The 2014 Watch List of the most threatened historic properties in Lancaster County has been released by the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County. Two properties from the 2013 Watch List have been replaced – the Elizabethtown Borough Freight Station (1915) at South Wilson Avenue in Elizabethtown and the Smoketown Farm House (c. 1850 and 1911) at 2425 Old Philadelphia Pike in East Lampeter Township. The Elizabethtown Freight Station was demolished to provide additional parking for the passenger station. Owners of the Smoketown Farm House are to notify the Historic Preservation Trust should they decide to make changes to the historic house.
The two sites added to the list are the Dorsey Station (1876) in Fulton Township and the former Long Funeral Home (1895) in Columbia.
“Being on the Watch List is not a negative because each of the 10 properties represents an opportunity to save a significant structure that helps define our Lancaster County history,” said Lisa Horst, president of the Historic Preservation Trust Board of Directors. “Everyone loves historic restoration after it occurs, but it takes vision, leadership and resources to make it happen. The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County works to bring together individuals and organizations to make it happen.”
Properties on the Historic Preservation Trust’s 2014 Watch List are:
Circle Creek Farmhouse/Guy’s Distillery (1826) – 1467 Long Lane, East Donegal Township
The Circle Creek Farmhouse was originally a commercial distillery (Guy’s Distillery) and was converted into a farmhouse in 1834 by Christian Haldeman. Located in the Chickies Historic District, this building has been designated as being important to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Since 1988, it has been unoccupied and not appropriately maintained.
Dorsey Station (1876) – near Peach Bottom village on the Susquehanna River, Fulton Township
Built for the Peach Bottom Railway, this is the last of the original stations to have survived on the railway’s 28 miles of narrow-gauge track between Dorsey and Oxford. In Oxford travelers could catch a train to Philadelphia or they could take a stage coach to York, crossing the Susquehanna River by ferry boat. On Oct. 13, 1919, the last train chugged from Dorsey Station, ending a 41-year run. The railroad’s tracks were pulled up and sold for scrap, and the two-story station was left .
The station is in disrepair. Friends of Dorsey Station are trying to save it as an education center.
Eagle Tavern (1815) – 901 Village Road, West Lampeter
This two and one-half story, Federal style stone building was one of the best of all taverns ever built in a small town in Lancaster County. Known as the Eagle Tavern, it was built first as a house for Samuel Miller and his wife, Anna in 1815, as noted in a date stone centered on the western gable end — one of the earliest uses in Lancaster County of a lozenge shaped date stone. This was one of the best of all federal period taverns ever built in a small town in Lancaster County during the first third of the 19th century.
Herr’s Mill Covered Bridge (1875) – 101 South Ronks Road, Paradise
The only double-span covered bridge in Lancaster County crosses the Pequea Creek and the adjacent mill race. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Concerned citizens and organizations are working with the Lancaster County Commissioners to save this structure.
Hoober-Eby Barn (c. 1860) – 2797 Lititz Pike, Neffsville
Built by John Eby, this distinctive bank barn with a date stone is a character-defining element of the Lititz Pike streetscape. The barn retains a high degree of integrity and would be National Register eligible. The house and pig barn on this property have already been demolished. An adaptive re-use could be a community center for the residential development for this unique and historically significant Lancaster County barn.
Log House & Root Cellar (c. 1800-1825) – 522 Norwood Road, Columbia
The 1864 Atlas lists C.J. Sweeney as occupant of this log structure – no previous deed records have been found. Despite alterations and evident neglect, this is a good example of a simple log house. The nearby root cellar is noteworthy in itself. The site is presently for sale.
Former Long Funeral Home (1895) — 855 Chestnut St., Columbia
Built in what is usually termed either the Shingle Style or a variant of the Queen Anne Style, this house is one of the finest of all residences dating from the late 1800’s in Columbia. The exterior is about 85% intact to the original basic design, and the architectural details that are missing or damaged could be restored to the original design.
Mayer-Hess Farmstead (c. 1870-1874) – 1580 Fruitville Pike, Lancaster
This distinguished Italianate style mansion and adjacent barn, both built by David Mayer, are on the last remaining farmstead off Route 30, before entering downtown Lancaster. The current owner is planning to save the mansion — the three story, five bay residence complemented by a central cupola with a bracketed cornice. The barn, however, is deteriorating and remains a major concern. It matches the scale and integrity of the mansion and enhances the farmstead environment.
Stehman-Rohrer House (1833) – Charlestown Road, Manor Township
This modified Georgian stone house is one of the most unusual stone houses in the township. The structure is 2 ½ stories, eight bay façade with slate roof, three dormers and paired entrances in the 3rd bay from eastern and western ends. The front porch, with its dentils, serrated friezes, and polygonal posts, is one of the finest of its type remaining in Lancaster County. The date stone reads “Built by Henry & Mary Rohrer, A. D., 1833.”
Swan Tavern and Carriage House (1824) – East Vine & South Queen Streets, Lancaster
This 19th Century building is part of the largest group of Federal Period buildings extant in Lancaster. This was a combined tavern and hospital…Lancaster Infirmary and House of Recovery. The structure is sufficiently documented to permit a total restoration to the original. It was one of two private hospitals in the city and a longstanding tavern; one of the oldest in the city. To the rear of this structure is a two story brick stable and carriage house, now stuccoed. This is also part of the original property and one of the oldest extant stables in Lancaster City. The stable has a corbelled brick cornice and a platform lift for carriages. The carriage house remains in a highly threatened condition; one wall has been replaced due to structural damage.
About the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County
Founded in 1966 to “stem the rapid destruction of historic properties in Lancaster County,” the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County’s mission is to encourage and facilitate historic preservation countywide. The trust has been directly involved in preserving important LancasterCounty landmarks and has provided advice, assistance and guidance in the protection of others. The trust is a member-supported, 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the historic Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House (1787) at 123 North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster. Visit www.hptrust.org for additional information. Call 717-291-5861 to inquire about the Watch List and the Historic Preservation Trust’s on-going surveys of historic properties.