Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 26, 2013

Scale house now part of McConnell House property

DuPont hands over deed to HASTC; friends now searching for replacement barn wood

WURTLAND — With the deed in hand for the old scale house at the rear of the historic McConnell House, all R.J. “Bud” Matheny and friends at the Heritage, Arts, Science and Tourism Center in Greenup County need now is the right kind of replacement barn wood to bring the outbuilding back to life for visitors seeking insights about the ways of the former working farm along the Ohio River.

“Yes. I need some old barn wood for that scale house,” Matheny said last week after HASTC board members met with officials from the neighboring DuPont facility for a formal deed presentation officially making the structure part of the tourism center. If anyone has “just regular barn wood — weathered but not rotten,” to donate, Matheny encouraged them to contact him to arrange for a pick up or delivery.

A “floating” floor in the scale house will be restored and connected to the original scale mechanism that remains in near-perfect condition stored in the basement of the Mcconnell House. Once renovated, the scale house will become part of the McConnell House package, including additional ongoing renovations and construction. Not far from the scale house, bricks recovered from a deconstructed home in Ashland from the same time frame have been used for a practically flawless repair of upper walls and corners in the old wash house/coal house that served the big house. Matheny said officials from the University of Kentucky have completed an archeological survey of the structure and surrounding areas concluding the building, often referred to as “the slave quarters,” was actually used for coal storage and washing. Further rounding the back side of the property, visitors will soon find new men’s and women’s restroom facilities.

Matheny said the ongoing improvements at the HASTC will also be further enhanced by a pair of highly-motivated educators who are developing a “heritage tour” of the property which is geared toward helping today’s visiting students understand the life of a child their age living in the McConnell House during the early to mid 1800s. Other enhancements and renovations include restoring the basement entrance to its original location, restoration of the front and side porches and installation of a period-appropriate bedroom suite and other furnishings to the second-floor “traveler’s room” used by guests who arrived from boats traveling along the nearby Ohio River.

 

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