c. 1880 Barn – Biglerville, PA

Added to OHD on 6/15/17   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   51 Comments
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363 Guernsey Rd, Biglerville, PA 17307

Map: Street

  • $129,900
  • 2950 Sq Ft
  • 2.8 Ac.
Featured as #99 in the Adams County Barn Registry. Here is a rare opportunity to obtain a Historic Adams County Landmark. 4 Story Barn with concrete floors, stalls, water pumping mechanicals, hay loft, and staircases that lead to the tower. In addition to the barn, you will find the ice house and tea shed. Property is perc approved, 3 wells and electric service on site. Property is ready to be restored, or ready to build. 2.80 Acres.. Listing Agent :Alycia N Hays - Broker :RE/MAX of Gettysburg - Office: 717-338-0881
Contact Information
Alycia Hays, ReMax of Gettysburg
(717) 338-0881
Links, Photos & Additional Info

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51 Comments on c. 1880 Barn – Biglerville, PA

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11847 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    From 1988 newspaper article that included a photo, “The town’s only mansion, the Guernsey Manor House, is a beautiful gothic structure with 19 rooms, a closed-in porch and a summer kitchen. The Adams County Historical Society newsletter says that house was originally built by a man named Edwin Tyson.”


    Photo Credit

    Thanks Shannah302 for sharing!

    That’s as far as I got with research. Perhaps someone can find out what became of the house.

    2
  2. David G says: 7 comments

    Too bad the house is gone, but with enough funds it could be replaced with a replica. Stranger things have happened.

    2
  3. Kathy Marinucci says: 10 comments

    Edwin Tyson (the man who built this house) was my ancestor. This house was known as Loma Vista. Its last owner was Marion Harbaugh, who, unfortunately, let the house crumble into disrepair as it stood empty and unoccupied for decades. It burned to the ground a few years ago. Arson was suspected.

    1
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11847 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Thanks Kathy for the info. Glad the barn didn’t have the same fate.

    • Carole says: 29 comments

      I know it costs to keep buildings up, believe me, I know, but that was a grand looking place. Sad that it fell into disrepair. I hope whoever buys the property retains the barn.

      1
    • Kathy Marinucci says: 10 comments

      I confirmed with my family that Uncle Ned did not build Loma Vista, he only owned it.

    • says: 5 comments

      My Fiance’ & I recently learned from someone who knew Marion Thomas Harbaugh personally- that plans were in place to restore the Manor, they were actually about to begin the project when Mr. Harbaugh died. Marion Thomas Harbaugh loved the property but for reasons unknown to myself, she didn’t continue with restoration plans. I suspect the death of her husband may have had something to do with it. The property was sold at auction from her estate after she died. She was a unique individual who loved her community- a quick online search of her in Biglerville, PA reveals allot of how awesome she was!

      1
      • Kathy Marinucci says: 10 comments

        My mother, who was a classmate of Marion (Biglerville Hiigh School Class of 1948), told me years ago that Marion said she was keeping Loma Vista as a “shrine” to her late husband. Shrines are usually kept in good repair. Even so, Marion was a fascinating woman.
        The Loma Vista property is (back?) on the market. Here’s the link:
        https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/363-Guernsey-Rd_Biglerville_PA_17307_M44882-96278?ex=PA604305117

        • says: 5 comments

          I totally agree that it’s a shame Loma Vista was not kept in good repair Kathy. I found the following in a 2009 entry in a blog entitled, ‘ALWAYS A CIVIL GIRL, My life in a small town near Gettysburg, PA (only not so much);

          Marion Harbaugh and her sister Jean Thomas had ambitions far beyond shop keeping at their Country Store in Biglerville. They undertook the incredible task of planning the $4 Million Harbaugh-Thomas Memorial Library, a structure that includes elements from the classical designs of Mt. Vernon and Franklin Roosevelt’s Springwood estate in Hyde Park, New York and is complete with a golden weathervane atop the cupola.

