Mount Hope began as the summer home for four generations of the Grubb family, an early American iron master family who found their way from England seeking their fortune. The properties that were to become the Estate were purchased in 1779 and Peter Grubb established an iron furnace at Mount Hope in 1784. His son, Henry Bates Grubb, built the original Federal Period Mansion between 1800-1805. At the same time, the formal gardens surrounding the Mansion were created including trees, an elaborate grand avenue of colored flowers and pillared entrances to the various stone roadways leading to the Estate, all of which continues to exist this day.
Daisy Elizabeth Brooke Grubb (1850-1936) was the last member of the Grubb family to reside at Mount Hope. It was she, in 1895, who enlarged the manor home to an elaborate 32-room Mansion, complete with ballroom and billiards room, that featured many Victorian elements in a unique blend of Federal and Victorian architecture. Special elements included a freestanding walnut staircase in the front hallway, brass and crystal chandeliers, Egyptian marble fireplaces, stained glass windows and ceilings, hand painted ceilings, parquet wood floors, built-in glass cupboards, and hidden walls that accommodate sliding doors.
Miss Daisy passed away in 1936 and Mount Hope was subdivided and sold. It passed through several owners until December 1979 when the estate was purchased by Chuck Romito, who envisioned it as a place where award-winning, quality wines were produced and sold. Vineyards were planted, wines were made and Mount Hope Winery opened for business in 1980. To attract visitors to Mount Hope, a series of weekend events, including a modern-day jousting tournament, presented by a Maryland jousting club. The success of this event led to the creation of a one day Renaissance Festival held in the Estate parking lot.
Today, the second and third floors of the spacious Mansion are used by the staff of Mount Hope Estate as offices and new owners, Scott and Heather Bowser, have dedicated themselves to the continuation of teaching and educating through living history. The PA Renaissance Faire is a 35-acre festival running 13 weekends from Aug-Oct, welcoming over 200,000 guests annually. Extensive renovations to the home have been undertaken and continue today, all with an eye and an ear for entertainment and culture, and with the understanding that the Mansion at Mount Hope is to be a home for all to enjoy. We think Miss Daisy would be pleased.