Another Lancaster County Farm House Bites the Dust

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA RS134746A

Lancaster County has one of the better agricultural preserve laws in the country.  Some agricultural areas are protected from development, while others cannot be subdivided off except for one lot of not less than ten acres.  Some farmers have been paid by the acre for signing protective easements that prohibit their farms from ever being developed.

Many historic homes, mills and farmhouses have not been so lucky.  As a student of history and architecture, I have watched sadly for thirty years as our architectural heritage disappears.

Another farm house bites the dust

The farm that this home once inhabited is now a small island with townhouses on one side and a supermarket and garden center on the other.  Rohrerstown, once a rural community, is now an extension of greater Lancaster.

                      Another farm house bites the dust

Because of the fading light and the distance I had to stand away from the house due to the construction (or should I say deconstruction) tape, my camera could not show the original built-in antique corner cupboard in the dining room just to the left of the bulldozer.  There's no evidence that the corner cupboard will not be destroyed along with the rest of the home.

Another farm house bites the dust

I wonder how many generations of families lived here, and how different was Pennsylvania in the horse drawn days when this farmhouse was new and vital?  I wonder what their stories were, and whether anyone who lived here is still alive?  Every time another one of these homes of another era disappears, we all lose a piece of our history and culture.

 

Copyright2007BrianSchulman©

Brian Schulman offers expert real estate consultation and services in Lancaster County, PA.  To contact him, visit http://www.FindLancasterHomes.com/

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Rainmaker
334,518
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager
Good post, Brian.  I agree with Jeannie about that big house at Fruitville & Petersburg - a shame.  It's an awkward place to be, a realtor who is not in favor of development (in most cases).  Here in Lancaster it's the big developers that make the biggest messes, it seems.  Have you seen the latest mess on Petersburg Road at Weaver?  They tore down 2 farmhouses and at least one nice barn.
Aug 01, 2007 03:49 AM #19
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Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Jeff, it does seem to be a contradiction for a Realtor(R), but I have fought to preserve old buildings in the past, and no doubt will again.  I'm not against development per se, but I do resent it when no respect is given to the historic or architecturally significant homes in the way of the developers.

I have not seen what was torn down at Petersburg Road at Weaver.  That's a shame.  The countryside that drew people to see Lancaster County is slowly disappearing.

Aug 01, 2007 04:14 AM #20
Rainer
112,575
Jeannie Kontis
Lancaster, PA
I'm not against development either, but agree Brian that some respect should be given to the old homes and efforts should be made to avoid demolition.  Maybe we should start a local organization - Realtors Against the Destruction of Farmhomes. I'd put that on a bumper sticker!
Aug 01, 2007 01:03 PM #21
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Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
Jeannie, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has a local chapter in the 18th-century Sehner-Ellicot House on North Prince Street.  They do good work in documenting and trying to save historic homes.  I was a member years ago when I was actively restoring old houses.  If you want to join an organization, they would be an excellent choice.  I may get active again myself when I have time.
Aug 01, 2007 03:15 PM #22
Rainer
112,575
Jeannie Kontis
Lancaster, PA
Brian, I've actually been a member myself for a few years, but have let my membership slip by the wayside.  I joined when my husband and I purchased a tobacco warehouse in Lancaster City.  We thought that perhaps we might want to renovate the top floor into a residence at some point, but haven't really pursued that.  Still, it's a great building and I have collected a huge amount of very informative reading and reference material from the Trust.  Now I feel all guilty for not doing much to help, so maybe I'll renew my membership. 
Aug 01, 2007 04:31 PM #23
Ambassador
416,734
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Brian, thank you for joining the Heritage Properties, Historic Sites and Antiques group !  I look forward to reading your posts there and learning more about historical homes and the history of your area.

