Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Baseline Survey Adds Almost 8,000 Places in Year 3

The Pennsylvania Baseline Survey Team is thrilled to share the final year of findings from the Pennsylvania Baseline Survey. From June 2022 to March 2024, Year 3 of the Baseline Survey took place in 20 counties. To date, over 6,854 new resources have been recorded in 503 municipalities thanks to the efforts of our Baseline Survey Teams!

Once the final Year 3 survey is in – Butler and Lawrence county surveys are underway – the total number of NEW resources added to PA-SHARE in Year 3 will be close to 8,000. Check back for a blog post about what survey teams found in these counties in a few months. If you’re curious about how this compares to Year 1 and Year 2, check out those blog posts.

Survey teams continued to use the methodology established in Year 2, which was revised to streamline research and include surficial archaeological evidence. In Year 3, 410 resources were surveyed based on their potential for archaeology based on surficial evidence.

The places highlighted in this blog represent a small portion of the types of older and historic places found in Year 3 counties during survey.

Crawford, McKean, Venango and Warren Counties/Contract A

Contract A included Crawford, McKean, Venango, and Warren Counties and 1,534 resources were surveyed.

There were 407 resources surveyed in Crawford County. Sixty-eight properties in Crawford County were recommended for further study, among them 15 sites containing surficial archaeological evidence. Some areas recommended as potential historic districts include Conneaut Lake Shore area, Saegertown Borough, and the Amish and Mennonite Communities in northeastern Crawford County. Some notable buildings include the Parkside Motel in Summit Township, Schoolhouse No. 7 in Vernon Township, and St. Agatha’s Church in the City of Meadville.

Gray stone Gothic Revival church at an intersection.

St. Agatha’s Church, Meadville, Crawford County.

There were 305 new records added to PA-SHARE from McKean County as a result of the Baseline Survey. 71 of these were recommended for further study, 18 of which were recommended based on their archaeological potential. A sample of properties include the Zippo Manufacturing Company in the City of Bradford and potential historic districts in Port Allegheny, Mount Jewett, and Smethport Boroughs.

Three story office building with rows of ribbon windows.

Zippo Manufacturing Company, Bradford, McKean County.

The most resources in Contract A were from Venango County, where 453 properties were added to PA-SHARE and 271 of them were recommended for further study, including 19 potential archaeology sites. Places of note include Mauer’s Brain Freeze in Sandycreek Township, Wanango Country Club in Sugarcreek Borough, Bradleytown Grange in Plum Township, and the Venango County Fairgrounds in Frenchcreek Township.

One story white frame building with steep roof.

Bradleytown Grange, Plum Township, Venango County.

The final county surveyed in Contract A was Warren County, where 369 records were added to PA-SHARE. There were 86 properties recommended for further study, which includes 26 potential archaeology sites. A few properties recommended include Van Dorn’s Clock Shop in Sugar Grove Borough, F Henry’s Saw Mill in Sheffield Township, and expansions to historic districts in Warren City, Tidioute Borough, and Brokenstraw Township.

Two story yellow house.

Van Dorn’s Clock Shop, Sugar Grove, Warren County.

Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland County/Contract B

Four counties were surveyed as part of Contract B – Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland. There were 837 resources surveyed across all four counties and 212 recommendations for further study.

In Fayette County, 19 properties were recommended for further study. Twelve of these were based on their potential for archaeological information. Some buildings recommended for further study included the John Westly AME Zion Church and the John F and Charlotte Page House, both in Uniontown. Surveyors also recommended that the subjects of African American Miners and the locations of segregated and non-segregated mining towns be researched.

Brick Gothic Revival church with large stained glass window above entrance.

John Westly AME Zion Church, Uniontown, Fayette County.

Out of the 237 properties surveyed in Greene County, 49 properties in Greene County were recommended for further study. Ten of these places were recommended based on their potential for archaeology. Other properties recommended included Aleppo High School in Aleppo, Mount Pleasant Church and Cemetery in Whitely, the Corbly Massacre Site in Greene Township, and the Graysville Post Office in Gray Township.

Three-story brick building with post office in ground floor.

Graysville Post Office, Gray Township, Greene County.

The most resources were surveyed in Washington County – 503! Of these, 129 properties were recommended for further study from Washington County. Thirty-eight of these were recommended for archaeological investigation. Notable properties include the Beth Israel Synagogue in Washington City, the Croatian Beneficial and Educational Society in West Brownsville Borough, Miners Club 22 in Centerville Borough, and Tatano Wire and Steel in Canonsburg Borough.

Two story brick building with tile roof and corner towers.

Croatian Beneficial and Educational Society, West Brownsville, Washington County.

Fifty-eight properties were surveyed in Westmoreland County and 13 of them were recommended for study in the future, including five potential archaeology sites. Some areas were recommended for future baseline-style survey included Seward Borough, New Florence Borough, Boliver Borough and Loyalhanna Township. Individual properties that were notable included the Voting House in Derry Borough and a Swede Lutheran Church in Irwin Borough.

Small brick church with center entrance in center tower.

Swede Lutheran Church, Irwin, Westmoreland County.

Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery Counties/Contract C

The third contract of Year 3 of the Baseline Survey, Contract C, was of Berks, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. In total, 992 records were added to PA-SHARE!

