Nonprofit to vote on plan to rebuild Little Stone House

Museum seeks pact with property owner

March 23, 2003|By Jennifer Blenner | Jennifer Blenner,SUN STAFF

Nearly two months after the Little Stone House on Shucks Road near Creswell was razed, efforts to resurrect the structure continue. The Stepping Stone Museum, a private, nonprofit museum in Havre de Grace, will vote this week on whether to purchase the stones.

"We are interested in pursuing this project, but questions still need to be addressed," said Linda Noll, executive director for the Stepping Stone Museum in Susquehanna State Park.

A written agreement between the museum and the owner needs to be completed, Noll said. Also, rebuilding the house in the park would require state approval and financial support.

If the proposal is passed, the stones will be collected and moved to the museum.

"I would love to see it built here," Noll said. "It would be a great addition." The house was one of the oldest structures in Harford County.

The museum's board of directors; property owner Henry Harjes III of Columbia; Chad Shrodes, a preservation planner with the county's Department of Planning and Zoning; Harford County Dels. Richard K. Impallaria, a 7th District Republican, and Susan K. McComas, a District 35B Republican, will meet to discuss the project.

"The goal is to save the stones and eventually get it reconstructed," McComas said.

Impallaria added, "This is a piece of history."

The house stood on what once was a main road, and nearly every person in the county drove past it, he said. "By accomplishing this project, we are showing that there are other options to bulldozing over the past," Impallaria said.

Impallaria said he would play an active role in restoring the Little Stone House. He would like to be a member of a board, if one were created, and to help with fund raising. "We do care, and we don't want this to happen again," Impallaria said. The issue of the house was brought up during a meeting last week at the museum. The board of directors was set to vote on accepting the stones, but the meeting did not go as planned.

Harjes faxed a letter to the board requesting compensation for the stones. The board felt the wording was misleading and wouldn't agree to it. In order for the directors to vote, they need written consent from the owner saying he will donate the stones and file for a tax write-off.

"The Stepping Stone Museum can only agree upon a tax write-off because we are a nonprofit organization," Noll said.

Harjes said he is willing to cooperate with the museum. "Whatever they want to do is fine by me, and I am willing to work with them to rebuild the house," he said.

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