Jo 

Aug 02, 2007 12:55 AM #24
Rainmaker
334,518
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager
I've worked with Carole Wilson of the county when I wrote my book about historic East Petersburg last summer.  She's involved with the Preservation Trust as an advisor.  I'll drop her an email about this.  "Save our Farmhouses!"  right Jeannie?
Aug 02, 2007 02:24 AM #25
Rainer
112,575
Jeannie Kontis
Lancaster, PA

That's right, Jeff!
I think more developers shoud consider donating these old houses to the local trade schools.  Let them work on them as class projects, upgrading them, etc.  Perhaps then auctioning or selling them to raise money for civic groups. 

Aug 03, 2007 04:18 AM #26
Rainmaker
334,518
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager
I know it costs about $20,000 minimum to tear one down - a donation would be a better route.
Aug 03, 2007 04:50 AM #27
Rainmaker
298,285
Ray Saenz
Exit Realty Laredo - Laredo, TX
Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor

Brian 

Hm... I can see, well, but what we can do?  nothing , we just will spend a lot of energy to try to stop them and who knows if they will hear, I do not think so.

also, I memed you, so lets start working on that.



Ray Saenz

Aug 03, 2007 01:53 PM #28
Rainmaker
298,285
Ray Saenz
Exit Realty Laredo - Laredo, TX
Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor

Brian,

Hm... I can see, well, but what we can do?  nothing , we just will spend a lot of energy to try to stop them and who knows if they will hear, I do not think so.

also, I memed you, so lets start working on that.



Ray Saenz

Aug 03, 2007 01:53 PM #29
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Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Ray, never underestimate the power of the people. If even one piece of history can be saved, it is well worth the effort. The other thing is, towns and cities who have preserved their historical sites and heritage homes, do much better economically and on a tourist front. It's win-win all around.

Jo 

Aug 04, 2007 12:17 AM #30
Rainmaker
298,285
Ray Saenz
Exit Realty Laredo - Laredo, TX
Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor

Hey Jo,

thanks for your comments and for the email :) fixed it !!!! :P  sometimes I am so stupid :P

Aug 04, 2007 04:48 AM #31
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Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Jeff, around here the lot is often worth more than preserving the house....unfortunately. Oftentimes what is done is that the house/building is offered to the public and someone comes along and dismantles it and moves it to another less valuable lot or to a historic site. Somehow it is not the same though...a big part of it's history is why and where it was originally built.

Ray, hmmm,  i make these errors too.....too many details to check on and not enough time. You are definitely not stupid, Otherwise, i guess we all are..of course, it means we're  only human afterall ! 

 

ok, guess we're rainjacking Brian's blog.  ...sorry Brian.

Jo 

Aug 04, 2007 11:47 AM #32
Rainmaker
298,285
Ray Saenz
Exit Realty Laredo - Laredo, TX
Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor
Jo,

thanks for your emails, everything is now fixed :P LOL, I know that many of us do mistakes, but not so often, I did a lot :) hahaha

Ray Saenz
Aug 04, 2007 01:18 PM #33
Ambassador
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Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

all i can say is that you have a unique way of fixing things, Ray.   ((((-:

Jo 

Aug 04, 2007 01:40 PM #34
Rainer
67,462
David Helm
Helm Home Inspections - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp
Brian, One of the things we as a nation need to do is determine what real progress is.  I believe that those who would destroy the old to replace  with the new and shoddy are actually taking us backwards.  At the very least, if they are tearing down old, they should dismantle and recycle instead of bulldoze and haul to landfills.  Thanks for the post.
Aug 06, 2007 06:38 AM #35
Ambassador
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Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
I agree, David.  The strip malls and such that replace many of these old buildings are coarser in character than what they replaced.
Aug 06, 2007 08:22 AM #36
Rainmaker
298,285
Ray Saenz
Exit Realty Laredo - Laredo, TX
Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor
Brian,

I can agree with you, your words are wisdom my friend, well said !!! :)

Ray Saenz
Aug 12, 2007 02:03 PM #37
Rainmaker
298,285
Ray Saenz
Exit Realty Laredo - Laredo, TX
Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor
Jo,

Well you understand me very well then :)

Ray Saenz
Aug 12, 2007 02:08 PM #38
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