Ashton Tourison, Sr. was born in Mt. Airy in 1851 to a former captain in the Civil War. Beginning in the 1870s, he had a grand vision for and confidence in the future of Mt. Airy. In approximately 1904, he purchased 125 acres between Chew and Stenton Avenues, from E. Durham Street to Meehan Avenue, and advertised his plan for Sedgwick Farms as “stone-built homes, planned on an architectural idea that makes each different from the other, yet in perfect harmony with all.” Along with creating timeless beauty, he provided “practical houses incorporating core values of space, air, light, comfort and good taste.” With these core values in mind, this walking tour will tell the story of Ye Sedgwick Farms Company comprised of Tourison, together with his four sons, and reminds us to ask ourselves how we feel about the importance of incorporating these values in our built environment today. This singular family’s vision provided us with a legacy of beautiful, enduring architecture, comprised of a variety of designs mostly in the form of Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, Neo-Georgian and Victorian.
This tour was created and researched by Elise Rivers, Esq., who worked in the field of historic preservation in the 1990’s as Assistant Director of Preservation Worcester in Massachusetts and Executive Director of Landmark West, an historic preservation non-profit advocating for the upper west side of Manhattan. Her passion for beauty in architecture has never waned, and she was inspired to put together this walking tour, a
After living in, and loving her own Tourison home. She is grateful for the extensive archives of Historic Germantown, without which this tour would not exist.