HARB/Historical Commission met on May 15, 2018 at the GVMS. Those members present are in bold: Tom Fillippo, Dale Frens, Sheila Klement, Ann Kline, Nancy Long, Rosemary Philips, John Pittock, Mike Richter, Fran Rodgers, Cindy Thompson, and Dan Wright. Susan Marshall of the Phoenixville Historical Society was present as a guest.
Jane Dorchester, an architectural historian, and Nanci Sarcinello, a land planner and a GIS consultant, were scheduled to present a view of the Historic Atlas Project which they will be working on for our township. Because Ms Dorchester was ill, they will be at our July 17th meeting.
Rosemary Philips presented information from the most recent Historic Properties map that was drawn up in March. Also, she gave all members present a packet of material which listed all those properties, a sheet that described historic resources and another that listed the township ordinances covering historic preservation. Members can view those on line and use that information as a resource.
Although, structures that are fifty years old can be considered as eligible to be on the Historic Preservation map, HARB can use other criteria to decide which structures are placed on it. Ms. Dorchester and Ms. Sarcinello will have an explanation of those choices at our July meeting
Ann Kline gave a brief summary of the program that will be presented at the Charlestown Historical Society on Wednesday, May 16th. At that time, Dr Sherrod of Kutztown University. And her assistant will discuss their findings of the Township Revolutionary Cemetery. Dr. Sherrod and her students used Ground Penetrating Radar and a Magnetometer to obtain information about the mass grave and of the footprint of the original Presbyterian Church. Ann has sent invitations to several other organizations advising them of the CHS meeting. (The meeting on Wednesday was well attended and was very interesting and well received. The work was successful in showing the possible location of the mass gravesite of the Revolutionary soldiers from Yellow Springs Hospital who died from disease and starvation although an archeological dig would be necessary to confirm this. Dr. Sherrod will be sending coordinates of these findings. The probable location of the Church was also found) Dr. Sherrod has presented her findings at a national Geophysical Conference.
In Old Business, Rosemary announced that work on the Township Mill is progressing well. The lighting project is complete, interpretive signs for the interior of the Mill should be completed within the coming week and landscaping should also be done by then.
Discussion followed on how well regulations and ordinances are followed. It was noted that new residents of historic properties are given a copy of the ordinances from the township office and these are also available online and owners are advised to contact HARB and to have a conversation if they are thinking of, or intend to make, changes to the structure.
There was also discussion about the Great Valley Nature Center. Negotiations are underway to resolve issues in connection of the deed of the Bartschi Foundation that require this facility be used for educational and nature purposes. The condition of Swiss Pines was brought up. Since it is part of the Historical District, it is regulated by those ordinances but there was concern about the deterioration of the property. A suggestion was made that HARB could apply for a Keystone grant and obtain matching funds from the township to be used in maintenance of the Revolutionary Cemetery.
We were reminded that there will be a celebration for the 95th birthday of Janet Baldwin on June 10th. She was an important and long time member of HARB and the Historical Commission.
The meeting adjourned and members were reminded of our next meeting on July 17th.