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The house at the end of the road

  • The Victorian House at the end of the road is the setting for Jeanne LeFevre's books.
    The Victorian House at the end of the road is the setting for Jeanne LeFevre's books.
Published June 25. 2010 05:00PM

People going for Sunday drives may head down the dirt road in Washington Township expecting to find some long views in the beautiful countryside.

But on June 19 they realized the journey would be short, and they would soon come to a Victorian house tucked into an opening in the woods at the end of the road. Across the road is a barn, showing the use the land had been put to years ago.

Tall flowers lilies, coneflowers and more fill their beds to overflowing.

Inside a group of women gather in the kitchen as they may have a hundred years ago. But this occasion was different. Jeanne LeFevre was launching her second book that tells the story of the house and farm with other owners involved.

LeFevre said she enjoys the house and likes to stay at home but perhaps a month in Italy would be nice. She knows many of the people among whom are the Ruby Circle Orchid's Red Hat Club.

"I'm really excited about this book. She has such a gift," said Rosa Rosamilia.

LeFevre said the book, "The Gift at the Springhouse," which is her second, took about a year to write and was about the house and its inhabitants. Her first book was "Whispers of the Past."

It was a friend of her husband Jeffrey's who suggested the springhouse be the focal point of the book though in actuality the springhouse on the farm was not cared for and there is little left except a foundation.

"This house is my haven, so I write about it all the time," said LeFevre, not just in the books she has had published.

Tess, a book character, returns to the small town of Hopewell when she inherits the farm from her grandmother. Hopewell is based on nearby Slatington.

She said Slatington reminds her of her early life in small-town McAdoo.

Something is awakened in Tess and she wonders if she wants to return to Boston and the hectic city life she knew there. The gifts Tess receives at the springhouse are wrapped in golden paper and stacked on the table. They are silence, life, love, forgiveness, sympathy and gratitude.

Pictures illustrating the book were taken at the house and Jeffrey designed the cover. Since their springhouse was gone, he used a picture of the springhouse owned by A. Boyer of Boyer's Hardware.

The caterer, Donald, owns the small-town grocery store which was passed down to him by his father Luigi.

"You can picture him in his apron," said LeFevre.

Two people she met at the bank were elevated to positions as bank manager and manager of customer services. Both were at the book launching in their everyday positions as bank employees.

Tess remembers some things from the past guided by her grandfather who lived in the house. It was built in 1860 when Tess was 56, a middle-aged grandmother.

Lefevre is Italian so she wanted to give an Italian twist to the book even though she knows the farm was founded by Germans.

So she has Patrizia and Antonio Tamarazzo, who came to this country and built a honeymoon cottage in the woods, adding the barn and summer kitchen as they were able.

Lefevre says she was happy to have met the grand-niece of a woman who actually lived in the farmhouse. The grandniece recalled running around the house helping her aunt.

The guests head outside to seats under the large hickory tree. From there they can see the actors on the porch.

"I want you to feel that you are the people in the book," LeFevre said. "Those who know me know I like endings that are inspirational."

Volunteers were needed to perform in a reenactment of the prologue of the book. Grace Moyer, vice-queen of the red hats, volunteered to be the mayor and Queen Pat Bush volunteered as mayor of Hopeville. The mayor is dressed in a black suit.

Tess has been chosen to receive an award for her 100th birthday. The mayor helps her from her rocker to the lectern where she says, "I am so happy to see all of you. I have written stories about the many heroes who have received this award and find I am one of them.

"I want you to listen to this compelling tale. Some of you will believe and others find it unbelievable. I love you all so much."

She settled back in her rocking chair and began to tell her story a story to be continued by reading the book.

The book is available on Amazon, but LeFevre prefers to accept orders at home where she can sign the books before sending them out. It will eventually be in local bookstores.

Each year there are public Halloween and Christmas events at the farmhouse. For more information call (484) 553-0631 or e-mail

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