Neglected No More

BY ROB ANDERSEN

randersen@timesobserver.com

The “Little Stone House” on Dunn’s Eddy Road is being stablilized and protected from further damage.

“For as long as I’ve known about, there has been a bulge in the wall facing the road,” Cecile Stelter, district forester for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, said. “We’ve taken steps to stabilize the wall, and repair a hole in the roof.”

The corners of the building are stable and very well built, according to the people working on the restoration, she said.

She said that the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation of Natural Resources had contractors remove the offending stone blocks, number and store them for eventual replacement and prevent further water damage.

Stelter said the house was built using native hand-cut stone blocks in 1841 by the same stonemason that built the stone chapel on National Forge Road.

According to a Penn State extension website, the house was built by Dr. William A. Irvine for one of the farmers who cultivated the estate.

Stelter said there is a cooperative effort among the state Bureau of Forestry, the Forest Service’s Forestry Science Lab in Irvine, the Allegheny National Forest and the Warren County Historical Society, with each having a different element of responsibilities for area pathways and sites through the area.

Bradford District Archaeologist Gary Dunn said there is a formal agreement in the form of a Challenge Cost Share, or CCS, initiated in 2012, between the ANF’s Bradford District Heritage and the Warren County Historical Society. The purpose of that agreement is to enhance the property for interpretation and, hopefully, heritage tourism that will draw attention to the Historical Society and the Wilder Museum.

“In 2012, there was an informal, mutual effort that came out of a public meeting which Cecile Stetler and Susan Stout, project leader and research forester at the Forestry Science Lab attended,” he added.

Kathy Mohney,executive assistant at the ANF, said, “Our Forest Supervisor, Susan and Cecile work together extensively on as many things as possible. The three of them meet on a monthly basis as well to keep current on things, so that’s definitely a local partnership that is beneficial to all three of our agencies.”