Historical Society’s Annual House Tour
The emphasis for the 2011 House Tour sponsored by the Fulton County Historical Society during the Fulton Fall Folk Festival weekend this year is focused on architecture and history rather than decorative furnished homes. The tour is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, October 15 and 16. Tickets, good for both days, may be picked up at the Fulton House in McConnellsburg before starting the tour.
Two houses are in southern Fulton County. With stained glass windows and elaborate interior bannisters, a brick farmhouse south of Needmore is unusual for rural Fulton County. Showing lots of hand workmanship, the top of a newel post in the center hallway lifts off to reveal a secret hiding place. The woodwork in one upstairs bedroom has not been painted over and shows original paint graining with the date 1906 and names of C.E. Shimer and John Gress, Mc- Connellsburg. The house is currently vacant and will be listed for sale.
Near the I-70 Warfordsburg Interchange is a small bank barn with weathered exterior, but the barn doors open to show a very functional home inside. Intended as a weekend retreat in the country for the families of his six adult children, the late Joseph Bury purchased the barn in 2000. Heated with pellet stoves, the remodeling continues, but there are now nine bedrooms on three levels along with a modern kitchen, living area and outdoor deck.
Three sites are closer to McConnellsburg along Route 522. A picturesque covered bridge on the Kirkpatrick property was built in 1989 across Spring Run. It is 41 feet long. Although not open for vehicle use, it shows the traditional construction of a Pennsylvania covered bridge and is recognized on the state’s covered bridge list for Fulton County.
The historic Morton’s Mill will commemorate 200 years of continuous use in 2012 since its establishment in 1812 to serve area farmers and residents. Although the old mill race was removed many years ago, the water wheel and many of the interior gears and machinery were left in place. Dust from the decades has accumulated on the upper levels, but the mill remains in daily use with the old machinery now powered by electricity.
A major restoration earlier this year returned the White Church at Union Cemetery to its original 1879 appearance. Established for worship by Associate Presbyterians, mainly from the Kendall and Johnston families, the church was active until 1922 when it merged with the United Presbyterians in McConnellsburg. Nearly all the interior furnishings are original to the building. A hymn sing is planned for 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
On courthouse square in McConnellsburg, the yellow brick Methodist church was dedicated in 1925 to replace an earlier church at the same location. It is recognized as a contributing building in the McConnellsburg Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. Background information on the church and congregation will be offered, along with light refreshments.
Tour brochures are available at various McConnellsburg stores. For more information, contact Historical Society President Dick Miller at 717-485-3412 or email to email@example.com.