His­toric Bris­tol Day takes a peek inside Har­ri­man homes

The Advance of Bucks County - - BRISTOL AREA - By El­iz­a­beth Fisher

Ad­vance cor­re­spon­dent

BRIS­TOL BOROUdH - aon’t call the Har­ri­man sec­tion of Bris­tol Bor­ough a wallflower on this com­ing His­toric Bris­tol aay. The just-about-amile slice of town will cel­e­brate its 90th birthday un­der the spot­light. Built in 1917 by Aver­ill Har­ri­man to ac­com­mo­date work­ers at his newly built ship­yard, it rep­re­sents this year’s theme.

In­cluded among the four open houses on the route is the home of Bob and aiane aelia and their 12-year-old daugh­ter dio­vana. Typ­i­cal of the early 20th-cen­tury era, this Crafts­man-style model on West Circle has un­der­gone a few changes, hardly enough to di­min­ish its orig­i­nal char­ac­ter. Vis­i­tors will be able to see for them­selves on Bris­tol day, spon­sored by the Bris­tol Cul­tural and His­tor­i­cal Foun­da­tion, on Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Un­like the houses built by Har­ri­man, the aelia’s home was ac­tu­ally built in 1917 by a man named Arens­meyer, a wool buyer for the drundy Mills, which was founded in 1876 by goseph drundy. Some of the re­mark­able fea­tures in the Arens­meyer home will be on ex­hibit dur­ing the open house.

The fire­place is the fo­cal point and source of pride for the aelias. It is made from stone and em­bed­ded ar­ti­facts gath­ered by Arens­meyer dur­ing his ex­ten­sive trav­els. There’s river rock, pet­ri­fied oys­ter stone, pet­ri­fied wood, pink quarts and an ar­row­head. The sources for the col­lec­tion range from Cal­i­for­nia to the Black Hills to Eng­land.

“The orig­i­nal prop­erty [at Wil­son Av­enue and West Circle] was made up of three cor­ner lots. There was an old garage that we re­placed, but we still have a wheel­bar­row, the horse doors to the orig­i­nal struc­ture, and an orig­i­nal win­dow,” said aiane aelia. “All the brick work, ex­cept for the drive­way, was un­earthed when we cleared the ivy and trees from the back of the house.”

Vis­i­tors will also get to walk through the charm­ing brick pa­tio along­side the house. The back yard sports a mod­ern swim­ming pool but be­hind that is the rear wall of a part of what was once a pond. The aelias had hoped to re­store the pond but couldn’t be­cause of the crum­bling con­crete foun­da­tion, aiane aelia said.

Arens­meyer had sold his house to the Mannherz fam­ily in 1947. Bob aelia bought the prop­erty in 1983 and be­gan fix­ing it up and restor­ing some of the trea­sures he found, in­clud­ing stone benches that had been flat­tened and buried un­der shrub­bery in the yard. To­day a grill and pa­tio fur­ni­ture give tes­ta­ment to mod­ern life but they rest un­der a burn­ing bush tree, planted by Mannherz.

“We’re still in the process of get­ting ready for Bris­tol aay,” aiane aelia said. “We want to show our home to vis­i­tors, but we’re also liv­ing in it ev­ery day. It’s been hec­tic and fun.”

It’s also very ex­cit­ing to think that peo­ple are in­ter­ested in see­ing the house, Bob aelia added.

Tick­ets for Bris­tol aay are $10 ($5 for chil­dren 6-12) if pur­chased by Oct. 19, $12 on the day of the event ($6 for chil­dren). Ad­vance tick­ets can be pur­chased at dreat Ia’s by Anne, 257 Rad­cliffe St.; Mignoni gewelry, 200 Mill St.; and Mill Street Phar­macy, 417 Mill St., all in the bor­ough. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.bris­tol­his­tory.org.

Diane Delia shows off the fire­place, the fo­cal point and pride of their Har­ri­man home.

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