Activity Notes Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 80 miles total, approximately 2 hours riding time throughout the day. At Winterthur, walking and standing approximately 1 hour. At Longwood Gardens, walking at your own pace. Wheelchairs and motor scooters available at Longwood ($25 scooter rental fee).
At the hotel.
We will set out by motorcoach for a full day of field trips. Our first study site will be to one of America’s treasures, the Winterthur estate in the Brandywine Valley. The first members of the du Pont family arrived in America from France on January 1, 1800, settling in the Brandywine Valley. Winterthur (pronounced winter-tour) began in 1837 as a 12-room house on 450 acres. It remained in the family, growing and developing over several generations. The magnificent estate we see today is largely the work of Henry Francis du Pont, who was born at Winterthur in 1880. Throughout his life, he added to the facilities, the exquisitely landscaped gardens, and his beloved family home. H. F. was an avid collector of American antiques and decorative arts, expanding the house and filling it exceptional rooms and museum quality pieces. He opened it to the public in 1951. Winterthur is now the premier museum of American decorative arts. Its 175 rooms are filled with nearly 90,000 objects displayed much as they were when the du Pont family lived here. We will divide into small groups for private explorations with Winterthur educators. Depending on the weather, we may also have an opportunity to meander through a re-created woodland path offering vistas of the lovely Winterthur Garden.
At the Winterthur cafeteria, boxed lunches provided.
Next, we will ride to Longwood, one of the world’s great gardens, for an expert-led exploration. The Lenni-Lenape people — ancestors of the Delaware Tribe of Indians — lived and cultivated these lands for thousands of years. In 1700, a Quaker family acquired several hundred acres they began clearing and farming, eventually establishing an arboretum. Pierre S. du Pont, a passionate gardener, bought it in 1906. Inspired by his travels to see great gardens of Europe, he set about transforming the farm into what would become Longwood Gardens. He built a grand, 4-acre conservatory housing a perpetual flower show, added fountains to the expanding outdoor themed gardens and landscapes, and in the process became one of America’s most influential gardeners. Longwood is his living legacy, now spanning 1,077 acres. We’ll return to the hotel from Longwood with expected arrival before approximately 6:00 p.m.
At a popular a local restaurant. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.
Returning to the hotel, prepare for check-out and departure after our closing lecture in the morning.