locally owned since 1854

Highspire Historical Society needs funds to fix Wilson House: Letter to the Editor

Posted 8/2/17

Forty years ago, the Highspire Historical Society purchased the Wilson House from the Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority.

The members at that time thought it important to preserve this …

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Highspire Historical Society needs funds to fix Wilson House: Letter to the Editor

Posted

Forty years ago, the Highspire Historical Society purchased the Wilson House from the Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority.

The members at that time thought it important to preserve this historic house to use as a repository for historical documents and artifacts. The society’s most important artifact is the house itself at 273 Second St.; it is a highly visible link to Highspire’s early history.

Dating to the mid-1820s, it is probably the oldest house in Highspire and has historical significance as the home of distiller Robert Wilson. His pure rye whiskey became famous, and the Highspire brand made Highspire known throughout the developed world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Since the purchase in 1977, the care and maintenance of the house has become the major activity of the historical society. While the Highspire Historical Society has worked diligently over the last 40 years to maintain the Wilson House, the resources of the society are few. Active membership is small, and our main source of income is the flea markets, which only provide a few thousand dollars each year.

Generous donations from Highspire friends enabled us to paint the Wilson House in 2016. Additional work is needed. Most importantly, the roof on the carriage house, used to store items for the historical society’s flea markets, urgently needs to be replaced. We estimate the cost at roughly $4,000. We also need to repair the balcony over the rear porch, and complete window repair and replacement to ensure the building is weather tight.

We are again soliciting financial help to complete these urgently needed maintenance projects. Contributions should be sent to our treasurer, Steve Whittle, at 1681 Landvater Road, Hummelstown, PA 17036. Checks should be made out to the Highspire Historical Society. Every contribution, no matter how small, helps, and will be appreciated.

Debbie Whittle

Highspire Historical Society

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