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Identifying historic sites in Harris Township with Housemarks came from the use of Fire-marks by fire companies many years ago to identify a house they would protect. Nelson Wood, a craftsman in the art of wood carving, designed and carved a pine mold of the logo. This mold was the matrix for sand casting aluminum Housemarks which are used for this purpose.
No. 1 Boal Estate
The Boal Estate was constructed in 1789 when Captain David Boal received a land grant for American Revolutionary War service. Under his community leadership, the town opened its first tavern and post office. Springfield was renamed Boalsburg in his honor in 1820. The estate was expanded by his grandson Terry Boal, building a small stone chapel and Boal Barn Playhouse, the summer headquarters of the State College Community Theatre.
No. 2 Zion Lutheran Church
The Reformed congregation and the Zion Lutheran congregation laid the stone work to the Union Church in Boalsburg. Work was begun on June 6, 1825 and was dedicated on August 4, 1827. The Lutherans alternated Sunday services with the Reformed in the building that became known as the “Stone Church”. The two congregations shared in the ministry and support of the Stone Church until 1860 when the Lutherans purchased the interest of the Reformed congregation. The Reformed congregation began construction on their own church located next door. In 1868, by decision of the congregation, the Stone Church was torn down and the present brick structure was built.
Old Cemetery remains Boalsburg only burial ground with records of seven Revolutionary War soldiers have been buried. In 1864 the development of Memorial Day originated with Emma Hunter, Sophie Keller, and Mrs. Elizabeth Myers placed flowers on graves of soldiers buried here.
No. 3 St. John’s United Church of Christ
On August 11, 1861 the cornerstone of this building was laid. On May 18, 1862 St. John’s German Reform Church was dedicated. A cornerstone was laid on October 11, 1861 and according to Shawda’s ‘The Witnesses,’ enclosed in the cornerstone were “one pocket Bible, the Heidelberg Catechism with the constitution in both English and German languages, the English and German Hymn Books, bread and wine, church papers, the German Reformed Messenger, The Western Missionary, the Pastor’s Helper, Die Reformierte Kirchenszeitung der Lammendhirte, and this instrument of writing.”
The plot of land for the church was purchased from George Sheneberger. The cost of construction was $6,700. However, this cost does not reflect the hours of labor and service donated by the members of the congregation. On the morning of the dedication, the church was $1,300 in debt but the large attendance that day brought in $1,461 and the church was dedicated free of debt.
In 1868 the original old reed organ was replaced by the first pipe organ in Centre County. The cost was approximately $2,200 and was built by Charles F. Durner. Joseph Meyer was the organist for St. John’s and it was due to his efforts that the organ was purchased. However, while playing the organ at the Saturday night service the evening before it was to be dedicated, he suffered a fatal heart attack. His young nephew, Philip Meyer, played the dedication instead due to the fact that he was the only person who knew how to play it. You see, young Philip had been sneaking in through the church window and teaching himself how to play.
In July 1873 a storm hit Boalsburg. The pulpit, alter, and the entire west end of the church were destroyed. The congregation was able to raise the $1,500 needed for repairs and services were held in the sanctuary on Christmas Day.
No. 4 Nestor Kreene
The main portion of the Nestor Keene house was pulled to its present location by a tea of 20 horses. It had been used as a store and residence on its prior site, where it was an addition to Boal Tavern (No. 29) at the east end of Main Street.
No. 5 Irvin Graham
This home was built, in part, between 1809-1820 and became known as the “Home of Doctors” after it was purchased by Dr. Thomas Coverly (1835). The original house is essentially unchanged. Each corner of this log house is strongly braced with other logs, all hand-cut timbers 6-10 inches thick and fastened with hand-cut nails and wooden pegs.
No. 6 Shawley
The home of Calvin and Connie Shawley is built in lot 45 of the Stroup plan. The deeded merit, “Teddy”, is fondly remembered as the one who took care of our country’s flag and made sure it was flying at the diamond.
