The 2015 Watch List of the most threatened historic properties in Lancaster County has been released by the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County. Three properties from the 2014 Watch List have been replaced – the David Mayer Farmstead (c. 1870-1874) at 1580 Fruitville Pike in Manheim Township, former Long Funeral Home (1895) at 855 Chestnut St. in Columbia and the log house & root cellar (c. 1800-1825) at 522 Norwood Rd. in Columbia.
“Two of the three properties taken off the list – the David Mayer Farmstead and the former Long Funeral Home – are being restored for new uses,” said Lisa Horst, president of the Historic Preservation Trust Board of Directors “The log house in Columbia, unfortunately, was in no condition to be restored or moved by its new owners.”
Horst went on to say that the Preservation Trust is especially pleased to be working with the developers of the David Mayer Farmstead because it demonstrates the positive results of what can happen when the Preservation Trust and private enterprise collaborate. “Ideally, it would have been best to keep the large barn and adjacent smaller farm buildings where they are. That was not an option so they are being moved, saved and rebuilt nearby at the Ironstone Ranch in Elizabethtown,” she added. “The Italiante-style mansion will be restored by developer Phil Frey. We are fortunate that he and others at Manbel Devco respect the farmstead’s history and unique environment.”
The three sites addedto the list are the Musselman/Christian Herr II House (1734) at 421 Penn Grant Rd. in West Lampeter Township, the James Anderson II House (1721-1790) in East Donegal Township and the Armstrong pedestrian bridge (1922) in the City of Lancaster.
“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 Countyhistory,” said Shirlie O’Leary, chair of the Preservation Trust committee that prepares the Watch List. “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 2015 Watch List are:
James Anderson II House (1721-1790) – North Waterford Avenue, East Donegal Township
James Anderson II, who built the center section of this house in the mid 1780’s and in 1742 he initiated Anderson’s Ferry on the Susquehanna River. In his will, he bequeathed the house to his grandson, James Anderson IV who, in 1812, laid out an area named Waterford that became the western end of Marietta. In 1803 the house was sold out of the family. Later additions date from c.1810 (east) to 1835 (west). The original section is Georgian. Today, the house is in significant disrepair.
Armstrong Pedestrian Bridge (1922) – rear of the 700 block of Harrisburg Pike and on the north side of Harrisburg Pike, City of Lancaster
Tens of thousands of Lancastrians have used this 280-foot -long, steel bridge to cross the Dillerville Road Rail Yard, formerly owned by Norfolk Southern. These rail lines have recently been removed. For some 70 years, this footbridge provided safe access for Armstrong employees to walk to their work. It has continued to be used by Franklin & Marshall students walking or running to athletic fields and by area residents accessing nearby neighborhoods. Current plans propose to dismantle and relocate this iconic bridge.
Circle Creek Farmhouse/Guy’s Distillery (1826) – 1467 Long Lane, East Donegal Township
The Circle Creek Farmhouse was built by John Guy in 1826. The original use was as 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 has not been maintained responsibly.
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 pole and oar poweredferry 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 educational 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 Commissionersto save this threatened 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.
Musselman/Christian Herr II House (1734) – 421 Penn Grant Rd. in West Lampeter Township
Situated on the southern portion of the original 530 acres purchased from William Penn (1644-1718), this house is one of the oldest still standing of those built by the second generation of Lancaster County’s earliest settlers. Even though changes have been made to this house over the years, it still reflects the Germanic architectural style of its roots. Unfortunately, demolition of this landmark by its present homeowners has been approved by the West Lampeter Board of Supervisors.
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, City of 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 with concrete block and plywood due to structural damage caused by a tree growing within the wall.