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Enhancing the Health and Welfare

of Central Bucks County and Surrounding Communities

Upcoming Events

The VIA is an active organization that relies on continued member-and-community support to hold events that engage our constituents. It offers educational programs at monthly meetings and fundraising events. Consider attending a meeting, enjoying an event or lending a hand to make it all happen. Membership meetings are held monthly October through June. Each meeting begins with an information or entertaining presentation and is then followed with on overview of VIA recent and upcoming activities.

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Haunted House Tour & Victorian Wake

October 30 @ 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM


Join us for a Doylestown Halloween Treat!

On Saturday, October 30th we are partnering with the Civil War Museum for this Halloween event.  

Sequence of Events:

     6:30 – Meet at the Bucks County Civil War RoundTable Museum and Library, 32 N. Broad Street, Doylestown PA

You’ll begin at 6:30 PM at the Civil War Museum, 32 N. Broad Street, in Doylestown. There is a parking garage directly across Broad Street from this museum and on street parking is free at this time of night.

     7:10 – Wake for Ira Gensel at James-Lorah Memorial Home, the headquarters of the Village Improvement Association of Doylestown

At the historic James-Lorah Memorial Home, you will help mourn 32 year old Ira F. Gensel (1831 – 1862). A native of Doylestown, Ira was a shoemaker until he enlisted in the 25th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company 1, as private,  on April 28, 1861. He worked hard and was commissioned as 2nd lieutenant in 4th company US Infantry in August 1861. Ira was quickly promoted to 1st lieutenant, but was wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg and succumbed to his wounds on December 28, 1862. Ira would have known the beautiful mansion,  expanded in 1844 by Judge Henry Chapman for his future bride and planned to be “the finest house in the borough.” (Henry’s grandson, Henry Chapman Mercer, founder of the Mercer Museum, Fonthill, and the Mercer Tile Works, was born in one of the bedrooms.)

While at our home you can pay your respects to Ira and learn about the fascinating customs surrounding a funeral in Victorian times. Why do we call it a “wake”? Where are the family photos that normally decorate the rooms? Why aren’t the clocks running? You will learn the answers to these questions and more during your visit. We will also have Victorian Funeral jewelry on display and explain their significance. 

     7:50 – Guided tour from the JLMH to the Doylestown Cemetery 

After your visit to the JLMH, you will follow your guide back to the Civil War Museum for some light refreshments to be followed by a walk to and tour through the celebrated (and, oh yes, historic) Doylestown Cemetery. 

The cost of this tour is $15 per person OR $30 per family. The family rate includes a membership to the Bucks County Civil War RoundTable Museum and Library. To reserve your tickets, please contact the Civil War Museum at allie.ann.smith@gmail.com or call (215)822-1562.


October 30
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM


Village Improvement Association of Doylestown


Bucks County Civil War RoundTable Museum and Library
32 N. Broad Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 United States
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