No. 7 Williams
The Pine Street home of Mary Ann and Gordon Williams was built by George Shenenberger on the lot purchased in 1809 from Andrew Stroup (No. 32).
No. 8 Tennis
In 1834 Peter Wold bought lot 58 from Col. James Johnston and soon thereafter a two-story log tavern was built and operated by his son August Wolf for teamsters and drivers traveling the highway. A large barn and barnyard accommodate the horses and other animals. A shop was added for this use of his son, a tinsmith, which later was occupied by a furniture store and an undertaking establishment. In 1926 the property was purchased by William H. and Riley Tennis who operated a general store. The tavern was converted into a residence and the tin shop continues to be used as a commercial site.
No. 9 Gamble
On Tussey mountainside above Boalsburg is the home referred to as Hill House because of its location. Here, Madame Boal lived during a long convalescence.
No. 10 Toussoun
Andrew Stroup sold this Pitt Street lot 48 to Philip Moore in the 1809 lottery. This is thought to be the first brick house constructed west of the Diamond.
No. 11 Kelly
This log house thought to have been built between 1830-1840, has a heavy outer door, a front-to-back entry hallway, and a large, deep fireplace.
No 12 Bunnell
This house has no records as to when it was built but in 1846, when it was owned by Peter Ruble, the thick 18-24 inch walls indicated it may have been built about the same time as the 1819 Boalsburg Tavern – now Duffy’s.
No. 13 Old Lutheran Manse
No record has been found for lot 34 of Andrew Stroup’s 1809 plan when sold with the adjoining lot to Joseph and Maria Swine Hart. Joseph was a coachmaker who died childless leaving the property to the Trustees of the Zion Lutheran Church until it was sold in 1967.
No. 14 (Faxon) Boalsburg Needleworks
The Charles Faxon House, one of the first to be built (1811) in the village, is of log construction. There was little change to the structure until sold for commercial use where a rear addition was built.
No. 15 Col. Johnston House
The Colonel Johnston House, perhaps dating from 1811, is among the first built in the village of “Springfield”. This was the home of Col. James and Hannah Johnston while they were building Boalsburg (Duffy’s) Tavern in 1819. It was passed along to Boalsburg families until 1973 when Tom Horner converted it into a shop for gifts and antiques, while still preserving it’s early and interesting features.
No. 16 Hacker House
The house on lot 25 of the 1809 Stroup Plan (1809) was occupied from 1868 to 1894 by Peter Kuhn, Boalsburg cooper, maker of the finest barrels and kegs. After sold to the Ishlers, the house operated as a millinery shop.
No. 17 Duffy’s Tavern
Boalsburg Tavern, Renamed Duffy’s Tavern by prior owners, was built in 1819 by Col. James and Hannah Bethesda Johnson, whose initials are carved with the date in a stone above the main doorway. The Tavern originally catered to the gentry traveling the main stage route through the town. Old oak joists and a large fireplace with crane and cooking equipment are preserved in its Pine Room. Idled after a ruinous fire in 1934, the large stone building was purchased three years later by Mrs. Billy Hill Winsor, who restored it guided by record filed by an advisory committee of the Historic American Building Survey.
No. 18 Little Brick
This very old, “Little Brick” built in 1835, has served many owners and tenants as a home, store, a shoemaker’s shop, a chair factory, a jewelry shop, a beauty shop, and a studio. For many years the Boalsburg Post Office was located here.
No. 19 Horner
Purchased in 1975 by Tom Horner the house has undergone extensive restoration. The earliest record found shows the property was sold in 1827 by The High Sheriff of Centre County, Thomas Hastings, to John and Nancy Irvin.
No. 20 Mook
The original part of this structure was the grain cradle shop of Jacob Ferrer in the mid-1800’s where all implements made by Jacob were painted red.
No. 21 Brassington
This house dating from the mid-19th century is constructed of heavy logs built up above a strong loft frame which supports it.
