WAYNESBORO, Pa. —A new visitors center could be built in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., before the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Monterey Pass this July.
The Friends of Monterey Pass Battlefield Inc. is planning for a 1,064-square-foot stone building on the land purchased in 2011 by the Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors.
Representatives of that organization told the township supervisors Monday that an existing building on the site would require extensive rehabilitation to effectively serve as an interpretive center.
“We started into this thinking we were going to repair this old building,” R. Lee Royer said.
Since then, it has been determined roof leaks have damaged the walls, floors and supporting pieces of the fireplace, Royer said.
Royer, who is a surveyor, showed the supervisors pictures of windows that do not seal and fascia littered with holes from bees.
The Friends of Monterey Pass Battlefield Inc. wants to build a new center for visitors.
It would have an eight-foot porch and only two windows to protect artifacts from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Representatives of the organization said they do not have cost estimates for the new center, but they hope to receive in-kind donations and labor. They said they hope to have it open in June.
A previous owner of the land had erected a stone monument for Corp. Joseph Brubaker Jr., who died in the Vietnam War. Friends of Monterey Pass Battlefield Inc. officials assured the township supervisors they want to repair the crumbling monument or replace it in a manner acceptable to Brubaker’s surviving family members, whom they plan to contact.
The fireplace from the existing building may be dismantled and reconstructed in the new center, which will also have heating and air conditioning systems as well as a bathroom. Historian John Miller said maintaining consistent humidity will be important in protecting artifacts.
The Battle of Monterey Pass, which followed the conflict in Gettysburg, Pa., is said to have been the only battle fought on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.