Historic House Getting Spruced Up

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BUSHKILL – A historic home given to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is getting spruced up for the first time in decades.

The building pre-dates the Civil War.

Slowly sanding, workers chip away carefully at history in Bushkill. Lead paint is removed as workers wear white protective suits.

The Peter’s House, believed to date back to 1746, is getting spruced up in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

"Basically, the major exterior building components, the chimneys, the roof, the siding, the windows and doors, and part of the timber frame is deteriorating. Doing those kinds of things,” said DWGNRA Exhibit Specialist Mark Segro.

Preservation specialists say it’s all part of stabilizing this structure, protecting it from any further deterioration brought on by old age.

Harold Ace grew up in Bushkill and remembers this house used to hold a small store.

"Well, we were only kids at that time, you know, when that was all open. That's the same way with all the other stores, the soda fountain, the gas station,” said Ace.

He says he’s anxious at see what the future holds for the house that’s been unoccupied for about 15 years.

"As long as the building is put up and taken care of, it's OK with me,” said Ace.

This scaffolding should come down and the stabilization work should be complete by the end of the summer, but park officials say work on the Peter's House hopefully won't stop there.

Park officials say more than 700 buildings including this one are being prioritized through a Historic Preservation Plan, which includes funding from a local power line project

"That plan will help us decide which of our structures are going to rise to the top and get the bulk of the funding,” said Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Spokeswoman Kathleen Sandt.

The Peter’s House, sitting at the entrance to the park along Route 209, will most likely top the list.

Workers like Mark Segro say they can’t wait to begin researching the building’s past, to preserve it for the future.

"It's great, I live to do this work and it's really a passion of mine. I mean it's a privilege to work on any of these historic buildings,” said Segro.