In an effort to preserve a small part of the anthracite iron furnace legacy, volunteers from Rivertownes and Marietta Restoration Associates are working to restore the former office building of the Musselman-Vesta Furnace. The building, a two story structure located at the corner of Furnace Road and Donegal Place in Marietta, is owned by the Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation. A 99 year lease has been granted to Marietta Restoration Associates.
|Work on the project began in earnest in 2003, when volunteers removed enough rubbish from the building to fill a 30 cubic yard dumpster. The building had been so heavily polluted by pigeons that volunteers had to wear special filter masks until the interior could be decontaminated.|
|Project Leader Lenny Droege, in full protective garb, assesses the condition of one of the rooms.|
|Next, the badly deteriorated slate roof was removed along with one of the dormers, and a heavy tarpaper and batten covering was put into place. In the Spring of 2004, volunteers placed galvanized steel decking material over the roof to provide a long lasting temporary covering intended to remain until the slate roof can be replaced.|
|View of the partially collapsed southwest dormer and roof conditions.|
The rusted tin coverings over the windows of the building are also being replaced with removable plywood covers painted to give the illusion of real windows. Temporary metal access doors and a basement bulkhead have been installed. Inside the building floors have been shored up to allow safe access to the interior. Areas outside the building also received attention during the Fall of 2004 in preparation for the first annual Pig Iron Fest. Mountains of brush and overgrowth were cut down and shredded and walking trails were laid out throughout the adjacent ruins of the furnace.
A local architect has been engaged to study and document the layout and details of the building and to provide recommendations for next steps in the restoration process.
Lenny Droege is the coordinator and driving force behind the restoration project.