While the history of the house is itself interesting, it is the tale of its residents and guests that make for true story-telling lore. At the turn of the 20th century, the Lenz circus family bought Highland Farm and housed many of their animals here. In fact, you can still find the baby elephant pool that Mr. Lenz used to bathe his little pachyderms.

In 1941, during a lull in his career, Oscar Hammerstein II and his wife, Dorothy, came to Bucks County looking for a retreat from New York City. While driving up the hill to Highland Farm, Dorothy spotted a rainbow and sensed this would be a magical place for her professionally floundering husband and their family. The move proved immensely wise as the bucolic countryside truly inspired Mr. Hammerstein. Legend is told that he was so moved by the views of cattle and corn fields in the early morning that he was inspired to write, “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” the opening song for Oklahoma!, on the front porch. Arguably, his most famous works were written while residing at Highland Farm including South Pacific, The King and I, Flower Drum Song, and The Sound of Music.

The Hammerstein family lived at Highland Farm for 20 years. During their residence, the home was constantly alive with many guests and children. Mr. Hammerstein was known to fly different colored flags as a message to the local children. One said, “Come and swim.” Another meant, “Let’s play tennis.” And still another said, “Stay away today.”

In addition to their own children, the Hammerstein’s were also known to take in other children in need of a home. As a young boy, Stephen Sondheim spent considerable time at Highland Farm and received his secondary education from The George School in Newtown. Mr. Hammerstein became a mentor to young Stephen and encouraged him to hone his talents as a songwriter.

Other guests include Mr. Hammerstein’s good friend, James Michener, and his long-time collaborator, Richard Rodgers. Rodgers once said of Hammerstein, “He’s a meticulously hard worker, and yet he’ll roam the grass of his farm for hours and sometimes for days before he can bring himself to put a word on paper.”

Oscar died at The Farm in August 1960 and was buried in New York. After his death, Dorothy moved from Highland Farm and sold it a year later. By the mid-1980’s, Mary and John Schnitzer had purchased the home, renovated it, and operated a Bed and Breakfast for almost 15 years. Mary sold Highland Farm to Shawn Touhill, a local developer, in 2003.

In 2007, Highland Farm was purchased by Doylestown resident, Christine Cole. While looking for a Bucks County barn to renovate, she was shown Highland Farm and instantly fell in love. Her business plans changed and she embraced the idea of becoming an innkeeper and starting a new venture. She immediately began remodeling and redecorating the home.

Her efforts to show the “inner beauty” of the home have proven magical. Multiple layers of wallpaper that covered most surfaces including ceilings have been stripped, and well-preserved plaster walls and ceilings were rediscovered. Old carpets were pulled up, revealing beautiful hardwood floors throughout the home. Soothing historic paint colors have now replaced the wallpaper, and beautiful area rugs adorn the hardwood floors. While each guest room has a theme dedicated to one of Mr. Hammerstein’s musicals, it also provides guests with a warmth and serenity found only at The Farm.

Highland Farm’s recent facelift has only added to its stately grace. Christine hopes you are pleased with the transformation and that you enjoy the personal attention you receive during your stay. Welcome home.