BY ROB ANDERSEN
A formal agreement between the Warren County Historical Society and the Allegheny National Forest is helping the WCHS with their annual tour of the former Irvine-Newbold Estate.
The hour-long tour will be held at 1 p.m. on May 17, beginning at the Wilder Museum in Irvine, and will include "Living History" presentations along the way by the Allegheny Storytellers Guild.
Michelle Gray, WCHS managing director, said, "Gary Dunn (the archaeologist for the ANF) approached us about five years ago to see if we could make that property more accessible."
As a result of that meeting, an agreement was reached.
Gray said that by forming a partnership, "We each bring our own capabilities and resources to the table." she added that the historical society is a 501 c(3) non-profit, eligible for grants from various sources.
The agreement spells out a five-year plan to improve pedestrian access to, and interpretation of the estate to enhance heritage tourism, as well as to identify funding sources.
Plans include clearing, restoring and marking paths around and through the estate
Work this year will focus on clearing under- and over- growth, resetting stone steps at the former ice storage house using a prison crew, assessing the stabilization of the ice house, work on funding, purchasing and fabricating informational signs and enlisting local garden clubs, individuals and Scouts for various projects.
Last year, a GPS map was constructed listing estate features, including pathways, and Irvine developments along the Brokenstraw Creek.
Gray said, "The goal of the historical society (with this tour) is to educate people on the Newbold Estate."