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Extension given on stone house decision

September 28, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- A 275-year-old stone house has been given another two months.

The MMP&W Fire Co. and supporters of saving the house agreed Thursday that they would continue to negotiate until at least Nov. 30, fire chief Dusty Stoner said Monday.

The fire department purchased the so-called Smith House adjacent to its property. Upon learning of the ownership transfer, several residents contacted MMP&W to urge the fire department to refrain from demolishing the house.

Community members George Nalley, Calvin Bricker, Terry Sirk and Tom Steiger went to MMP&W's board of directors meeting on Thursday to talk about possible solutions for the house, which they say served an important role when Mercersburg was established.

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"They were very generous and gave us a postponement," Sirk said.

Several possibilities are being considered, including ways to purchase the building, he said.

"We're investigating a lot of things," Sirk said.

The house, which sits a half block off Main Street, is not listed on the national Register of Historic Places and is not within the Mercersburg Historic District. Sirk said research shows the house was involved in riots against British troops and the dispute regarding the Pennsylvania and Maryland boundary.

Sirk said media coverage and word-of-mouth prompted several people to make calls to MMP&W about the house. While their support is appreciated, he asked that future conversations with fire department personnel center on gratitude for the additional time.

A Web site is being created to provide information about the Smith house and plans for the future, Sirk said.

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