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Cultivating the art, heritage, and recreation of the river towns of Columbia, Marietta, Wrightsville and surrounding areas

Musselman-Vesta Iron Furnace Center

26 Furnace Road

Marietta, PA 

Open Seasonally on Sundays 1 PM - 3 PM

Rivertownes Meetings: First Wednesday, 6:30 PM

Our Projects

If you are interested in volunteering, donating, or participating in any Rivertownes project, email David at dshaneman@embarqmail.com.

Wrightsville Cemetery Fence

Rivertownes PA USA and Historic Wrightsville Inc. are working together on a project to replace the fencing at the Union Cemetery in Wrightsville.

The main goal is to replace the split-rail fences that are currently in place along two sides of the cemetery. The ground for the cemetery was originally donated to the town in 1817. A brick meetinghouse was built on Chestnut Street at that time and given to the Presbyterian church. The adjoining cemetery was used for residents of Wrightsville and Westphalia and a few Civil War veterans. Westphalia was the name for the town on the south side of Hellam Street, and Wrightsville was the area to the north side until the two towns were incorporated into Wrightsville Borough in 1834.

The meetinghouse was torn down in 1858, but the cemetery is still intact. It is currently maintained by Wrightsville Borough.

Historic Building Signs in Marietta

Rivertownes, with the support of Our Marietta, is
undertaking a project that would see historic markers placed
at select sites all over town. Rivertownes offers the choice of a wall sign or a pole mounted sign (show photo of Vesta sign).

Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge Light Resoration

65 lights were installed in June 2014. The restoration project replicates the fixtures that were in place when the Route 462 bridge opened in 1930. 

 

The project was honored with the Ralph Modjeski Award for Excellence in Transportation Design, Preservation and Archaeology at the annual Historic Preservation Awards held by Preservation Pennsylvania for an exceptional effort within the transportation field that results in an improvement in transportation systems while respecting and preserving the best practices of compatible design and historic preservation principles.

2015 Recipient: Veterans Memorial Bridge, (Columbia & Wrightsville, Lancaster & York Counties)

Ralph Modjeski Award for Excellence in Transportation Design, Preservation or Archaeology

For an exceptional effort within the transportation field that results in an improvement in transportation systems while respecting and preserving the best practices of compatible design and historic preservation principles.

2015 Recipient: Veterans Memorial Bridge, (Columbia & Wrightsville, Lancaster & York Counties)

Musselman Vesta Iron Furnace 2017 Pa Preservation Award 

 

Community Involvement - For individual or organizational involvement in community preservation/heritage issues or projects. 2017 Recipients: Conneaut Lake Town Hall, formerly the High Street Church (Crawford County); Musselman/Vesta Iron Furnace Center (Lancaster County); 2016 Recipient: Friends Housing Cooperative (Philadelphia County)

Once home to the Vesta Iron Furnace Iron, this restored historic office building now stands tall and elegant in its simplicity. When first approached, our task was to prevent further deterioration of the badly damaged property located in a Lancaster County park near the Susquehanna River in Marietta. We implemented temporary measures to control interior moisture to protect historic elements and finishes until funds for restoration and adaptive reuse were raised. 

Before its transformation, the historic building, located in the flood plain near the Susquehanna River, was heavily water damaged above and below grade. Pieces of existing wood components were carefully collected and rehabilitated throughout the restoration planning and design.

Currently used as a museum for the Musselman/Vesta Furnaces, the renovation features wainscoting, doors and wood trim using fragments recovered early in the project. HVAC units in the basement and attic avoided ductwork between floors and allowed spaces to be restored to their original appearance.

Adjacent to the main museum room, this small space features track lighting for additional museum displays and provides an enclosure for the stairway to the second floor. Original stone slabs on the floor were most likely used for the original coal stove.

Lending charm and historic ambiance to the property, the home’s windows and shutters were all recreated from historic wood fragments salvaged during the project design. Historic etchings guided us in the reconfiguration of the window components and signage.