No. 22 Raphael
This house was likely constructed between 1824 and 1833. Woodwork in two different “styles” indicates additions. A “Good Morning” staircase — steps leading from different sections of the second-floor meet at a landing — is a distinctive feature of this large frame house owned by Dr. Edna Rapheal.
No. 23 Crater
Among long-remembered owners are Alla and H.C. Rothrock (professor in the Boalsburg schools), and William Goheen and heirs — Matthew and Mary Goheen, Edwin and Margaretta Goheen Tussey.
No. 24 Hess-Senger-Leiby
Lot 1, sold for $11 by Andrew Stroup in 1809, was purchased in 1826 by John Hess for $30. He built the house that year from bricks made in the backyard. Door latches, wide-paneled doors, window frames, and open staircase are all hand-made. The house was occupied continuously by the builder’s descendants.
No. 25 Boalsburg Academy
Community Hall, at one time the Presbyterian Church, is on the site of Boalsburg Academy, erected in 1853. A number of prominent men attended the academy before it was closed in 1880.
No. 26 Graham
This home once stood in Shingletown Area. It is a log house and when purchased by Charlies and Mabel Grahm, was carefully torn down, log by log, and transported to Boalsburg where it was reconstructed on its Pine Street Site.
No. 27 2 Red Brick Houses
This apparent double house is actually two houses with a roofed-over enclosed passage-way between them. In Civil War days, the passageway door provided entry into an arms and ammunition “arsenal.”
No. 28 Spalvins
Early occupants of this house built in 1869 by Henry and Jacob Meyer, were the family of Joseph Meyer, organist at St. John’s Church. After dying from a heart attack, it was known as the David Sparr house when Joseph Meyer’s widow remarried. In the 1950’s a small adjoining stone building was restored which had been the 1804 Boal Tavern.
Iron “stars” visible at second floor level of each en are terminals of an iron rod “stabilizer” running the width of the house. The house has no fireplace because stoves had become fashionable for heating in the 11860’s. An old fire hydrant, still serviceable, is outside the kitchen door. Old fashioned flowers, unfamiliar today, continue to grow in flower beds around the house and in the garden.
No. 29 Boal Tavern
Boal Tavern, the first in the town, was built in 1804 by the second David Boal. A circular stairway to the to the right of its large fireplace leads to a loft where wagoners, traveling east or west on the “Kings Highway,” could rest overnight on straw mats. Their horses were quartered in a large barn behind the small, stone tavern, which has hair plastered on its wall and remains much as it was in the early 1800’s.
No. 30 Coach Factory
H.T. Municipal Office has been housed in this three-story building since 1968. An elevator, still functional made it possible to move carriages, wagons, and coaches from floor to floor in the manufacturing process. A sewing machine, old fringe, and buttons found on the top floor are evidence that buggy top sewing was done there.
No. 31 Blacksmith Shop
The Blacksmith Shop, a customary adjunct of coach-making to provide metal parts and iron bands for wagon wheel tires, continued in operation when carriage and wagon-making business was succeeded by the production of automobile tops, including tops for the first Boalsburg Auto Bus lines “buses”. Al Gingrich, the last smith, added a woodshop for cabinet making in 1915. When Harris Township purchased the coach blacksmith shops complex in 1978, the Boalsburg Village Conservancy obtained permission to restore the blacksmith shop as it was 1900. Gingrich’s anvil, mold, swages, and forging tools remain, and some items made years ago are suspended from the ceiling.
No. 32 Clark
This large stone and plaster farmhouse overlooking Spring Creek and the Village was built about 1800 by George Sheneberger, one of the early German Settlers in the area. When the house was built, the approach was over a small log bridge once a favorite spot on “Lover’s Lane”. Features in the house are five deep fireplaces and a hand-carved circular staircase which has a walnut rail, that ascends to the third floor.
No. 33 Tait
A farmhouse and barn were built in 1837, although no record of the farm’s history has been found earlier than 1859. When Elton and Marion Tait bought the farm, they restored the intricate features. The present form occupies an addition with stones taken from an old spring house at the rear of the farm on the slope of Tussey Mountain.
