Colonial Williamsburg inspired Hempfield couple in house makeover
By Cynthia Bombach Helzel
Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 7:22 p.m.
A visit to Colonial Williamsburg inspired Susan and Andrew Dzurko to purchase a historic farmhouse in Hempfield and renovate it in Early American style. Their home is one of five slated for the Westmoreland County Historical Society Historic House Tour on Sept. 21. The self-driving tour includes homes in a range of building styles and time periods dating from the 1770s to the 1930s.
The Dzurkos' home on George's Station Road is a red-brick Italianate farmhouse dating from about 1840. The home once belonged to Henry George, a descendant of the man who built the fortified blockhouse for which the road was named. The Dzurkos bought the house in 2007 after driving by it many times on trips from Indiana County.
Compared to other houses they had considered buying, this one was in good condition and needed mostly cosmetic work. The couple painted rooms, removed shag carpeting and updated the bathroom. “We slowly did a room at a time while we lived here,” Susan Dzurko says.
The highlight of the interior is the tavern room. “Everyone who comes into it really seems to enjoy it,” Susan says.
Her husband added traditional wood paneling to the room, and her father-in-law helped to build the tables that flank the fireplace.
During the tour, guests can gather in the room to sample skillet cornbread and cider.
Outside the house, features of note include “the facade that you don't really see when you're driving by at 40 miles an hour,” Susan says, and a Williamsburg-style fenced garden in back. “You don't really appreciate the house itself until you walk the grounds.”
Other homes on the tour include the circa-1900 Baughman House near Jeannette, the 1933 Howard Zeller House in Greensburg, the 1910 Buterbaugh-Stein House in Latrobe and the re-created Hanna's Tavern in Historic Hanna's Town.
On Sept. 20, the Historical Society will host a “Toast the Tour” cocktail party at the Semler house in Latrobe. Now owned by Drs. Howard and Susan Bursch, the house is a 1926 red-brick Tudor Revival. The party will be catered by Rizzo's Malabar Inn and includes cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a tour of the house. Tickets for the cocktail party are $50 in advance.
Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers coach Tomlin fined $100K by NFL
- Schmotzer resigns high-paid administrative job with Baldwin-Whitehall schools
- Starkey: Tomlin imposter fuels conspiracy theories
- Emails between Western Psych gunman and his mother will be made public
- Donald wins ACC Defensive Player of Year
- Former Guardsman apparently settles lawsuit against Target
- Cost of doing business increasing for Pirates
- Penguins’ Crosby nets game-winner in overtime
- Steelers notebook: Team down to third option at key line positions
- Wonder Woman cast for Batman and Superman film
- Ex-Pittsburgher barely makes the cut on ‘The Voice’