Not much progress seen in rebuilding landmark

Little Stone House's owner says it was hazard

January 18, 2004|By Matt Kasper | Matt Kasper,SUN STAFF

Almost a year after the Little Stone House was reduced to rubble, little progress has been made to rebuild the landmark, according to Harford County officials, neighbors and the owner of the land on which the house stood.

The house, near Shucks Road and Calvary Road, was razed Jan. 28, when the property owner, Henry Harjes III, decided it had become a hazard. He said that efforts to restore the house were costly and that he found himself chasing away people who had been drinking. Harjes said that before the house was demolished he had never been informed it was of historic value.

Because the house has yet to be restored by the county or a museum, he said he thinks its value might be exaggerated. "The county is not interested in it because there is no historic value," he said. The house dated to at least the 18th century.

Harjes said he would use stones left over from the rubble in the construction of his new home.

Former Harford County preservation planner Chad Shrodes, who serves as a land and agricultural preservation planner for the state of Maryland, said that efforts to preserve the remains of the house had not succeeded. "It never actually developed; we tried our hardest," Shrodes said.

He said that before he left his Harford County job in May, he had tried to act as an intermediary between Harjes and various nonprofit groups.

In April, the private, nonprofit Stepping Stone Museum voted not to accept a donation of the structure's remaining stones.

Shrodes said many of the decisions about rebuilding the house were complicated by the cost involved.

"It would have been nice if it would have been restored on the site, " Shrodes said.

Despite the struggle over the house, Harford County officials pledged their support for preservation projects.

In a faxed statement, Harford County preservation planner Sarah Kunkel Filkins said, "We recognize that the preservation of these rich, historic resources is important to the future of the county to help foster community identity, stimulate economic growth and educate people of all ages."

This was little consolation for county residents such as Kelly Hoover, 38, who said she misses the small stone building.

"It had history with the people of Maryland; it was a magnificent-looking little old house," said Hoover, whose house neighbors the property .

"It's a shame that it's lost."

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.