Margaret Heller House (Heller
Listed in the
National Register of Historic Places on
Jack Cahalan, Lower Saucon Township Manager, 610-865-3291, firstname.lastname@example.org
After two and half years of hard work by township officials, Conservancy volunteers, local historians and other individuals, the Homestead, like the Lutz Franklin Schoolhouse and Ehrhart’s Mill Historic District (Old Mill Bridge), has reached a great milestone in its preservation.
“As a rural community, we're proud of our township's history. One of Council's missions is to preserve our historic resources. This was big news to be able to add a third resource to the township's list of properties of national historic significance”, said Council President Glenn Kern. The other two are the Lutz Franklin Schoolhouse and the Ehrhart's Mill Historic District.
and Saucon Valley Conservancy president Priscilla deLeon said “I would like to
thank everyone who worked together to preserve another community treasure. The
township has set a great example to all by preserving its own historic
resources and preserving the character of the
Township Manager Jack Cahalan said township officials were pleased about the recommendation and hope to link historic sites throughout the area to a regional rails-to-trails project that stretches from Coopersburg to Lower Saucon. “'This is adjacent to the rail trails site”, Cahalan said. “One of the things we want to feature on the rail trail is the linkages between the historic sites. This will provide something that is right there on the trail.”
On April 6, 2010, the State Historic Preservation
Board determined that the Heller Homestead met the documentation standards for
registering properties in the National Register as well as the procedural and
professional requirements set forth by the National Park Service. The Heller
Homestead meets the National Register Criteria “C” for local significance in
architecture, and specifically for local builder Stanley Yeager’s
interpretation of the Colonial Revival style of architecture. (The house was
remodeled in the 1930s by Mr. Yeager.) The nomination was forwarded to the National Park
The core of the farmhouse was constructed circa 1751 by Michael Heller; the main section was added around 1820. The adjacent “Widows House” was constructed circa 1850. The nomination’s “period of significance” begins with the construction of the core and extends to the Colonial Revival style renovations of 1934-1935.
acre Heller Homestead is owned by Lower Saucon Township and leased by the
Saucon Valley Conservancy. It is part of the 15-acre
In 2007, the township retained the services of Wise Preservation Planning LLC to prepare the Historic Resource Survey Form and the National Register Form.
Of the existing structures, the farmhouse features four rooms that are decorated in different historic periods. Meetings are held in the public meeting room. The restored 1850s Widow’s House features a kitchen with a small beehive oven in the fireplace.
The stone root cellar is a relatively rare example of a once prevalent out-building type of the region where cool temperatures kept root vegetables and other foods cool and dates back to the mid 19-century.
Until February of 1998, all four sides of the original stone barn stood erect. In the aftermath of a severe storm, a portion of the roof collapsed. Deeming it a danger, township officials decided to bring down all but about one-third of the barn, preserving its very unusual arch. The Heller barn was actually a complex of two barns – an early English Lake District stone bank barn and a frame bank barn that was constructed considerably later.
Between the barn ruins and the Widow’s House is a replicated Pennsylvania German four-square herb garden featuring seasonal vegetables, climbing roses, and medicinal and culinary herbs.
A sawmill was located east of the Widow’s House, on the west side of a historic railroad bed. A low wall runs south from the southeast corner of the garage to indicate the east wall of the mill.
Valley Conservancy, Inc., a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, founded
January 7, 1993, is dedicated to work in partnership with government bodies,
community organizations, business groups and concerned citizens. The mission of
the Saucon Valley Conservancy is to preserve the historic and natural
environment of the
Join us on Monday, August 16, 2010 from 7 – 9pm at the Heller Homestead Reception to celebrate the listing of the Michael & Margaret Heller House (Heller Homestead) in the National Register of Historic Places during the “Meet the Artist Reception” for Frances A. Roseman. Remarks at
The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission’s [PHMC] Bureau
for Historic Preservation (BHP) oversees the National Register process in
National Register Criteria
To be eligible for listing in the National Register, a property or district must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. These criteria that a property be old enough to be considered historic (generally at least 50 years old) and meet the test for architectural integrity. In addition, the property must:
A. be associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
B. be associated with the lives of persons significant in our past: or
C. embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or represent the work of a master, or possess high artistic values, or represent a signification a distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
D. have yielded or may be likely to yield information important in history or prehistory.
Steps to Nominate the Heller Homestead to the National Register of Historic Places:
The Michael and Margaret
Heller House (Heller Homestead) was reviewed and nominated on
Phone contact information
Jack Cahalan, Manager,
Glenn Kern, President,
Wise Preservation Planning LCC; Robert J. Wise, Jr., President; Seth Hinshaw, Sr. Planner, 484-202-8187
Terri Heller Koch, Heller Descendant, 610-867-1381
Isabel Yeager Bauder, Daughter of Stanley Yeager, 610-838-9183