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.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Historic Smith House Saved - To Be Relocated - New Site Sought in Franklin County

By Len Barcousky, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The William Smith House in Mercersburg will be taken apart piece by piece and relocated.

A history-loving physician has worked out a deal to save an 18th-century home in Mercersburg.

Paul Orange said Tuesday that the William Smith House will be taken apart piece by piece over the next several weeks and reassembled on a new site elsewhere in the Franklin County community in southcentral Pennsylvania.

The future of the building has been in question since the structure and land on which it stands were acquired two years ago by a local volunteer fire company. The MMP&W Fire Co., which has its headquarters and garages next door to the Smith House on Main Street, had plans to demolish the building and expand on the property.
The initials in its name stand for the communities it serves:  Mercersburg, Montgomery, Peters and Warren.

Members of the Committee to Save the Justice William Smith House say that events planned in the stone Ulster-style cottage in 1765 resulted in the earliest opposition to British rule in the American colonies and laid the groundwork for the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment guarantees the right to bear arms.

Dr. Orange, who has a family medical practice outside Chambersburg, estimated that the relocation project will cost as much as $250,000. He has agreed to fund between $50,000 and $100,000 of that amount.

The first steps involve removing 19th- and 20th-century additions to the structure, carefully taking apart and numbering stones and timbers from the core of the building and arranging for storage nearby. That process is likely to take several weeks, he said.

No decision has been made on where the house will be rebuilt.  Several suitable properties are vacant along and near the borough's Main Street.

Jerry Ross, president of the citizens group, said he was pleased that an agreement had been reached between Dr. Orange and R&D Enterprise Contractors.  R&D is the Chambersburg firm hired by the fire company to take down the building.

"The preferred options were to keep the house where it was or to move it in one piece," Mr. Ross said. "Since that's no longer possible, we support Plan C."

He predicted that the soon-to-be-announced capital campaign to raise money for the project would find broad local support.

Last weekend the committee sponsored three days of picketing and demonstrations on Main Street near the house.  "The community response was fantastic," he said.  "People wanted to know more about the house and its history. "

William Smith, a businessman and local judge, was a large landowner in the area that became Mercersburg. That makes it likely wherever the house ends up, it still will be on what was Smith property, Dr. Orange said.

A life-long history buff, the physician said he moved to Franklin County in part because of its proximity to many Civil War sites. He is a graduate of Greensburg Central Catholic High School and St. Francis University.

The history linked to the Smith House dates back 100 years before the War Between the States.

"The events that were planned in this house led to the first shots fired in what became the American Revolution," Dr. Orange said.  "The Second Amendment right to bear arms came out of these events."

Angered by the failure of the British and Colonial governments to protect their homes and farms from Indian raids, the mostly Scots-Irish residents of what is now Mercersburg met in the William Smith House in 1765 to organize themselves into a militia.

Ten years before the battles of Lexington and Concord, the Pennsylvania frontiersmen, led by William Smith's brother-in-law, James Smith, surrounded and fired on British soldiers at nearby Fort Loudon. Settlers believed those troops had been sent to the region, not to help them and their families, but to protect unscrupulous traders who were providing weapons and ammunition that ended up in the hands of their Native American foes.

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