          I know she was also very involved in helping the Senior Citizens in the Biglerville area as well as she donated thousands of dollars worth of antiques to the Adams County Historical Society. I guess her ambitions where spread too thin.. to the demise of Loma Vista.

          Yes, the land where Loma Vista once stood & the barn are back on the market. Hopefully not for long. It’s beyond time for it to receive the much needed TLC it deserves. It’s time for it to be brought back to life again!

          2
  4. RosewaterRosewater says: 6568 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    House schmouse – I’ll take it! Sweet! Wish the agent had opted for standard lens instead of the arty farty bit. I really like the color of this barn; but it could be purple – who knows. If that weathered, whitewashed, livestock area really looks like that = big +. You could trim out the whole place with that brilliantly patinated wood: and those doors(!), oh the possibilities. It’s great that they are still there too, considering the current artsy fad of ganking them for HGTV “projects”. Huge opportunity for someone to do a RAD conversion with this GREAT barn.

    2
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11847 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Think this is an example of good HDR. I actually like this kind of HDR, makes some things that you normally don’t see in regular photos stand out more.

      • Joe says: 754 comments

        Dear Kelly, I don’t know what HDR is. The pictures do have really good resolution. Oh I just guessed High Definition Resolution is that it?

      • CharlestonJohn says: 1128 comments

        That’s the entire purpose of High Dynamic Range photography: To see details that you normally would not be able to or to see scenes in a way just not possible with traditional photography. HDR pics are actually a combination of several images taken very quickly at different exposures of the same scene. The underexposed pics are combined with the overexposed pics to create a single image with far greater range than any single photo can produce. How these images are processed determines how much different they look from a regular pic. I’ve found HDR photography can be useful for real estate pictures to both show intricate details of specific features by using just a little HDR, or to create a mood with landscape or wide angle exterior shots and heavily processed pics.

        Here’s one I’m using for a listing for a lot I’m selling here… Just trying to set a mood to get people thinking about putting their new home here.
        https://flic.kr/p/VB47Su

    • Kathy Marinucci says: 10 comments

      The barn was painted black quite a few years ago and it looked really nice. Now it’s a very faded black.

      • RosewaterRosewater says: 6568 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1875 Italianate cottage
        Noblesville, IN

        Black! Lol. Right – looks blue / gray to me. I know I’ve used this example before, but it really serves to show the difference. This, (amazing), house has the most beautiful quarter swan oak woodwork, and hdr makes it look like 70’s trailer c__p. The pix that I have are from two different listings; one set is real, the other hdr. It just bugs me in MLS pix cause you never know what you’re really seeing.
        https://www.flickr.com/photos/regulusalpha/albums/72157641494452563/with/12764242134/ 🙂

        Kelly’s pic of the inside of the cabin vs. mine is also a good example:
        https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2013/05/23/1912-classical-revival-tellico-plains-tn/

        • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11847 comments
          Admin

          1901 Folk Victorian
          Chestatee, GA

          But both are HDR, one is just way more HDR’d than the others. HDR is good when used lightly, not so good when it makes the colors dreamy and out of whack enough to distort the trueness of what is actually there.

          Funny, I just drove by that house on Wednesday (well, drive by as in saw it sitting in the distance from town.)

        • Joe says: 754 comments

          If that first house has quarter sawn oak, then I agree that HDR isn’t good. The trim looks like paint grade wood in those photos.

      • Joe says: 754 comments

        Dear Kathy, I would love to see more pictures of what the house and property looked like. Do you have any in your family, or know someone who does?
        When I was a child, when your manners were not so good people would say, “What! Do you live in a barn?” Now, I’d show them this one and say, “no, but I’d like to live in this one”. I love it as it is and think that the idea of recreating the house is a great one as long as the barn is kept in good repair. The matching wood shed has appeal too. I wonder what the use of the cylindrical building was. It looks too small to be a silo. This is a new one on me. It’s a barn, with a tower, with a mansard roof, with a hat-like roof on top!!!! Certainly unusual, but also appealing. I hope the barn is preserved. It would make a dynamite house, but would lose so many interesting features in the process.

