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History Almost History

A friend saw workers beginning to demolish an old computer store in Silver Spring, Pa., and called local historian Christine Musser. She took a look and sprang into action: That old computer store, also recently used by a used-car business, has a place in the history of the Bill of Rights. In 1788, it was the James Bell Tavern, where, as the Constitution was being ratified, central Pennsylvanians met to push for amendments — or other measures if amendments could not be peacefully obtained. Musser, who serves on the township’s preservation committee, contacted other officials, and the developer, Triple Crown Corp., apparently agreed to halt the demolition, at least for a time. The company did, it seems, have a permit to destroy the building: Township Supervisor David Lenker II said the municipality had failed to designate the tavern as historic. (AC/Harrisburg Patriot-News) ...Old buildings are a little like rights: If you don’t keep an eye on them, you lose them.
Original Publication Date: 24 January 2016
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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