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At historic Hillside Farm in Chester County, family and tradition flourish

At historic Hillside Farm in Chester County, family and tradition flourish
At historic Hillside Farm in Chester County, family and tradition flourish 04:44

CHESTER COUNTY (CBS) -- For many, the holiday season is about spending time with loved ones and celebrating traditions. Some of those traditions include incorporating decorations passed down from generations to the next. 

The Ruth McKeaney invited CBS Philadelphia into their historic home and property, Hillside Farm, just outside of Philadelphia in Berwyn, Chester County.

"When we were initially doing the house, Bob asked me what part of the house you do not like, and I said, 'This hall. I'ts dark and it's really narrow.' I went to the grocery store and came back and he cut a huge hole and hung light," McKeaney said about her husband.

CBS News Philadelphia

As a young couple, Bob, an engineer, and Ruth, a former trial attorney, dreamed of owning a home on the Main Line, but it was out of reach. 

"We met with a realtor, and she asked what we could afford, and we told her and she burst out laughing," McKeaney said. 

The realtor called 14 days later and asked "are you afraid of hard work?" 

She set the McKeaneys up with a fixer-upper, and from then, they began flipping a home every 18 to 24 months. 

Hillside Farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania

After 16 years of living through renovations, Hillside Farm became their home, and hopefully the couple's final stop. 

"This house is 305 years old. William Penn deeded it. We are the fourth people on the the deed," McKeaney explained. 

Ruth's flare for design landed her on a popular YouTube home show called Homeworthy. The episode featuring Ruth was watched more than 1 million times, which lead to a second taping where she shares her approach to entertaining family and friends. 

Inside the barn at Hillside Farm in Berwyn, Pa. CBS News Philadelphia

Ruth, a wife and mother, may seem busy, but she's never too busy to create traditions. Every Christmas Eve her family makes homemade cinnamon rolls, a tradition that's been passed down through her family for over 30 years.

Many of these family recipes and traditions are found in Ruth's self-published book Hungry For Home

"It's not just about restoring home, it's restoring family," McKeaney said.

On our final stop at Hillside Farm we stopped at McKeaney's happy place: the barn where a new tradition is beginning. Her oldest daughter was married in the barn and now she's planning another daughter's wedding.  

Ruth and Bob McKeaney talk about restoring historic Hillside Farm in Chester County 02:22
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