Preservation efforts help save Underground Railroad site

June 9, 2017 by  

The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office announced this month that Mifflin House, a stone home that existed before the American Revolution, had enough historical significance to potentially save it from the wrecking ball.

The announcement comes after efforts from preservationists from Hanover and the surrounding area, and from Preservation Pennsylvania, to keep the home intact. Preservation Pennsylvania documented the historical importance of the home in a report given to the state historic preservation office. The house was a safe house along the Underground Railroad, the network that helped slaves escape from the south to Canada.

Preservation groups can use direct mail printing to alert residents in an area to any historical buildings that are under risk of demolition and to give them information on what to do to save those buildings.

The findings from the PA state historic preservation office won’t necessarily keep the demolition of Mifflin House from going forward, but it does complicate the process for the building, Kinsley Equities II.

Before the announcement, the developers could have simply knocked the building down. Now, any agencies, at both the federal or state level, that could potentially review permit applications or plans for development need to discuss ways of minimizing any negative effects on the site with the public and other interested parties.

According to the Hanover Evening Sun, officials from Kinsley had yet to respond to the announcement.