Rural charm on tap for Allegheny Township farm tour |
Valley News Dispatch

Rural charm on tap for Allegheny Township farm tour

Mary Ann Thomas
Courtesy of Allegheny Township Historical Society
Sheep graze in a field at the 1824 Walker Farm House in Allegheny Township. The farm is one of seven locations to be featured Saturday during the Allegheny Township Historical Society’s farm tour.

The Allegheny Township Historical Society is offering an inside glimpse of the township’s rural roots with a farm tour Saturday, featuring a farmhouse that dates to the 1820s.

Seven farms are included along a 15- to 20-mile loop.

Advance tickets cost $10 and can be bought as late as Friday. Tickets cost $12 the day of the tour.

Patrons will be given a tour map and will drive themselves to the locations, where they will be greeted by members of the township’s historical society.

“The main thing with the farm tour is to promote a sense of community and let people know we are here,” said the the historical society’s Audrey Ann Krzeminski.

Krzeminski’s farmhouse from 1928, transplanted from Saxonburg, is among those featured.

“Allegheny Township was always farmland, and there’s still a lot,” she said.

But, given the community’s longtime rural character, the township isn’t exactly on the map for everyone, according to Krzeminski.

“I’ve been in Leechburg, and some people there don’t know where Allegheny Township is,” she said.

The farm tour has been offered sporadically over the past five years. Nearly 100 people attended last year’s tour, according to Krzeminski.

Farms featured this year include:

Pounds Turkey Farm: For more than 80 years, the Pounds family has specialized in raising fresh turkeys for holidays and has a year-round market with more than 75 turkey products. Three generations work on the farm. Bev Pounds will conduct walking tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Insko House and Leather Shop: Mike and Tammy Insko are proud owners of the only leather shop in the area. Mike Insko, born in Kentucky from a long line of leather makers, will demonstrate his leatherwork on machines that date to the 1800s.

Tunnel Hill Farm and House: Tunnel Hill Farm with a house built in the mid-1800s was named for the railroad tunnel running under the pasture. The farm is home to llamas, donkeys, Highland cattle, longhorns, African Watusi cattle, Zebu cattle, Asian water buffalo, camels and more.

Sorisio’s Antiques: This 1830, two-story brick home features eight rooms, open porches on both floors and a spring running through the basement. The waterway is still intact. The home’s lower level will be open for the tour. All building materials were hand-hewn or handmade from resources on the property or nearby — including the bricks.

1824 Walker Farmhouse: The farmhouse — relocated from Saxonburg — is a post-and-beam home filled with history and fully furnished with 1800s furniture. It has been featured in the national magazine Early American Life. The farm is a working sheep and lavender farm. Flax demonstrations are scheduled throughout the day of the tour and the farm shop will be open. Refreshments will be served.

Private residence decorated in the modern farmhouse style: A new home built in 1966 with over 3,000 square feet. Not only is the inside unique, but the outside features sprawling gardens and a party room.

River Forest Country Club: A popular golf course and club, the lush grounds are also filled with local history. Just two centuries ago, Native Americans were prominent and famously abducted resident Massy Harbison in 1792. The club recently came under new ownership, and the proprietors will be happy to share with you their recent changes.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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