10/23/2022 Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, Manheim, PA

     In 1677, John Grubb came from Cornwall, England and settled in Brandywine, Delaware.

     In 1737 his son, Peter Grubb, entered the iron business after discovering the vast and rich Cornwall Iron Mines in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, about 21 miles north of Lancaster. Succeeding family generations built their fortunes on his discovery. The Grubb Family Iron Dynasty was a succession of iron manufacturing enterprises owned and operated by Grubb family members for more than 165 years.

     Peter Grubb’s youngest son Peter Grubb, Jr. purchased an additional 212.5 acres and built a charcoal furnace at a place that he called “Mount Hope”. Peter Jr. left the land to his two sons, who inherited a total of 2,307 acres that were to become known as the “Mount Hope Estate”. His youngest son, Henry Bates Grubb, acquired his brother’s share and built a mansion in 1805.

     Eventually the iron petered out. The property was subdivided and passed through numerous owners until Charles Romito purchased the mansion and surrounding 35 acres of land, now known as Manheim, Pennsylvania, for a million dollars in 1980 to open a winery.

     After planting the vineyards and producing wines, Romito opened the Mount Hope Estate and Winery. To promote his new business, Romito hosted several events including an art show, a bluegrass concert, a fifties revival, a country-western weekend, a classical orchestra concert, and a one-day modern jousting tournament.

     The jousting tournament was so popular that Romito held a two-day renaissance festival the following year, 1981, in the winery’s parking lot, and gradually expanded this into a permanent attraction, the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, which is now held over 13 weekends from early-August through late-October and draws more than 250,000 patrons annually. It features a recreation of a 16th-century Tudor village, a replica of the Globe Theatre, Shakespearean plays, musical acts, and artisans fashioning period items such as pottery and potpourri.

     We went up there on a beautiful fall day. We bought tickets in advanced, as each day sells out quickly. I was amazed at the number of faire goers dressed for the event.

     The first thing we had to do is figure out directions.

     Covering 35 acres and 15 stages, there was plenty to see and do.

     From jousting knights,

     colorfully costumed villagers

     and merrymakers

      Yes, that is a mermaid

     of course, face painting