Delmont mulls options for Shields Farm cabin
Difficulty finding suitable, period-appropriate lumber and the cost of doing so has Delmont officials considering their options when it comes to the log cabin on East Pittsburgh Street.
Borough council has been seeking to replace several old, damaged logs on the cabin for a couple years, but the road has been a rocky one.
Council spent $3,000 on period-appropriate 18-foot logs in the summer of 2018, only to find out they were not the preference of their chosen contractor.
The log cabin is typically used about twice per year, during the annual Apple ’n Arts Festival and the Delmont Pilgrimage.
“I’m just wondering if we want to keep spending money on this,” Councilman Bill Marx said. “I don’t know if it’s worth it to keep this building that gets used twice a year.”
Delmont Visionary Committee member Annamarie Stackiewicz said her group could definitely use the building.
“We would love to use it as a visitors’ center or maybe as a place for a historical society to display items,” she said. “But we can’t plan anything until it’s repaired. We can’t use it the way it is.”
Councilwoman Rebecca Matesevac’s position was clear, whispering “Tear it down” several times during the discussion.
It may not be that simple, however.
The cabin and property was conveyed by deed to the borough in 1990 by the Salem Crossroads Historical Restoration Society and the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, according to county property records.
The deed includes a provision that the estate will be conveyed back to the grantor if:
• The property is sold.
• The borough ceases to exist.
• The borough no longer uses the cabin.
• The cabin is not maintained “in a reasonable manner.“
Council and solicitor Dan Hewitt continue to look into the borough’s options for the cabin and property, which was once the site of the R.J. Shields family farm. The current cabin, however, dates back to the early 1980s, and it was last repaired in 1998.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .