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Attention! Attention! Press Release for Bank Barns Speaker Series!

News for Immediate Release June 25, 2012
Bank Barns are Focus of South Mountain Speaker Series Lecture in July

Harrisburg – Bank barns of the Cumberland Valley will be the topic of the next lecture in the South Mountain Speakers Series on Thursday, July 19 at the Community Center in Norlo Park, Guilford Township, Franklin County.

Bank barns are barns that are often built into the side of a hill, or bank, so that both the upper and lower levels of the barn are accessible at ground level.

Dianna Heim, author of the book "Cumberland Valley Barns: Past and Present," and Phil Schaff, local barn photographer and researcher will offer a free lecture beginning at 7 p.m. at the center, 3050 Lincoln Way East. 

Heim and Schaff will talk about area barns; how development has impacted the farms on which they stand; their remaining numbers; the results of a statewide barn survey; and the ‘green’ heating and cooling methods of barns.

“Barns are the reason the agricultural productivity of south-central Pennsylvania grew, flourished and became the basis of every form of industry in southcentral Pennsylvania,” said Allen Dieterich-Ward, an assistant professor of history at Shippensburg University and the chair of the South Mountain Partnership committee on the speaker series. “In addition to establishing the region’s economy, these houses of labor are part of our cultural heritage.”

Pennsylvania has 182 farms and barns listed on the National Register of Historic Properties.

This is the third year for the South Mountain Speakers Series, envisioned as a revival of the talks given by Joseph Rothrock in the late 19th century as part of his work to preserve and restore Pennsylvania’s forests and natural landscape.  Rothrock, a Pennsylvania native, was a pioneer in forest management in the United States and is often referred to as the state’s “Father of Forestry.”

This event is sponsored by the Fulton Center for Sustainable Living at Wilson College, Guilford Township and the South Mountain Partnership. The South Mountain Partnership is a group of private citizens, businesses, nonprofit organizations and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, working together to protect and enhance the landscape.

The partnership was sparked by DCNR’s Conservation Landscape Initiative, an effort to engage communities, local partners, state agencies and funding opportunities to conserve the high-quality natural and cultural resources while enhancing the region’s economic viability.

The series will continue with “Fierce Friends: The Story of Snakes and Bats” on Aug. 26 at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center in Cumberland County.

For more information about the speaker series, visit or call the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.

Some of the earlier lectures in the speaker series can now be found on Youtube at

Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101