Hundreds of years of architectural history were brought to light during a series of Sunday afternoon walking tours in Annville.
The “Splendid Stone Structures of Annville” tours, organized by Friends of Old Annville (FOOA), were originally scheduled for Sunday, May 1, but were postponed due to rain.
Read more: A group of friends will lead a walking tour of the stone structures of Annville
Although the forecast for last Sunday seemed dicey at first, the weather turned out to be perfect for a stroll through the historic town center of Annville and admire more than a dozen limestone structures dating back nearly a century or so. more.
The oldest building on the tour was the Fleischer Home and Livery, more recently known as Kettering Corner and now serving as the Annville outpost for Swatara Coffee Co. The youngest was the iconic school Annville’s Greystone, now Annville Elementary School.
Read more: Annville students return to ‘Greystone’, much like they have done in the last century
Read more: Swatara Coffee opens a location in Annville
FOOA volunteers escorted around 80 people around Annville, some of whom came from as far away as Valley Forge, drawing inspiration from an educational itinerary prepared by Dr. Owen Moe, a retired professor from Lebanon Valley College whose knowledge of the township’s historic structures originally developed through his first-hand experience in restoring an old 1860 brick house on Main Street.
Moe called it a “handyman’s special”, providing plenty of opportunities to learn restoration. He later helped found the FOOA organization and served as its president for about a decade in total, through a few different terms.
“For the first time, we used online registration on our website, and it was really successful,” he said.
Moe said it didn’t take him too long to decide which buildings to include, but finding historical information about the buildings took much longer. He accompanied the other tour guides throughout the tour himself to help them prepare for the event. Although Sunday was the first time FOOA gave this particular tour, and its first in-person tour after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the band regularly does a few shows a year.
Route “Splendid Works of Pierre d’Annville”
- The Biever House (1814)
- Arndt House (around 1795)
- Seabold House (before 1860)
- Kreider House (before 1860)
- Batdorf building (around 1790)
- Abraham Shenk House (mid 1800s)
- Washington House (before 1789)
- Franz Gruber House (1793)
- Lewis Gilbert Inn (circa 1790)
- House and Fleischer livery (circa 1780)
- Annville Primary School (1926)
- 401 South White Oak Street (c. 1797)
- Kreider flour mill (1797)
- Raiguel Manor (1793)
- Church of Jerusalem (1804)
Tour guide Doug Nyce, originally from Paxtang, said his involvement with FOOA began in 1990 after graduating from Lebanon Valley College. Nyce said his favorite part of being a tour guide is meeting people and sharing the history of Annville and the beauty of its architecture.
Nyce is also FOOA’s coordinator for Historic Old Annville Day, the block party (or really, eight block party) that FOOA has hosted for over 30 years. Over 150 vendors will take part in Historic Old Annville Day, with food, drink, crafts, activities and more all scheduled for the event on Saturday, June 11, which runs from 9 a.m. at 14h.
“For Historic Old Annville Day, we’re pretty much ready now and looking forward to June 11,” Nyce said.
Nyce says his favorite part of the event, like so many of his attendees, would be the food, including a special (and officially blessed and licensed) beer garden in front of Rotunda Brewing Co.
On a more serious note, Nyce said events like Old Annville Historic Day and the historic building walking tour help people know what’s going on and what’s available in Annville, and support the main goal. of the Historic Preservation FOOA in the community.
“As people understand buildings better, they might appreciate them more and care for them more,” Nyce said.
Find the complete guide to the “Splendid Stone Structures of Annville” walking tour and more information about Historic Old Annville Day on the Friends of Old Annville website.
Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future article on LebTown? Contact our newsroom using the contact form below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.
Do you support local news?
If you think Lebanon County needs quality, independent journalism, consider joining LebTown as a member. Your support will go directly to stories like this, and you’ll help ensure that our community has a trusted source of information for years to come.
Learn more about membership and join now here.