ASHLAND — A piece of history is being demolished in Schuylkill County. Officials said it can’t be saved because of its deteriorating condition.
Piece by piece, heavy machinery takes down a former apparel factory on Oakland Street in Ashland. The factory was first built in 1888. It burned about 100 years ago and was rebuilt.
Some people including Jim Klock, a member of the Ashland Area Historic Preservation Society, have a personal connection with the place.
“My cousin worked in the office her whole working career in this building until she retired,” Klock said
Jack Jones another member of the society said he has childhood memories when the factory was operating.
“As a young boy, 8, 9 years old, (I) used to walk by here to go to the movies in Ashland and it hurts a little bit.”
Jones and Klock watched as crews salvage what they can. That will include steel beams.
The society was hoping to preserve the historic factory. There was even talk of turning it into a personal care home.
“I was in it about a year ago with the realtor and we were trying to figure out how we could raise money for it to save it but everywhere we looked there was no money available,” Jones explained.
Officials say the roof of the factory leaked and it was a dangerous attraction for children.
That’s something neighbor Louise Klementovich said she witnessed.
“I am glad it’s coming down because the kids are coming around and playing in it and it’s dangerous. About two and a half weeks ago, there were two boys in there with a skateboard.”
Crews began demolishing the factory last month. What’s unclear is when the building will be down or what the property will be used for in the future.