This old house is coming down

October 23, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Termites have had their way and there is no real use for a century-old farmhouse at the Greencastle-Antrim School District's environmental education farm, so school officials say it's coming down.

"We'll plant grass in its place," Schools Superintendent P. Duff Rearick said.

"We have no sound use for it," added Charles White, director of the Tayamentasachta Environmental Center off Leitersburg Road. "It's not a very attractive building and it doesn't have any historic value. It has clapboard siding, the walls are only 4 inches thick and they're not made with logs."

Members of the Greencastle-Antrim School Board voted last week to have the two-story, asphalt-shingle-sided building demolished. It will come down sometime this winter once contractor bids are out.


Until May, the house was rented to Donald and Helen Hager. They had been living in it since 1969.

The school district bought the farm that became Tayamentasachta in 1966, White said. It included about 120 acres, the 1820 brick farmhouse that is used for office space and an 1840 brick barn that is also used by the center.

The old frame farmhouse has no well. The Hagers got their water from Paddy's Spring, which bubbles up near the springhouse that was rebuilt this year. Water from the spring was pumped to the house, White said.

The spring dried up during the drought, so the Hagers had to move out, White said. Water has returned to the spring but the house has remained vacant.

The house was found to be structurally unsound, Rearick said. "It was going to cost us more than $100,000 to bring it up to our standards and we don't really need it," he said.

Tayamentasachta has retained about 40 acres for the environmental center. The rest was taken up by new construction, including a new elementary school in 1980 followed by a new primary school, Rearick said.

According to White, Tayamentasachta is an Algonquin Indian word meaning, "never-ending hills." The saying has been changed to never-ending waters, White said. "It sounds better that way," he said.

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