RIDGWAY – Residents of Ridgway walk their streets lined with historic homes, unaware of their “hidden” stories.
The mid-19th and early 20th centuries were a hotbed of settlement in western Pennsylvania as people migrated from afar to take advantage of lands newly-opened for settlement.
They came, they built and they passed away, leaving us to wonder about their lives, and the homes that stand as silent sentinels.
The Ridgway Heritage Council is excited to announce a very special heritage tour, “Foundations of Ridgway – How to Date a House by its Cover” being held on Saturday, Sept. 28.
There will be 17 “teaching stops” on the one-hour walking tour, ranging from very old, modest structures to “newer” grand Victorians. Tours will run on the half-hour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
This educational event is designed by long-time council board member, Dale Fox. She is an expert “dater” of historic homes and manages the council’s Historic House Plaque Program.
Metal “Circa” plaques can be spotted throughout the “Lily of the Valley” National Register District.
“I guarantee that after this tour, you will find yourself peering at foundations and getting excited when you realize it is mid to late 1800’s. Windows, roofs and house styles also give many hints. Even more interesting than house dates are the people who went to the trouble to build each one of them. You will learn about who built these homes, their adventures, struggles, triumphs – and losses,” explained Fox.
Tour leaders will provide a brief history of each home and its original owner and note tell-tale architectural elements.
The highlight will be an open house at the stunning “O.B. Grant” mansion in the West End of Ridgway, built in 1876 and recently restored by owners Larry and Diane Haney.
Tours start every half-hour between 10 a.m. and 3p.m. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling 814-776-1424, or on the day of the tour at the Welcome Center if space is available.