Monday, May 12, 2014

The Jackson Mansion in Berwick

We are finally enjoying some beautiful weather here in Pennsylvania.  I even dug out some shorts to wear today and Maggie and I are sitting outside the trailer while I post.  On Saturday, Hubby and I drove into the town of Berwick to do a little sightseeing.

On the way into town we stopped at this great little flea market and farmer's market and picked up some early season tomatoes and eggplant. 

Finally, it was into Berwick where we saw the Jackson Mansion built in 1877-1879.  And, once again, they wouldn't allow me to take pictures inside - and it is absolutely gorgeous!

We began out tour in the carriage house where we learned that the builder of the mansion was Colonel Clarence Gearhart Jackson born in 1842.

At the age of 20, Clarence enlisted in the Union Army.  He was twice wounded and twice captured by the Confederate Army.

It was while he was in prison in Charleston that he designed his dream house, determined to build it once he got back home.  He returned to Berwick in 1865, married and had two daughters.

  The style of the mansion is Victorian with touches of Gothic and Eastlake.  The home is made of Vermont stone which was hauled here by horse and sleigh.  Unfortunately, the Colonel lived only a short time in the mansion.  He died suddenly in May 1880 at only 38 years of age.  His wife continued to live here until her death in 1913.

Upon her death, the daughters tried to sell the mansion but could not find a buyer who would pay even $10,000.  They then donated the mansion to the Borough of Berwick in 1914 in memory of their parents.  Up until four years ago the home was used as various city offices.  Finally, someone realized the historic value of the mansion and they have been working to restore it ever since.  The work is ongoing with each room being restored as funds become available.  A lot of the furniture is original to the home and the rest is period.   The Boy Scouts added the Statue of Liberty to the front lawn where free concerts are held all summer long.

We had a great time learning a little "Berwick" history.  This Friday we're off to tour Valley Forge.  Appropriately, the weather is predicted to turn cool and rainy.  We'll really get a taste of history!


  1. Looks like a great mansion from the outside. Will have o put it on the list even though I am always a bit annoyed about no pictures. I understand no flash photography, but amateur photos should be no threat to their business.

  2. What an awesome structure. Wish pics could have been taken.
    Huge place. I would think that there was much to see!

  3. Incredible! The Victorian/Goth/Eastlake makes for an interesting exterior ~ so sad not to see pics of the furnishings & interior decor.