Restoration effort continues on Manheim Historical Society’s Keath House

By on July 22, 2015
Manheim Historical Society volunteer Bill Hackman scrapes whitewash from the logs in the interior of the Keath House. Deteriorated chinking has already been removed from between the logs in preparation for replacement with a modern material. The white material under his arms and in the upper right of the photo is original chinking that will remain in place. Photo by Rochelle Shenk)

Manheim Historical Society volunteer Bill Hackman scrapes whitewash from the logs in the interior of the Keath House.  deteriorated chinking has already been removed from between the logs in preparation for replacement with a modern material. The white material under his arms and in the upper right of the photo is original chinking that will remain in place. (Photo by Rochelle Shenk)

 

Manheim Historical Society volunteers are working on the next step of the first phase of a project to restore the interior of the Keath House. The 18th century log home is located along East High Street, Manheim. It contains three rooms and a loft area.

The restoration project began in the spring. A stone fireplace and brick chimney have been installed by general contractor Restore ‘N More, a Manheim restoration company. The fireplace was constructed from stones that had served as a stack-stone fence to separate the house from the adjacent municipal parking lot on North Wolf Street, and Gary Baer of Restore ‘N More said that the brick dates to 1800s and was found in Philadelphia.

With that completed, Whitewash has been scraped from the logs and deteriorated chinking was removed in all three rooms on the main level last week, and now volunteers will begin to install new chinking. A material that was originally made from mud or clay and straw, chinking was used to seal the gaps between the logs. Volunteer Jim Tshudy said that the historical society volunteers will use a modern material that is stronger, but has the appearance of the original chinking. Other volunteers working on this part of the project are Bill Hackman, John Hackman, Jerry Schrawder and Gordon Toburen.

Kay Hetrich, a member of the restoration project committee, said that the restoration effort is anticipated to be completed in the fall.

Reported to be the oldest existing home in Manheim, it is believed to date to the founding of the town by Henry William Stiegel in 1762. Named for Peter Keath, a blacksmith who purchased the property in 1887, it was moved from its original location on the southwest corner of N. Main and Colebrook streets.

Estimated cost of the restoration project is $100,000. The Manheim Society is seeking donations to help defray the cost. Contributions for the renovation project may be sent to Manheim Historical Society, PO Box 396, Manheim, PA 17545, attention: Keath House renovation.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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