In Bucks County, 40 properties were recommended for further study, including 22 potential archaeology sites. Two potential historic districts were recommended for further evaluation. They are the Edgehill Gardens Subdivision in Yardley Borough and Fraternitas Rosae Concis in East Rockhill Township. Other places of note include the Erdman Bottling Works in Milford Township and Wismer Clothing Factory in Silverdale Borough.

Triangular stone structure in wooded area.

Fraternitas Rosae Concis, East Rockhill Township, Bucks County.

There were 349 properties surveyed in Delaware County. Forty-eight of these were recommended for further study, 24 of which are potential archaeology sites. Some properties of note from Delaware County include the Bethel AME Church in Lansdowne Borough, Hayti Cemetery in Marple Township, and the mid-20th century houses on Excelsior Drive in Upper Chichester.

Modern stone split level house.

House on Excelsior Drive, Upper Chichester, Delaware County.

There were 244 places surveyed in Montgomery County and 59 of them were recommended for deeper research in the future. Twenty-eight of these recommendations were suggested based on their potential for archaeological findings. A few outstanding properties recommended include Penllyn Village in Lower Gwynedd Township, Pottstown AME Church in Pottstown Borough, and the American Olean Tile Industrial Complex and Workers’ Housing in Lansdale Borough.

Large stone church with main entrance in tower.

Bethlehem Baptist Church, Penllyn Village, Lower Gwynedd Township, Montgomery County.

Berks, Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton Counties/Contract D

Four counties were a part of the fourth contract, Contract D, of the third year of the Pennsylvania Baseline Survey – Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton. There were 802 new records added to PA-SHARE as a result of survey in these counties.

In Berks County, 41 properties were surveyed and four of them were recommended for further study. One of these was on the basis of the place’s archaeological potential. The other three were My. Frisby AME Church and Cemetery in Union Township, the Local Berks Lodge 47 of the Elks of the World in Reading, and a historically African American neighborhood on Locust and Elm Streets in Reading.

One-story stone building with wood door and wood windows.

Mt. Frisby AME Church and Cemetery, Douglassville, Union Township, Berks County.

Out of the 243 properties surveyed in Carbon County, ten of them were recommended for further study, six of which were recommended based on their archaeology potential. The above-ground places recommended for deeper study include Tresckow in Banks Township, Lehighton Borough, Normal Square crossroads community in Mahoning Township, and places associated with the Jewish Community near Temple Israel of Lehighton in Lehighton Borough.

One story brick building with stained glass windows and stepped gable.

Temple Israel of Lehighton, Lehighton Borough, Carbon County.

There were 196 properties surveyed in Lehigh County. Five of these were recommended for further study, two of these for reasons based on their archaeological potential. The other places recommended for study are Emmaus Borough, Macungie Borough, and an African American residential neighborhood in Fountain Hill Borough.

Line of two-story rowhouses along a street.

Row Houses on Broad Street, Emmaus Borough, Lehigh County.

Finally, there were 295 resources surveyed in Northampton County. Surveyors made eight recommendations for further study, four of which were recommended based on their archaeological potential. The other four recommendations included East Bangor Borough, Northampton Heights in Bethlehem City, the Syrian Town neighborhood of Easton City, and a locktender’s house in Walnutport Borough.

Two-story stone building with one story infilled porch.

Locktender’s House, Walnutport Borough, Northampton County.

Butler and Lawrence Counties/Contract E

Stay tuned! Work is still in progress in these communities.

Blair, Cambria and Somerset Counties/Contract F

A sixth contract, Contract F, was added to Year 3 of the Pennsylvania Baseline Survey in the spring of 2023 and included Blair, Cambria, and Somerset Counties. A total of 1,032 places were documented across these three counties as a result of the survey.

In Blair County, 487 resources were documented. Duncansville Borough was recommended to be assessed for its potential as a historic district.

Small one-story stucco-covered building.

Borough of Duncansville Office, Duncansville Borough, Blair County.

There were 538 places documented in Cambria County, including three potential archaeological sites, all of which were recommended for further study. Non-archaeological recommendations made in Cambria County included potential historic districts in Northern Cambria Borough, Scalp Level Borough, Mundy’s Corner community in Jackson Township, Ehrenfeld Borough, and Nanty Glo Borough.

Three-story stone building with first floor storefronts along sidewalk.

Liberty Theater, Nanty Glo Borough, Cambria County.

The final county of Contract F, Somerset County, saw the survey of 250 properties, five of which were recommended for further study into their eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places. These areas are Addison Township, Gray, a former coal town in Jenner Township, Rockwood Borough, Confluence Borough, and Salisbury Borough.

Two-story building at intersection with first floor storefront window.

Confluence Hardware and Parkview Grill on Latrobe Avenue, Confluence Borough, Somerset County.

In three years of the Pennsylvania Baseline Survey, over 20,000 records have been added to PA-SHARE. The Baseline Survey Team is proud to have brought attention to these important places of Pennsylvanian history and culture.


Today’s Guest Author is Carolyn Gimbal, an architectural historian with Johnson, Mimiran & Thompson, Inc.

1 Comment

  1. Karen DuVall

    I would like to have someone from the Historical Society, reach out to me. I am a Black woman in Fayette County who have evidence that my family has lived on the same property as property owners, since the late 1890’s and the current house residing on the property was built in 1901. We would like our heritage in Fayette County documented and acknowledged if at all possible and need assistance in doing so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial