Does Anyone Care About American History Anymore?

December 16, 2009 - 3 Comments

by Jim Barnes

The following is a link sent to us by Karen Ramsburg concerning the Smith House in Mercersburg, PA. We ran an article about it earlier this year. It would appear that things have taken a turn for the worse. Once again, we seem to have short-sighted local officials who don’t seem to give a hoot about anything beyond their own convenience and thumb their noses at folks who do care. The article is a repost from the Philadelphia Progressive Examiner, by Tim McCown:

Destroying America’s History!

December 16, 1:45 AM Philadelphia Progressive Examiner Tim McCown

Would anyone have dared suggest that turning Lexington Green into a few parking spaces for the local fire company was the right thing to do?  What about demolishing Valley Forge or Yorktown, the Old North Church, or Fanuiel Hall?  The Justice William Smith House in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania is as important as these places are.

In 1765 the first resistance to British Military authority was planned in this house, and the Black Boys met regularly during the nine months that the Rebellion lasted.  Justice William Smith was seen by British authorities as the master mind behind this uprising.

If you would like to see this National treasure you had better do so quickly.  Unlike Lexington or Valley Forge or Old North Church the birthplace of what would become the American Revolution is slated for demolition any day.  The MMPW Fire Company Board in Mercersburg, PA voted Monday, Dec. 14, 2009 to demolish this property knowing its historic past for a few parking spaces….

Read the entire article

The article  goes on to outline the history of the house itself and also the history of the effort to save it.

It is a sad but true fact that the greatest threat to these historical structures is not  some foreign enemy or some distant government in Washington, but local officials, often people who the preservationists know and see on a regular basis. Like many modern Americans, these officials are just so detached from their American heritage, that they don’t know about it and they just don’t give a damn. (The recent  Old Bedford Village situation is a similar situation) Whether it is building another tacky Walmart just across the road from the Wilderness Battlefield, or tearing down an irreplaceable structure, every loss tears away a little bit of our American selves. This is the challenge to all of us who care about our history. Its also a struggle that we will probably always face.

For more information on the Justice William Smith House go to

Comments (3)

Karen Ramsburg

December 19th, 2009 at 12:10 am    

Thank you so much for helping us tell our story!
Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones,

Jim Barnes

December 19th, 2009 at 11:36 am    


I hope it helps!


Matthew Gillespie

December 22nd, 2009 at 10:55 am    

So true! Unfortunately we’re seeing a lot of this type of stuff. Whoever is fighting this one keep up the fight!


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