New holiday house tour

December 13, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Font Hill, a Federal-style home in Fayetteville that was commandeered by Confederate Gen. A.P. Hill in June 1863, is among the homes that will be open for the first house tour by Franklin County Historical Society - Kittochtinny.

The Holiday Historic House Tour features six houses and the old Franklin County jail in an event that the historical society's president hopes will become an annual tradition.

The house tour this Sunday afternoon, which costs $10 per person, is a fundraiser for the historical society, said Ann Hull, president. In late November, the society kicked off its capital campaign for a climate-control system to help protect artifacts and archival documents.

The historical society's headquarters is the former Franklin County jail, which served as a jail until 1970. The climate-control system would be for the front of the building, the section that was built in 1818, Hull said. That area houses the society's archives and artifacts, including a textile collection and photographs.


Among the society's archival documents is a Society of the Cincinnati document signed by President George Washington, Hull said. James Chambers, the son of Chambersburg founder Benjamin Chambers, also was a member of the society. The society was founded at the end of the Revolutionary War by officers of the Continental line and their French counterparts to foster their friendships, according to the Society of the Cincinnati's Web site.

The climate-control system is estimated to cost more than $250,000, Hull said. The system would provide central air to help create the optimum temperature and humidity conditions. The building has heat and uses window air conditioners.

Some other Franklin County towns have had house tours, but Hull said she wasn't aware of a tour of Chambersburg-area homes in recent years. The area has several Victorian homes.

Among the Victorian homes on tour is Sharpe House (pictured above), which is high Victorian Gothic and features a ridged roof with gables, mosaic tile designs under the mantels and extensive wood detailing on banisters, according to the event brochure. Sharpe House serves as home to the current president of Wilson College.

The tour features six houses, some home to businesses now, and the old Franklin County Jail. Many of the houses are expected to be decorated for the holidays, Hull said.

The tour features:

· Sharpe House, 1015 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg

· Craig Victorian Bed and Breakfast, 765 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg

· The Gardener home, 1038 Edgar Ave., Chambersburg

· Law Offices of Hoskinson and Wenger, 147 E. Washington St., Chambersburg

· Old Franklin County Jail, now home of the Franklin County Historical Society - Kittochtinny, 175 E. King St., Chambersburg

· Paul-Corbett House, 54 E. Main St., Fayetteville

· Font Hill, 325 Woodstock Road, Fayetteville

If you go ...

WHAT: Holiday Historic House Tour sponsored by Franklin County Historical Society - Kittochtinny

WHEN: 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16

WHERE: Chambersburg and Fayetteville, Pa.

COST: $10

MORE: Tickets are available at the Heritage Center, at 100 Lincoln Way East on the square in Chambersburg, Pa., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; by calling the Franklin County Historical Society - Kittochtinny - at 717-264-1667; or from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the historical society at 175 E. King St., in Chambersburg.

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