No. 34 Schempf
The construction site is undetermined, but the Linden Hall residence of John and Eleanor Shempf may be among earliest built of brick, which came to use in the 1820’s. The church building was begun but never finished, and materials for it were used later to “build a house nearby”. Located beside Cedar Creak and shaded by an ancient spruce, the house has five large fireplaces, fine paneled doors, and original hand-blown glass in many windows.
No. 35 Breon
This Linden Hall home of Harold and Geraldine Ross Breon was constructed between 1800-1825 by John Irvin. His son, Gen. James Irvin who in 1855 gave 200 acres of land and helped raise funds for the establishment of what is now Pennsylvania State University. Besides operating a store and tavern in Linden Hall, John Irvin and his sons were owners of iron works and a variety of mills throughout Centre County and were active in politics and public affairs.
An 1842 remolding of the homestead in preparation for the wedding of the sons including have a massive mahogany door brought from New Orleans by riverboat to Pittsburgh and thence overland and possibly by Bald Eagle Valley Canal in which Gen. James Irvin had an interest. These and two Italian marble fireplaces were among features restored to their original beauty whenever possible about 1950 by the former owners Mr. and Mrs. Chest Dahel, who also succeeded in salvaging portions of the old woodland patterned wallpaper in the hallway.
No. 36 Druckman
The resident of Aaron and Ellen Druckman in Shingletown is typical of those constructed along the “Pike”. This small two-story log house probably built in the 1830’s and late covered with siding stands on a tract of land first surveyed and laid out in lots in 1767 by John Everhart.
No. 38 Robert Keene
The home of Robert Keenes is situated on lot 37 on the original plot plan drawn up by Andrew Stroup for the Village of Springfield in 1808-09. It was sold by Lottery and the first deed delivered in 1810 in return for the sum of $11.00.
During the ownership of Charlies and Lizzie Corl, some renovations were carried out. A Victorian style porch was added; the closed stairway was opened on one side and a banister places.
Charles Corl who lived on the property 1899-1960 owned and operated a FRICK steam engine and a CASH threshing machine. Mr. Corl did much of the threshing for farmers in the area and with his team members, they were employed by the Water Company during laying of new water lines and to thaw frozen lines during the winter.
Later Mr. Corl became involved in the Boalsburg Auto Bus Line which ran between Lewistown and State College. One of the outbuildings on the Keene property was converted into a garage to the house on one of the early touring cars used by the bus line company.
The Keenes have retained and preserved the trim, windows, glass, floors and general lines of the house. They replaced the Victorian porch with a small porch built on the base of the original small porch.
No. 39 Scholten
This home began as a log house known to have been David Keller’s from 1842 until he sold to George Shenenberger in 1865. The log house forms the living room and dining room of the present home in which many improvements in harmony with its character have been made.
The fireplace mantel predating the house came from Sadsburyville Hotel via a former owner’s family household in Chester County, PA.
Bricks for St. John’s United Church of Christ were made of clay taken from the backyard of this adjoining properties.
No. 41 Jessop
Margaret and Ralph Jessop are the present owners of the house and out-building built by Isaac Womer, a saddler, in the mid 1800’s on Pitt (Main) Street in Springfield (Boalsburg). The foundation is made with mountain stone form Tussey Mountain just south of the house. The stable was torn down and recycled into a smokehouse which is still in use.
No. 43 Gingrich
This early 1800 log house was built and occupied by Isaac Womer, a saddler, whose shop was located across Pitt (main) Street and just east of the Wolf Tavern. All the harness Mr. Womer made was hand-cut and hand-sewn of leather he bought from Mosser tannery at the eastern end of the village. Mr. Women was known to help haymaking and butchering.
He built a new house and sold the old residency to Mr. Gingrich who had a small blacksmith shop. That structure was later moved to the back of the property while he also added an ell in the back, a small rear porch, and an attractive front porch. A well-preserved barn and an ice house also stand on the lot.
