MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Cumberland County is the fastest-growing county in Pennsylvania, but that title has some in the community focusing on greater efforts to preserve its roots.
The Cumberland Valley Preservation Society is working to raise money to move the 224-ton Junkin House to a new location.
“We’re going to move it to a location where it’s a little safer, off the road, and it’s away from some things that are causing the foundation to be undermined,” said Dennis Hrzic, of the preservation society.
An underground spring and an old septic system have been damaging the house. It was the home of Joseph Junkin, who was one of the first people who settled in what later became New Kingstown.
“This is the house that they built, and they started this area,” Hrzic said.
“This is the foundation of the county,” said Christine Musser, of Silver Spring Township.
The goal is to move it and turn it into a museum where people can learn about its history.
“It’s actually in really good shape,” Hrzic said.
The organization’s president hopes to raise $90,000 to move the home by August 2020.
Shaffer Trucking/Crete Carrier donated the land for a new location, a few hundred feet from where it currently stands. The society anticipates raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for additional restoration.
“The moldings and the fireplace and everything is still intact,” said Hrzic optimistically.
Community members say after the McCormick Farm debate and the Bell Tavern demolition, they are more determined than ever to preserve Cumberland County’s history.
“The demolition of the Bell Tavern was very sad for our community and I think with that there has been a regrowth or rebuilding of not only historic preservation but farm preservation,” said Musser.
The society is hosting a meet and greet Saturday from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at New Kingston Fire Hall where people can see memorabilia, photos, and artifacts.
Anyone interested in donating to the effort can visit the society’s website.