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Old log house rolls to new home at county Ag Center

December 02, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - An approximately 144-year-old house got a new home Wednesday and one day could be near a living history village, a Washington County Agricultural Education Center official said.

The families of the late brothers, Paul and Charles Poffenberger, donated the log house to the center's rural farmstead off Sharpsburg Pike, said Dick Schukraft, the Ag Center's fund-raising chairman.

The inside of the house could be open for public viewing as early as spring, according to Schukraft and Gerald Poffenberger, who is Charles Poffenberger's son and president of the Ag Center.

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On Wednesday, the 11/2-story home was moved from Country Store Lane at Beaver Creek to the Ag Center's property south of Hagerstown. The home could not be placed on its foundation yet because it was too wet, Schukraft said.

The Ag Center is home to the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum, which includes the farmstead, Schukraft said.

The farmstead consists of a one-room log cabin, a windmill, a corn crib and a pig barn, and now the 11/2-story log house, he said. Schukraft said a restoration expert estimated the house dates back to about 1860.

Ag Center officials plan to add an old authentic barn to the farmstead and to one day have a rural heritage village, Schukraft said.

The village could consist of a blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, store, doctor's/dentist's office, saloon, church, bank and post office, he said.

Ag Center officials would prefer to have structures that were actually used for those purposes, he said.

So far, everything on the farmstead has been donated, Schukraft said.

The Friends of the Rural Heritage Museum paid more than $6,000 to move the log house, he said.

Preparing the house for the move took three days, he said. It took three hours on Tuesday to load the house onto a truck with the roof laying next to the first floor.

On Wednesday morning, it took 40 minutes to drive the house to its new location and approximately 45 minutes to unload it, he said.

Like the Rural Heritage Museum, the farmstead and future village interpret rural life up to 1940, Schukraft said.

The museum is open from April through October and for special events, Schukraft said.

Gerald Poffenberger said the log house had been rented out as a residence until about a year ago.

The last time a family member lived in the house was about 30 years ago, he said.

The house was rebuilt in 1954, said Poffenberger, 62, who lives east of Hagerstown.

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