2012 Architectural Tour to Showcase History in Northeastern Lancaster County

Lancaster, PA – The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County’s 2012 Architectural History Tour on Saturday, October 20, will provide a look back in time with visits to nine properties – the Peter Martin Log Cabin (circa 1786) in New Holland; Historic Poole Forge (circa 1779), Caernarvon Historical Society headquarters (circa 1843), Windsor

Forge Mansion (circa 1765 and 1815), Washington Inn (circa 1760 and 1812) and Bangor Episcopal Church (circa 1830) in Churchtown; Bowmansville Roller Mill (circa 1850) and John B. Good Home (circa 1847) in Bowmansville; and the Fichthorn House (circa 1841) in Reinholds.

“Our tour theme is ‘Hidden Treasures,’” said tour chair and Historic Preservation Trust Board Member Georgia Townsend.  “There are many remarkable historic sites in Lancaster County, and this year we are proud to present nine gems tucked away in our northeastern corridor. This is a wonderful all-day event that is popular countywide. The tour, approximately 15 miles from beginning to end, will run from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. You will find a variety of historically significant buildings representing a patchwork of agricultural, community and industrial life. In addition, there should be ample time to explore the local countryside.”

Tour tickets are $18 for Preservation Trust members, $20 for non-members and $10 for children age 12 and under. Advance tickets can be purchased at Yoder’s Country Market & Restaurant in New Holland, Rohrer Family Farm stand in Central Market, Rivertowne Antique Center in Columbia or the Preservation Trust office at 123 North Prince Street in Lancaster (717-291-5861). Tickets are also available the day of the event at Historic Poole Forge, 1940 Main St., Narvon, or Fichthorn Farm, 215 Smokestown Rd., Reinholds.

About Stops on the 2012 Architectural History Tour:

BANGOR EPISCOPAL CHURCH (circa 1830), Churchtown
The congregation of the Bangor Episcopal Church is one of the oldest (if not the first) inland Episcopal congregations in the United States. Founded in 1722 and chartered in 1730, it was named for the Bangor Cathedral in Caernarvonshire, Wales by the Welsh immigrants who worked in the iron producing industry in the area. The church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 because of its significance as one of the earliest examples of a Gothic Revival style church in Lancaster County.

BOWMANSVILLE ROLLER MILL (circa 1850), Bowmansville
In the 1700 and 1800’s, Lancaster County was an important milling center due to the availability of water power along its many streams. The Bowmansville Roller Mill is provided the farmers in this area with both animal feed and flour. It is the last remaining example of combination of grist and saw mills in Brecknock Township. The Bowmansville Roller Mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The mill is an excellent example of how a preservation easement can have a positive economic impact on a property, and help maintain the character and quality of life of a neighborhood.

CAERNARVON HISTORICAL SOCIETY (circa 1843), Churchtown
The Caernarvon Historical Society building was built as a Presbyterian church in 1843 and used for that purpose for a short time. Other groups used the building after that, but it eventually fell into disrepair. The building was restored by the Caernarvon Historical Society in 1976. The structure today contains most of the original materials and features.

FICHTHORN RESIDENCE (circa 1841), Reinholds
The core of the Fichthorn residence is a two-story sandstone farmhouse. In 2006, a renovation of the original structure began and a series of complementary structures were added to both ends of the core. In 2009, the owners received the Preservation Honor Award for New Construction from the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County. The Fichthorn home is an example of how contemporary additions can both enhance and respect an older building.

HISTORIC POOLE FORGE, Inc. (circa 1779), Narvon
Poole Forge was the second of three forges built along the Conestoga River in Caernarvon Township and the fourth forge constructed in Lancaster County. The history of the owners of Poole Forge is an example of the interrelationships through marriage of the wealthy iron masters’ families. Historic Poole Forge, Inc., in partnership with Caernarvon Township, has not only enhanced the historic structures on the property, but it has provided an active and enjoyable park for the community. The park is open from dawn to dusk year round.

JOHN B. GOOD HOUSE (circa 1847), Bowmansville
The John B. Good House, the fourth oldest building in Bowmansville, can be described as a traditional Pennsylvania farmhouse with Federal style influence. The distinctive brownstone exterior walls are indigenous to the region and can be found on adjacent outbuildings and other residential and commercial structures in Bowmansville. The fourth oldest building in Bowmansville, the John B. Good House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 because it is a well preserved example of a typical central Pennsylvania stone farmhouse. This house bas played an integral part in the legal and commercial life of the community of Bowmansville.

PETER MARTIN LOG CABIN (circa 1786), New Holland
This 1786 log cabin contains many original materials, but it was rebuilt on this site in 2009 after being in storage for 36 years. The 189-year old cabin was in disrepair when the Pennsylvania Log House Society dismantled the building and stored the pieces in a barn. In 1980, the Swiss Pioneer Preservation Association was formed to purchase the pieces of the cabin and rebuild it. The Peter Martin Log Cabin is now part of the Big Spring Farm site which Swiss Pioneer Preservation Associates will use to offer activities and events showcasing the history of East Earl Township and the Martin family.

WASHINGTON INN (circa 1760 and 1812), Narvon
The property known as the Washington Inn is one of the oldest buildings in Churchtown. It consists of two structures that were constructed in separate centuries. The building has undergone numerous renovations and alterations over the past 200 years. Past uses have included a tavern, a store, a saddle shop, a blacksmith shop, town meeting hall and the first Methodist meeting house. As Jacobs’ inn and tavern, it had 27 guest rooms on the second and third floors. After 1820, the mail stage would stop at the Washington Inn because of the good accommodations. The first visitors arrived on horseback or in carriages, but, as the years passed, it was tourists and truckers who stayed at the inn. Guests usually dined there, as well. Today, this lovely old inn is being restored to become a bed and breakfast.

WINDSOR FORGE (circa 1765 and 1815), Churchtown
The beautiful mansion house and several outbuildings are all that remain of the colonial iron plantation known as Windsor Forges. Windsor’s two forges were located on the eastern branch of the Conestoga south of Churchtown. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, this structure is one of the finest examples of a traditional English house, one room deep at any point. The Federal style woodwork of the 1815 renovation is of high quality and interesting design. The property is also significant because of its place in the manufacture of iron in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and as the home of artist Blanche Nevin.

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 preserve and protect Lancaster County’s rich historic and architectural character through education, advocacy and direct action. The trust has been directly involved in preserving important Lancaster County 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 (circa 1787) at 123 North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster. Visit www.hptrust.org for additional information.