Mr. Christ Gingrich was the father of Boalsburg’s last blacksmith — “Uncle Al” Gingrich.
No. 44 Ice House
This small structure to the rear of the Gingrich property is an ice house built by Al and John Gingrich. Today’s unique structure was once a common sight. Before modern refrigeration people stored blocks of ice cut in winter for use during the summer months.
Covered with very narrow horizontal siding, typical of Colonial architecture, this ice house has thick heavy doors of chestnut wood. A beveled jamb and door accommodate the swing of such a thick door and provide a friction-type sealing helping to exclude hot air.
The Gingrich brothers cut a large block of ice from a pond along Spring Creek on the McFarland/Aikens estate. Hauled to the ice house, the block was stacked and “insulated” from each other with sawdust. To establish the necessary good ventilation, side vents near the roof were made and the air was vented from the sides through the top cupola. A drain in the floor to take care of any run-off from melting was also required. If sufficiently packed in sawdust, ice from here kept the family supplied all summer long.
No. 45 Richard Bailey
The Richard Bailey home, with its beautiful solid chestnut woodwork, was built about 1900 by William H. Brouse on a lot formerly used as an enclosure where drovers stopping at the Wold Tavern could keep their animals.
Mr. Brouse was a “huckster,” selling butter and eggs and chickens. The house remained in the Brouse family until sold to Evelyn and Richard Bailey in 1956.
No. 46 Maynard / Brighstenback
The two homes at 132 and 134 West Main Street for many years had one owner. An early one was John “Daddy” Sechler, a shoemaker whose shop was in the frame structure (134). “Daddy” Sechler’s shoe shop was also converted to a dwelling with later owners of the two properties renting one of the other of the houses.
No. 47 Manfull
When Ed Lucas purchased the property, his wife, Edith Grove Lucas, opened a feed store operated by Mr. Ream until 1919 at which time the building again became a home.
No. 48 Fahrenbach
The property on West Main Street was the home of Ephraim Condo in 1876. He was one of the three brothers who were excellent blacksmiths and operated a shop on the northwest corner of the Square.
No. 49 Wright
The Main Street property of David and Mimi Wright (Stroup lot 42) was the site of a house an stables when George Boal sold it in 1811 to Augustus and Lydia Smith Wolf. An interesting feature of this old home is the chimney which serves three fireplaces — one in the basement, another in the dining room and the other in an upstairs bedroom. Their separate chimneys become the single one on the third floor.
Mr. Bricker, the owner in 1871, for awhile had a shoe shop and later an ice cream parlor in the small structure now used as a garage.
No. 50 Grange Hall
Grange Hall when constructed by J.N. “Jerry” Dinges in the 1880’s, was a one-story structure to house his drug store. Though drugs and medicine were the principal articles sold, many older citizens have “sweet” memories of penny candies they bought at “Uncle Jerry’s”.
After Mr. Dinges died, the Grand Order of the Knights of Malta bought the property and added a second floor for their meeting room. John Weber, a skilled cabinet maker, was employed to build the fine velvet-upholstered benches and chairs which still line the walls of the lodge room.
The first floor continued to be rented as a store — Mr. Evert operated a drug store, but the best remembered was John Bricker’s “ice cream parlor.”
Victor Grange met in Oak Hall until a blast from a nearby quarry destroyed their meeting hall. For a year or two Grange rented the Malta Hall for their meetings. The Knights of Malta, no longer an active organization, then sold the property to Victor Grange.
No. 51 Upper Crust
The original and only structure on the property when owned (1845-1872) by Joseph Swinehart, one-time village smithy, was his wagon shop. This prominent village personality gave his name to the vacant eastern portion of the lot, which was called Swinehart’s Frog Pong because of the poor drainage of mountain water run-off.
