Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

House of history: The clock is ticking on a remnant of the Revolution

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A crime is about to be committed in Franklin County and those who see it unfolding are powerless to prevent it.

The historic Justice William Smith House in Mercersburg is living history, a remnant of America's Revolution that has been standing since a band of settlers gathered there in 1765 to organize an attack on colonial rule, an event that preceded the Boston Tea Party by eight years.
During its lifetime, the one-story stone cottage has variously been a tavern, a social club and a private residence. The extensive renovations it underwent, including addition of a 20th-century second floor, a summer kitchen and porches, kept the building from being eligible for state or federal registers of historic places.

Because it lies just outside Mercersburg's 18-block historic district, the building also is not afforded the protection that applies to other 18th- and 19th-century structures in the 179-year-old borough, which was the boyhood home of President James Buchanan and the site of a Civil War raid by the Confederate cavalry.

The volunteer fire department that purchased the home wants the land for expansion of its firehouse next door, and it is scheduled to open bids to demolish, or possibly relocate, the structure on Oct. 28. It has not yet applied for a demolition permit.

That offers a spark of hope that the building can be saved -- and there's more than one option.

The MMP&W Volunteer Fire Co. says it cannot find another place for expansion, but residents seeking to save the Smith House counter that there is plenty of usable land in the area. Building the firehouse elsewhere, and restoring the Smith House to its 18th-century condition, would be the best outcome. That takes money and political will by local Mercersburg officials, and they'll need significant help.

The Ulster American Folk Park in Northern Ireland has expressed an interest in disassembling the house and reconstructing it at the museum in County Tyrone that recounts the story of Irish emigration. That option is preferable to demolition, but if the building can be moved, why not find it another home in this country instead? It could be dismantled and stored until funds can be raised to make its relocation a reality.

Surely there are state officials, preservation activists and Pennsylvania philanthropies willing to band together, as earlier Americans did at the Justice William Smith House, to prevent the destruction or outsourcing of American history.

Time is running out.

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