Bucks County Documentary with Robert L. Green, 1977

Host:  Robert. L. Green
Topics/featured residents:  Bucks County, Lumberville, Carversville, New Hope/Charles Hargens, Raymond Granville Barger, Tom Tinsman, George Nakashima, William Smith, David Burpee, James Hayden Smith, Pat and Richard Whitman, Marjorie Content Toomer, Mary and Patrick Fowles, and the voice of Carl Sandburg
Date:  Summer 1977
Filming location:  Solebury Township, Carversville, Lumberville, New Hope, Doylestown
Film length:  40 minutes

Summary:  Robert Lamont Green of Carversville and New York City had the historical foresight and promotional flair to video a number of Solebury Township and Bucks County scenes and famous artists in their prime. His wonderful, chauffeured yellow Rolls Royce hurries down country lanes as he locates and records farmers, artists, and historic figures such as David Burpee of Doylestown.  The video addresses the housing development trend that all speakers decried and thus it becomes a strong statement for the preservation of an unspoiled Bucks County.  This video was evidently shown as a documentary on CBS and because the visual quality is mixed, STHS welcomes anyone who can loan us a better copy for posting to our site.  We are grateful to the Historic Carversville Society for guarding this copy in their archives to share now.


Time markers:
00:00 – title pages, credits
00:47 – mention of several famous residents; S.J. Perlman quote“Bucks County, where god would live if he could afford it”
02:10 – driving toward Carversville, rides throughout in his yellow Rolls Royce
02:51 – Charles Hargens, Jr., in his studio on Aquetong Road, master of Western art
04:53 –  drive to Carversville Inn, bit of history, points out stores; gas station closed, Betty Miller’s antique store, the old mill converted to home and studio of Raymond Granville Barger; Barger working on and talking about sculpture Equality
11:04 – Fleecydale Road to Lumberville; Tinsman Lumberyard, Blackbass Inn, the General Store with manager and postmaster Joe Gordon
13:09 – Tommy Tinsman and his B & O caboose home
14:02 –crossing the Van Sant covered bridge and riding the country roads (in a very round-about way) to New Hope
14:12 – New Hope’s many, locally iconic, scenes, the 1727 Logan Inn, the canal, the New Hope steam train, mule barge ride; humorous view of the “funny town”; becoming tourist trap
17:39 – George Nakashima and his compound on Aquetong Road, tour of his woodwork shops, his pieces “ecologically valid”
19:50 – William Smith, painter, and graphic artist, rock-Inspired painting in mid creation; friend Carl Sandburg, difficulty painting portrait done in Smith’s house
22:06 – Smith, then Sandburg, reading poem Bill Smith
23:16 – David Burpee, his Doylestown home and gardens, the seed-testing garden, his first farm from 1914, stories of his father; Burpee slogan “Burpee Seeds Grow”
30:11 – Devil’s Half Acre,  a residence along the river that in the early 1800’s was a canal and river men’s house, “about the devil’s business”
31:07 – James Iden Smith on Ridge Road, a 91-year-old Quaker dairy farmer; early life on the farm; soil and water conservation for better crop production, farmland developed with houses, should use poor land
34:01 – Pat and Richard Whitman, repurposing an old barn into a home on Durham Road, resident ghost, eclectic furnishings
35:34 – Marjorie Content Toomer, widow of Jean Toomer; special features of her 18th century Doylestown converted bank-barn home, Walter Esherick furniture; her husband and their move to Bucks County
37:09 – Mary and Patrick Fowles and their children, their converted barn
37:58 – live photo scan of Bucks County scenes against a background of an anti-development folk song

Robert L, Green was a favorite of Conde Nast editors because of his style. In addition, he was the author of the book Live with Style. Here are three magazine articles about him and three pages of photographs from his book.

Homemade Garden Party, House & Garden, June 1976, pages 94 – 97

A Country Picnic for 200, Robert L. Green Does It With Planning and Style, Bon Appétite, July 1978, by Zack Hanle, pages 50-54, 81

Architectural Digest, November 1977, pages 142-149, Photography by Derik Fell and J. Barry , Gardens, A Profusion of Flowers, Robert L. Green’s Farm in Pennsylvania

Live with Style by Robert L. Green, Published by Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc., New York


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