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The Gap-in-the-Hills Tour

The Gap-in-the-Hills on Tour

September 28, 2013

9AM to 3PM

Tour the history of Gap in 6 hours!

*To celebrate the future acquisition of the Kennedy Tenant House

as the Salisbury Township Historical Museum*

The Gap-in-the-Hills Tour is centered in the village of Gap at the crossroads of Route 41 and Route 30, the Lincoln Highway. A shuttle bus will be available to take patrons to the historic buildings east of Route 41. There will be three shuttle bus runs: 9:30 AM, 11:30 PM and 1:30 PM. Individuals may also park in the parking lot of the Chestnut Street Chapel, 866 Chestnut Street.

Tickets are $15.00; children and students through high school are free. Tickets purchased before September 21 are $13.00, a discount of $2.00! Call 717-442-9522 for your early tickets and/or more information. After calling and paying for your ticket, it will be waiting for you at the Bellevue Presbyterian Church, 810 Newport Ave. in Gap from 9 AM to 3 PM on September 28.  Buy early and save!

1701—The Penn Rock was visited by William Penn as a rest stop overnight on the way to Conestoga to sign a treaty of peace. He was met by three Native Americans who escorted him the rest of the way. At the same place but in the 1850’s, a cave with a tunnel emptying out up the hill was a hideout for runaway slaves.  William Penn will be on hand to tell the story. Both places are at the south end of Chestnut St. (Shuttle Stop or Drive)

1726—The Francis Jones Tavern, on Mine Rd., was built in 1726 and is the oldest documented house in Salisbury Township. As you drive by on the shuttle you can see the oldest part of this handsome colonial structure and learn its history. (Shuttle pass-by or drive)

 1792—The Rising Sun Tavern,  now The Four Brothers Diner, 5267 Lincoln Highway, was built in 1792 by James Kennedy and opened the following year. A drover’s stop, it housed man inside and and beasts in corrals and stables. It has been in continuous use as a tavern/restaurant since 1793 with the exception of 9 years from 1927 to 1936.  James Kennedy will be there to tell you its history and direct you to the patio  to view and hear about the future museum of Salisbury Township.   (Drive)

1817—Bellevue, built by Maxwell Kennedy is made of blue limestone. Since 1817, the inside classic rooms are well-kept and preserved with classic appointments. Kennedys have lived in the dwelling until 1936. Maxwell Kennedy will be there to show both floors, (Don’t miss Horace Kennedy’s bed.)  Maxwell will also talk about his days in the War of 1812 and his contributions to the community. (Drive.)

1823—Bellevue Presbyterian Church, 812 Newport Ave., continues to be a jewel of beauty and Christian witness since 1823. The windows memorialize their founders as they let light into the newly renovated sanctuary. Not only is it tour-worthy, but it will also serve as the Headquarters for the Tour. There we will park, get all tickets, get information and directions, tour the church, see a slide show of the houses on tour, view a movie of Gap’s Tri-Centennial in 2001, use rest room facilities, and board the shuttle bus for the buildings across Rt. 41. (Drive to the church)

1823—Bellevue Presbyterian Cemetery’s first burial was Rebecca Matilda Houston, 16 years old, on October 23, 1823. Anna Groff will be present to talk about the oldest part of the cemetery beginning with the founders of the church, including the Kennedys, and explain its expansion.  Some earlier pictures of the cemetery along with a few artifacts will be available. (Walk)

@1840-The Henderson House, on the corner of Route 41 and Chestnut St., built by Thomas Henderson, is especially important to the Tour as the home of Mary Louisa Walker Roberts, a Gap native who, as a Confederate Nurse, performed many brave and daring exploits to help save her wounded charges. Mary Louisa will be waiting for you to share her charming and cozy home, her lineage in Gap and explain why she served on the Confederate side of the Civil War. (Shuttle stop or drive)

1841—The Kennedy Tenant House, future Historical Museum for Salisbury Township, will be on view from the patio of the Rising Sun Tavern (Four Brothers Diner). The blacksmith shop that was attached to the house is thought to be built in 1801, the house in 1841. Don’t miss this fascinating story and an opportunity to help celebrate this milestone in the history of Salisbury Township.
1865—The Penn Monument Hall, built in 1865 as the Knights of Pythias Hall, first housed the Gap Town Clock as a four-faced eight day striking clock. Because William Penn, on his  way to Conestoga to, stopped at the Gap-in-the Hills overnight in April, 1701, and drank from the spring, now covered, the owners commemorated the event by naming their hall as a monument to Penn. After many uses the building is now The Town Clock Cheese Shop. Enjoy some cheese with your history.( Shuttle stop or drive.)

1872-1894—The Gap Town Clock acquired its well-known tower after the Knights of Pythias, could not pay their taxes and lost the Penn Monument Hall to a sheriff sale. The fate of the town clock reads like a murder mystery. George H. Rutter, who had been on the purchasing committee will tell the tale and show the clock’s mechanism. It is across the street from the Penn Monument Hall.       (Shuttle stop or drive.)

1879—The Worst/Walker House was built by Isaac Walker for his daughter Esther about 1879 on property that contained the Shawnee gardens known to be vegetable gardens for the Shawnee Native Americans. This salt box type house with its tiny rooms known for their artistic décor housed Esther, her husband, Diller Worst and their seven children. Esther will be there to show off her home and tell you how she managed. It is on Bridge St. near the Gap Town Clock. (Shuttle stop or drive.)
1885—The Joseph Coates Walker Grain Elevator was built on the north side of the railroad tracks to allow the wagons to load and unload better.  J.C. Walker himself will be present to talk about his business, his relationship with Governor Hastings and involvement with many civic affairs. Folks may climb to the top of the building to view the town. Pictures and post cards of the Walker family will be on display. The building is presently  LanChester Grill and Hearth. (Walk from Bellevue church.)
1888-89—The Walker Mansion on Newport Avenue, across the street from the Grain Elevator, LanChester Grill and Hearth, was purchased as 1.01 acre June 23, 1888 by E. Enfield Walker from the Pennsylvania Railroad. The house was probably finished by 1889. When Enfield died in 1913, he devised the property to his wife, Nancy. In 1925, she devised it to her brother-in-law, William John Latta Walker for $1.00. It was a state-of-the art home and much admired by the community. The house is in the process of renovation and will be a treat to see. William J. L. and his wife Ellen will be there to welcome you, to show their home and catch you up on the Walker’s of Gap. (Walk from Bellevue Church)
1900—The George T. Sellers House on upper Bellevue Avenue was designed by Emler Urban, the architect of Watt and Shand’s Department store in Lancaster. Sellers owned the Hardware Store that serviced Gap and the entire region and he spared no expense in obtaining elegance and quality in his Queen Anne mansion. George Sellers will be your host to show you his aesthetic house and tell you of his life in Gap, especially concerning his part in developing  the first Fire Department in the town. (Walk from Bellevue Church or drive.)

We hope to see you there!