John Audubon's Home at Mill Grove is one of those places and very much worth making it a chosen destination, just not on a Monday, the day I was there. It is closed. However, it was a opportunity to enjoy the surroundings almost people free. The construction workers were working on the new visitor's center, scheduled to open in the summer of 2019. I did get a chance to meet some of the permanent residents on a one on one more intimate experience, but will have to go back to get inside the first home in America of John Audubon. It looks most inviting.
John James Audubon lived at Mill Grove in Montgomery County from 1803- 1806.
From a distance the home looks palatial. Who wouldn't want to spend some time there but it is when you get up closer and wander around out back you get a sense of what entranced John James Audubon.
Most likely these rockers were not in place when he lived there but they serve to create a magnificent threshold into the many facets of nature to behold. It was late in the afternoon on a cloudy day so I was not able to get my bearings on directions. It does seem like this porch was just made for watching the setting sun in the west, so very peaceful.
Audubon is known as an ornithologist, naturalist and painter. This area would no doubt inspire such an interest, beginning first with observation. Like I said from the front view of the house, looking up at the cozy observation deck think inspirational and classic, something very special.
The trails are not huge but unlike Audubon who did all his discovering on his own, you might want to use the map. You will need a map, especially if you are somewhat like myself with a bird brain and tend to wander into the woods and then wonder, where am I? It also helps identify some of the more interesting structures you will pass along the way of times gone by and much to my delight creatures still around to charm and communicate with if you stay with the journey. You won't need my map copy, they provide them, just make sure you pick one up.
If you start on the trail behind the house, you will most likely take what the map labels as John's Trail. and it provides, I thought the historic trail. Perhaps one that a young Audubon may have taken just by the list of old structures that could have been in operation back then.
A stone bridge across the creek first appears. Is it made of the same natural material as the structure of the house. It looks just as aged and sturdy. I checked the map it is not listed. I think it has withstood the test of time and should be noted. I am impressed by it.
The map does list the Pump House Ruins and I am sure I have discovered it, the Pump House. The waterway seems wider here so I am thinking this is the Perkiomen Creek and my previous reference to the creek was a stream.
The next discovery was a fleet of canoes just sitting there inconspicuously in the woods. These must be available for a fee to cruise the Perkiomen Creek.
Not much further up the steep incline along the path, the next sighting appears to be an elaborate pathway where you can view the Spring House Ruins down stream.
In another section of the woods working our way backwards, you may be able to find more structures.
I was able to find the smoke stack. How do I know? It was marked unlike the other items on the list unless I just missed them. It was getting closer to early evening and after 4 hours on various trails, this lover of nature was done looking but I hope to return some day and scout it out again. I would like to find the "unmarked" miners graves. I was also curious about the Samuel Wetherill Jr. name connection to the mine property and wondered if there was a connection to the Wetherill Family from Chester and the Wetherill Plant. I was unable to put that all together but it is possible.
I did mention meeting some of the current residents. I will introduce them tomorrow. They continue to bring the natural artistry to the area just as in the days Audubon was there.