2024 Lecture Series

"The Lasting Influence of Early Culinary & Wellness Practices"


Our popular lecture series continues with a focus on a variety of early food-related practices in the Brandywine Valley. Beginning in February, three experienced lecturers will delve into three diverse topics, using photographs and words, to explain the rarely explored but lasting influences of early culinary and wellness practices. Each lecturer will bring their personal history to topics ranging from discovering the medicinal qualities of certain foods; the development of “mushrooms as food”; and the restoration of an authentic colonial kitchen.

So come out and meet fellow attendees and learn something new about our historic Chester County!


All lectures are held at 7pm.  Coffee, tea and light desserts will be served.

2024 Lecture Schedule 


February 1st ~  Dr. Frederick Magner

"Our great-great grandmothers are back!"

How food was utilized for medicinal cures in the 18th century


April 4th ~ Mr. Tony Shahan - Director at The Newlin Grist Mill in Glen Mills

"Adventures in Reconstructing a 1739 Kitchen"

The restoration of the 1739 Trimble House Kitchen at Newlin Grist Mill


May 9th ~ Tina Ellor

"The Nutritional Magic of Mushrooms"

The connection betwen mushrooms aand their healing properties

Lecture Hours:

7pm - 8:30pm



Barn Visitors Center

1736 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, PA 19317



Admission is $10 per person at the door. CFHS members are free.



The Visitors Center parking lot is behind the building. Enter at the front door by Creek Road.


How food was utilized for medicial cures in the 18th century. February 1st at 7pm

Fred Magner


Frederick Magner has spent most of his 48-year career in the military, improving medical and nutritional care of the soldier, and their dependents around the world. 


His research has been centered on healing the immune system and metabolic disease with dietary supplementation, emphasizing nutrition that has been successful and reasonable to follow.


Our Ancestors Healing Approaches, which are valid in current times. Learn about how they approached medicinal needs in colonial times and how recipes were adapted for early childhood and anti-inflammatory needs.


The restoration of the 1739 Trimble House Kitchen at Newlin Grist Mil

April 4th at 7pm

Tony Shahan - Director at The Newlin Grist Mill in Glen Mills


Tony Shahan has spent most of his 32-year career in museums working in historic mills, trades, and foodways. Tony combines wide-ranging experiences with historic trades, archaeology, and traditional research to study historic processes. His foodways activities include hearth cooking, bake ovens, brewing, and distilling. Other areas of interest include historic beverages, timber framing, ceramics, and woodworking with traditional tools. 
Learn about the documentation, restoration, and furnishing of the 1739 Trimble House kitchen and pantry. Join project manager Tony Shahan to discover the evidence of early features discovered in the kitchen during the project. Explore the various techniques used to restore the two rooms as an experimental kitchen for studying foodways. Examine the process of researching and working with craftspeople from around the world to recreate furnishings and equipment for a functioning 18th century kitchen and pantry.


Photo Credit: Newlin Grist Mill


The connection between mushrooms and their healing properties.

May 9th at 7pm

Tina Ellor


Tina Ellor was born and raised in very rural Dummerston, Vermont where the landscape was often fairly bleak. Wild mushrooms provided color and interest during the spring and fall and she developed a lifelong interest in and passion for mushrooms. Her very tolerant parents allowed her to grow mold gardens on old food in the basement and instead of having her committed, nurtured her odd interests. She earned a BS in Biology from California State College Stanislaus where her undergraduate project was growing oyster mushrooms on rice straw in the Central Valley of California and MS from the University of Maine with research on growing oyster mushrooms on paper mill sludge from a magnesium sulfate mill in Millinocket, Maine. She was recruited into the mushroom industry by a mushroom farm from Grad School in the 1980’s and has been infesting it ever since. She is currently Mycologist/Technical Director at Phillips Mushroom Farms in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania which means that technically she does whatever she is directed.  She is past President of the Board of Directors of Pennsylvania Certified Organic, served on the Organic Materials Review Institute BOD,  and has served on USDA Federal Advisory Committees including the National Organic Standards Board and the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. She frequently gives talks on various aspects of mushrooms including cultivation, medicinal and nutritional qualities, history, and organic certification to classes at all levels (elementary through college), garden clubs, mycological associations and anyone who will listen really, and attends wild mushroom forays when she is able.