Property owners across the Valley have taken an interest in historic buildings, some turning them into residential properties.
Joannah McGregor, a member of Preservation Mifflinburg Inc. and Buggy Museum Association in Mifflinburg, is the owner of 401 Market St., Mifflinburg. This property is home to several historic buildings, one originally on the property and two that were moved.
“It’s important to preserve our history,” said McGregor. “There needs to be an appreciation for it.”
Christopher Eilert was the original owner of the lot. As the owner of a distillery, he was granted permission in 1815 to build a pipeline from the spring in the area that is now Woodlawn Cemetery to the property on Market Street, said McGregor.
Henry Gast was the second owner in the 1840s. He built the Greek-Roman-Georgian-style brick house and the spring house in 1845. In 1900, the Reish family added the Carriage House, said McGregor.
In 1928, McGregor’s parents Dr. John and Marie Purnell bought the property and opened the medical practice in the house. It’s been in McGregor’s family ever since.
“My mother was a preservationist, a lover of history,” said McGregor.
Mifflinburg’s one and only pre-Civil War jail located on the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum Visitor’s Center property at 598 Green St., Mifflinburg, and one of Mifflimburg’s oldest earliest frame houses at 422 Market St., built in 1808, were both set to be torn down in the 1950s. Marie Purnell arranged for the two buildings to be relocated to the Market Street property where they still are today, McGregor said.
The jail is used for storage and the frame home is used as residential, said McGregor.
The daughter followed in her mother’s footprints. An early 1800s log house at 308 Market St. was going to be torn down in 2002, but McGregor led the charge of invested citizens to save the structure with help from the Degenstein Foundation and private funding, she said.
The house, now known as the Little Log House, was preserved and repaired and was dedicated in 2018. It is now maintained by Preservation Mifflinburg, the nonprofit that runs the Gutelius House Museum at 432 Green St.
Investing in old buildings
Kathy Kron, of Lewisburg, spent dozens of years buying saving and repurposing older and historic buildings in Union County. Her preservation efforts and repurposing into rentals include a flat log house built in the 1700s, a one-room brick schoolhouse built in 1893, a Grange Hall built in 1896 and a wooden church built in 1900. She recently acquired the former Moose Lodge in Mifflinburg and plans to renovate that into an event space.
The Grange Hall, located at 1176 Johnson Mill Road, Lewisburg, and the log house, located at 1162 Johnson Mill Road, Lewisburg, happen to be next to each other. The Grange, which she purchased in 2012, was a club for Grange Camp 320, similar to the Masons, and has secret staircases and …….