YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — A line of supporters hoping to save the historic Hoke House stretched outside the Spring Grove Municipal Building on Monday.
“I’m sad for the community, sad we’re going to lose this building that has watched history. I refer to it as a witness house,” said Tracy Haper, executive director for the Spring Grove Area Historical Preservation Society.
This stone house has been a fixture in this community for over 250 years, originally serving as a tavern.
“Where else can we give our children something that was here before our nation was founded? Where our forefathers probably discussed revolution. Where else can we find that? We won’t have it again if we tear it down,” said Shawn Carbaugh, of Spring Grove.
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Rutter’s, which operates a gas station right next door, owns the land and applied for a permit to demolish the building.
“If an individual appreciates history, they must appreciate the facts,” said Christopher Reed, general counsel at Rutter’s Companies.
In 2014, Rutter’s general counsel says the company reached an agreement, which gave preservationists three years to find someone to occupy the dwelling.
“In total Rutter’s has allowed eight years for a tenant or an alternate plan for the building to be proposed,” Christopher Reed said.
Other residents didn’t hold back.
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“Why didn’t we say anything for seven years? Why now? Some of us were not here seven years ago, or were very new to the area,” said Gabriela Calugar , of Spring Grove. “But I know Rutter’s put terms very difficult for anybody to reach and succeed.”
But one resident says he may have come up with a solution.
“We have a plan to move the house. I have a company lined up. We have a piece of property for the house itself. All we need from Rutter’s is the time to do it and money to put for it. We’re not asking Rutter’s for money, but we do need to go on a fundraiser campaign in order to obtain the money,” said Seth Hildebrand, of Spring Grove.
Seth Hildebrand says the plan is to get the Rutter’s on board with the idea of moving the building. The borough has until February 17 to approve or deny the application permit.