A number of improvements had been made before Lynn Platt of State College bought the building about 1940 and installed a poolroom after years of successfully operating a similar establishment in State College. His Boalsburg center of sociability was open only in the evening at first, leaving Mr. Platt time to manage the operations of the Water Company for owner Claude G. Aikens and to grow vegetables for Boalsburgers (the Tavern was a customer) on a plot near the gatehouse at the Boal Estate. The pool room was a thriving venture until the retirement in the 1970’s of owner Platt, who was known as “Prexy” because, in his youth, he had been a chauffeur for Penn State ’s, Dr. Edwim Erie Sparks.
No. 52 IOOF Hall / The Country Sampler
The IOOF Hall and The Country Sampler are located on what was part of the Joseph and Marie Swinehart Estate until the lot was sold to Joseph Peters in 1872.
A General Store on the first floor was operated successively by Mr. Weber, his bother Samuel Weber, W.H. Stuart, J.H. Hazel, Brouse Brothers, and William Tennis. Mr.s Stuart had built the one-story addition to provided space for factory made “soft” ware and shoes, and Mr. Tennis added a fresh meat department.
Since 1969 the storerooms have been the site of The Country Sampler. Owned by Marie W. Fedon, this well-known gift shop maintains an aura of the past from the preservation of the lovely tin ceiling, old counters, windows, doors, and their hardware, and flooring of the original store.
No. 53 Rosenberg (Stuart)
The present house on the southeast corner of the Square was built by the Stuart family probably about 1880, but George Jack, an early settlement, is known to have had a house there in 1837.
A feature of this home is the spring of fresh water, rising in one corner of the basement which in earlier days, provided the owners with a fine “spring house” for cooling foods.
In 1875 James Stuart opened a drug store in one room of the home. This business was operated successfully until 1882 when Mr. Stuart closed it and, with his brother John, opened a General Store in State College.
No. 55 Musser
This East Main Street House was built about 1900 by John and Effie Leitch Jacobs. John Jacobs was a local school teacher and a popular “fiddler” always in great demand for dances and parties. When he died. Mr.s Edna Leitch Musser, a niece, purchased the property from “Aunt Effie” and lived here until her death in 1978.
An earlier house known to have been on the site by 1855 was burned in the great fire of the late 1890’s. Which consumed the George Jack Store, Post Office, and property of gunsmith, David Young.
No. 56 Farr
The Academy Street house known to old Boalsburg as The Parsonage was completed in 1860 on an acre lot bought from Daniel Kimport by the Trustees of the Joint Consistory for the five congregations then forming the Boalsburg Charge of the United Church of Christ.
The house and a stable, pigsty, and privy were ready within ten months at a cost of $1,720.00. Pastor William H. Groh and his family were the first to occupy the beautiful, well built large house with a garden, orchard, and groups to tend as well. Their successors felt the burden increasingly, maintenance and repairs weren’t always adequate, and in 1952 the Joint Consistory of the remaining congregation sold the property for $12,000.00 to Mr. and Mrs. Niles Keesler. The Keeslers made extensive renovations in their six years of ownership to the Parsonage’s early eminence among village homes. This partly accounts for the $18,000.00 paid by the Consistory to repurchase it when a small Panorama Village personage proved unsatisfactory and construction of a suitable new hour would have been prohibitive.
No. 57 “Old Jimmie” Logue
Once owned by “Old Jimmie” Logue who operated Boalsburg’s first carriage factory (house mark 30) on Pitt (Main) Street, this property was bought by the “Major” Harry Miller. His daughter, Nora, inherited it and lived there with Mary Reish, her half-sister.
Mary Reish was a fine dressmaker and went out by day, or week or longer to saw for a family. Nora Miller also was a fine seamstress and did sewing for Mrs. Theodore Boal. Nora had a loom in her home and wove rugs. When her health failed, she gave the property to a Nursing Home in Allenwood in return for her care.
