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Historic and Archaeological Resources <BACK

Historic Surveys

Architectural history studies within the project area were conducted as early as the mid-1970s and have continued in different projects throughout the years. These surveys have produced valuable information, however, resources have been identified, documented and evaluated to varying levels of detail. Previously identified historic resources include the Borough of New Holland Historic District, the Eastern Mill Creek Historic District, the Goodville Historic District and the New Holland Machine Company.

The types of historic buildings and structures that may be studied include farmhouses, the Pennsylvania barn (noted for its forebay and cantilever overhang), chicken houses, pig pens, corn cribs, silos, smoke houses, summer kitchens, springhouses, carriage houses, outhouses, and pumphouses. Non-agricultural buildings within the project area may include dwellings, churches, schools, stores and industrial buildings associated with local communities along PA 23.

Rural agricultural properties, commercial buildings, light industrial structures, and modern housing developments characterize land use within the corridor. Initial settlement of the townships within the study area occurred during the eighteenth century and some of the residential and agricultural structures built during that time are still standing. Anabaptists fleeing religious persecution in the Germanic areas of Europe settled the limestone valley, creating the Pennsylvania German culture, which still influences the architecture and region today. The area also contains a large number of resources dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries reflecting its growth during the development of the railroads through the region.

In order to identify and document the numbers and types of historic structures that may be affected by the proposed improvements to PA 23, background and archival research was conducted to collect information on previous surveys undertaken in the area and to identify historic trends that contributed to the development of the area. This information and data gathered during fieldwork was used to prepare a Historic Context Report for the project, and will be used to complete Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey (PHRS) forms for historic resources located within the Area of Potential Effect (APE).

The historic structures field survey, conducted during the winter of 2002-2003, resulted in the identification of approximately 600 resources within the PA 23 APE. These resources include several historic districts and individual properties, encompassing farmsteads, dwellings, commercial buildings, churches, schools, industrial structures, and transportation related resources.

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