recreation Trail.
Walking along the canal is nice.. it is even nicer with that special person.. The path along the canal is not busy because most people are shopping or hanging out on the main street. So.... you can definitely get away from the rest of the crowd and have a nice walk.... anything else you do is your business haha :)
A walk along the 60-mile long towpath of Delaware Canal State Park is a stroll into American history. Paralleling the Delaware River between Easton and Bristol, this diverse park contains an historic canal and towpath, many miles of river shoreline and eleven river islands. From riverside to farm fields to historic towns, visitors to Delaware Canal State Park will enjoy the ever-changing scenery along its corridor.
Hmm.. I took this pic as I was sitting at the canal and just enjoyed the view as the canal boat came by.. and also as I people watched :) I included it as a tip because as I remember my day .....this moment stood out because it was so nice. Sometimes we don't relax and just appreciate a place. Regardless if it is Venice, paris .. or some out of the way place like New Hope, taking time to just soak in the atmosphere is always important and leaves a lasting impression.
The 60-mile Delaware Canal towpath has lots of activities, but among the best are the lesser-known FREE guided hikes by the Friends of the Delaware Canal (www.fodc.org).
Every Saturday in October and at other times of year as well. FODC volunteer guides explain the history, architecture, engineering and natural wonders of the Delaware Canal as you go on towpath hikes that range from 6 to 14 miles. It's especially interesting right now because the Canal is being restored after a series of devastating floods in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The hikes start at 9 a.m. and local residents carpool you back to the starting point. It's very friendly.
One of the standout guides is Susan Taylor, who's also Executive Director of the FODC. Another is Willis Rivinus, a local historian who's written guides to Bucks County and the Delaware Canal and has lived in nearby Solebury since 1955. Note: Some of Rivinus' free guided walks are shorter and are scheduled separately from the FODC, but the FODC can provide information about them.
New Hope is located along the route of York Road, the former main highway between Philadelphia and New York City. It was generally regarded as the half way point, where travelers would stay overnight and be ferried across the river the next morning. We enjoyed the quaint shops, restaurants and covered bridges.
The night prior to his famous crossing of the Delaware several miles to the south, George Washington is said to have lodged in New Hope. Historic former residents include James A. Michener and Aaron Burr.
There are many strange sights to be seen in New Hope along with everything else. I saw an old man with a monkey several times walking the streets of New Hope. At first I saw him sitting on a bench near the Bucks County Playhouse. Later I saw him having lunch with the monkey sitting on the table right next to him. I tried to get a photo but the monkey seemed to sense I was trying to take his picture. Everytime I moved my camera to shoot he would either turn his head away or hide behind the old mans legs. I finally gave up.
There are also statues, monuments, and unusual abandoned art pieces to be found. I saw this metal frame sculputure of a deer standing in a stream. Keep your eyes open in New Hope. There are strange things to be found.
This beautiful house is completely renovated and open to the public for touring. Its located on Main Street just across the street from the Bucks County Playhouse. There are two tours daily during the summer.
New Hope is known to be an artists village. There are shops and artists all along the streets. Along with the arts, New Hope has a history of theater also. Bucks County Playhouse was at one time an important location for trying out pre Broadway productions. Many actors played summer stock in New Hope over the years. Bucks County Playhouse still exits today. Although you don't see as many stars as you would have years ago. The theater runs a full schedule with different productions every month. The productions I have seen here have always been very well done and professional. Bucks County Playhouse is the official State Theater of Pennsylvania.
When you arrive in New Hope for day, if your not staying over night, the first thing you will need to do is find a parking place. There are several parking areas with prices ranging from five to twently dollars a day. There is also some parking available on the streets with parking meters. Nothing is free in New Hope. I usually take Bridge Street up the hill and follow the signs to the train station. There is a parking lot at the station that usually has open spaces. The cost is $15.00 for the day. Its centrally located and allows you easy access to walk around the village.
Gerenser's narrated boat ride up the Delaware. Very relaxing, informative and fun. Rides leave roughly every 45 minutes from 10 to 5:30, May-September. The tickets sell out quickly during the summer so get your tickets as soon as you arrive in New Hope.