No. 58 Murray
About 1863 this resident was built for William A. Murray — a descendant of early settlers Levi Murray, a tanner, and his son, George, a wagon maker. William A. Murray, a surveyor and civic-minded man, was on the school board and actively involved in the welfare of the Presbyterian Church. In 1878 he was elected a Representative in the Pennsylvania Legislature where he served two terms.
This house built in the least two stages is constructed from hand-hewn beams pegged together. It has been essentially a “one owner” home — Mr. Murray and his three daughters living out their lives in it. Miss Augusta Murray (the last survivor) was Postmistress of Boalsburg for many years. After her death, the property was sold at an auction.
No. 59 “Old Mrs. Woods”
This home, built as a Victorian cottage c. 1870, has had many changes and additions throughout the years. Known as “Old Mrs. Woods” property, it was later the home of Mrs. John Fortney who bought it after her husband’s death.
No. 60 Louise Kline
Mrs. Fred (Louise) Kline’s former home (1865) was once known as the “Old Jesse Jordon property”. Mr. Jordon was a barber, shoemakers, and remembered fondly as a practical joker. Among other owners of the property were Bruce Lonberger and John Wright, each of whom pursued a colorful occupation.
Mr. Write and his wife lived here until 1938. He was a thresherman and owned a threshing machine which he took from farm to farm during the harvest season to thresh the farmers’ grains.
According to Mrs. Kline, the house is “built like a barn, with pegged hand-hewn beams.” While the first floor ceilings are of normal height, the second floor ceilings are low enough to give a tall person reason to be cautious. She declares that the house “was moved over from Stone Valley” to this lot in very early days.
No. 61 Dale McClintic
The Dale McClintic home stands on a tract of land granted to Jesse Williams in 1787. In 1864, when it was sold for $85.00 to Thomas Allen, it was known to be a “lot of land plus building and improvements”.
No. 62 Heritage Museum
The large two and a half story plank house was part of the Murray-Mosser tannery complex, one of the earliest enterprises in the settlement that became Springfield when Andrew Stroup began selling lots in his development about 1810.
The Heritage Museum (property of the Boalsburg Heritage museum Associate of Harris Township) was obtained in 1983 following the death of its last owner, Mrs. Sarah Myers Sweet, at the age of 100 years.
The old “summer kitchen” with its big fireplace and oven is being restored. It held many memories for its elderly owner, whose girlhood home this old property was before her marriage to William Nathaniel Sweet. Grandma Sweet was always pleased to show her visitors her old home with the original paneled doors and their interesting and workable hardware locks.
No. 63 “Light” House
Electric power lines had not reached Boalsburg, but the desire to have electricity was strong. The water supply from Galbraith Gap into the village was over abundant. The men of the water company decided the water surplus should be used to generate electricity in a “home operated light plant.” William Myers offered land on his farm; the “light house” was constructed; a generator was installed; and wires were strung from the “light house” through the village to the Boal Estate/ Since the “light house” was next door to his home (No. 62), Mr. Myers became the first operator. He started the generator about dusk each day and the homes of Boalsburg were lighted until ten o’clock at which time Mr. Myers decided it was time to go to bed and shut down the generator. This small “light house” served the village very well until West Penn Power strung power lines to Boalsburg and absorbed it about 1911. The restored “light house,” a project of the Boalsburg Village Conservancy, is located along East Main Street next door to the Boalsburg Heritage Museum.
No. 64 Hummel
The home of Walter and Shelvia Hummel on East Main Street was built by James Logue, Boalsburg first coachmaker, whose factory at midday across the street with him for the noon-time meal. Mrs. Logue, a gracious lady, always welcomed them. It is said she had a full gingercake jar on hand all the time for children who came to the house.
No. 65 Tanner’s House
The Tanner’s House is on a part of the 1774 Harmony Plantation conveyed by deed from Benjamin Poultney to Reuben Haines. WHen Haines died, this tact was deeded (1801) to Thomas and Mary Clemson, who sold it the next year to John and Catherine Miler. They built the Tanner’s House in 1802. It remained a small log house until the 1900’s when it was enlarged to the east.
No. 66 Fire Hall Social Room
The Boalsburg Volunteer Fire Company’s social room originally was a small frame structure built in 1833 at a cost of $800.00 by a Methodist congregation. The extent of the charge made the services infrequent and irregular. Pastors S. Ellis and James Sanks had difficult in obtaining new members for a small group of zealous Methodists, which finally disbanded.
In the early 1900’s when Col. Theodore D. Boal was active in promoting community activities, he bought the old church building and offered it to the residents for a library reading room/town hall. Known as Boal Hall, it was used for many village events — concerts, lectures, graduation exercises and dances among them. Shortly after, the Boalsburg Board of Education secured the use of the structure for a vocational education building in connection with the high school which is next store.
The Fire Company purchased the school property with adjoining land in 1945 and also obtained from the Boal Estate in lifetime lease on the former church building. The truck bay, kitchens, etc., were attached to the original from structure (1949). In 1977 the Fire Company and Ladies Auxiliary raised funds for the extensive exterior and interior remodeling and landscaping. Included was a small museum room for firemen’s memorabilia with a picture window to display the company’s quaint old hose cart, which dates from 1855.
No. 67 Springfield Parklet
Springfield Parklet, a quarter-acre of land along Springfield run and bordering on Loop Road, was a gift of deed in 1984 from William Sweet to the Boalsburg Village Conservancy. Within this tract, and feeding Springfield Run, is the large spring which prompted Andrew Stroup in 1809 to name his newly platted village Springfield (Boalsburg).
The Boalsburg Village Conservancy maintains this quiet, restful parklet as a memorial to that early village and to the donor, William N. Sweet, and his wife, Mildred.
No. 68 and No. 69 Blue Spring Farm House, Blue Spring Farm
Blue Spring, once the source of an abundant flow of water — enough to supply the early village of Springfield — is on what was once Blue Spring Farm. It was a large farm just west of the village and a part of the lands owned by Hon. George Baol, who made the first division of that land, giving portions to three of his children.
The earliest part of the farm house (No. 68) build of stone and “plaster” is nestled snugly into the side of the hill, while the later addition (to the front) is of log construction. A noteworthy restoration has been done by the Devecka family.
The very large stone barn (No. 69), also nestled into the hill, suffered a period of neglect until it was purchased by the Allen Simpsons who had a dream of what might be done. Before the dream reached fulfillment, the barn was sold to Dr. Stanley Yoder who completed the restoration. Open spaciousness for family living and seclusion in the “lofts” for privacy make this a pleasant, gracious home.
No. 70 Mauner
The age and earliest occupants of this house (on Kennard Road) are unknown, but the property, part of the Plantation of Harmony, was sold to David Boal before 1800 by Reuben Haines. A century later it was owned by the Boals and was called Harmony Farm. Hand-made nails and other evidence indicate that the board and batten farmhouse was built in the 1820’s.
No. 71 Frost
Harris Acres covers a large area which was once known as the Hubler farm. It is thought C.D. Rossman built the original farmhouse that is now the home of Stuart Frost and Roger Zellner. The house appear to be a union of two wooden wing extending from a small stone cottage. At least three stages of construction date it from the mid-eighteenth century to arrive as a typical “L” shaped house, oriented towards the barn and old highway (running between Boalsburg and State College), which passed between the house and barn.
No. 72 Potter
The one half story brick and stucco house on lot 43 of Andrew Stroup’s plan first comes into the records in 1831 when the High Sheriff William Ward, by order of the court, sold the property of Jacob Dunlap to Cornelius Dale. Dunlap was the artisan who is remembered for applying a stucco covering to the buildings of that period. The bricks are hand-made, no doubt from the clay found along Pine Street and used for that purpose.
The property became known as “Mrs. Stone’s House” in the mid-1800’s. From 1923 through 1975 it was the home of Samuel and Annie Reitz. Robert Potter, the present owner, has restored the old “stable” and is continuing restoration of the home.