        • Kathy Marinucci says: 10 comments

          Joe, the “cylindrical house” had been a water tank. They put in windows and called it the “tea House.” The owner’s sister loved to sit in there and read.
          The owner, the late Marion Harbaugh, held card games with her friends in the top level of the tower of the barn. She hired local woman to clean that room and to carry food–such as finer sandwich, I imagine–up to the card games.

          1
    • Joe says: 754 comments

      Dear Rosewater, Shouldn’t the OHD community have the right to review house conversion plans for this barn. It could be a big disaster if the plastic people came in and put something like vinyl on the outside.

      • RosewaterRosewater says: 6568 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1875 Italianate cottage
        Noblesville, IN

        Doubt it Joe. This one needs to much work to be a profitable flip – thankfully. As for otherwise misguided individuals – eh – c’est la vie. It’s going to take someone like the guy who did the recent grist mill to make this one work.

  5. MW says: 902 comments

    Looks like a very interesting and unique barn, love that. Not sure about black, looks blue to me, which I like. But maybe it is the over saturated color filters throwing it off, which I do not like. Would highly prefer they just filter them accurately, no Instagramming them.

    As for the house, maybe now is a good opprtunity for someone to relocate or rebuild some other old house there from some other location.

    • Kathy Marinucci says: 10 comments

      The barn was painted black (or a very dark gray) some years ago. I saw it in person! It is now very faded, but absolutely not blue.

  6. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 1024 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1905 Neoclassic & 1937 Deco

    I would be thrilled to live in that barn! What gorgeous architecture.

  7. JimHJimH says: 5127 comments
    OHD Supporter

    The farm was owned by Cyrus S. Griest, part owner of the adjacent railroad. He sold it to his brother-in-law Andrew J. Koser who built the house and barn about 1885. The farm was later sold to Griest’s daughter Maria and her husband Charles John Tyson, who expanded the house about 1902. The Edwin Tyson mentioned was one of their sons.
    Here’s another small photo of the house:
    http://www.nationalapplemuseum.com/adamscty02.html

    I’d preserve the barn as-is, and move an old farmhouse onto the property. Or maybe another 19 room mansion if I could find one cheap and close by.

  8. JimHJimH says: 5127 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Thanks, it was huge!
    Minor correction/addition on the owners:
    Cyrus S. Griest, Mrs Andrew J. Koser (Lizzie) and Mrs C. J. Tyson (Maria) were siblings and all owned the property at one time.
    I’m sure Kathy knows the history of this interesting Quaker family. C.J. Tyson and his brother Isaac started out as photographers in Gettysburg, and they took some of the most famous photos of the aftermath of the Battle.
    C.J. Tyson later got rich in the nursery and fertilizer business, and built a few mansions that he left for his children. This one is pretty cool too, and still stands:
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/88/a3/49/88a349cc63e4d6ea7ba4d37ddbec7723.jpg

  9. Kathy Marinucci says: 10 comments

    Jim, the photo you posted, taken in the 1940s, is of Hill House, just a few miles from Loma Vista. It was built in 1902 and is where I grew up. My sister and her family now own it. It has always been owned by our family and has never been on the market.
    It was CJ’s son, Chester, who built Hill House, then had 12 children to fill it. It’s the only house the Tysons built, although they owned several large houses in the area.

  10. Jan Ramey says: 26 comments

    I would live in this barn too and I don’t have a problem with conversions. I would however, do as little as possible in changing walls, etc. Moving another house to the site and living in it would not be as interesting to me. I would rather move other vintage farm buildings and have an organic farm and animal sanctuary. I live in a rural area where there always seem to be a surplus of farm animals and pets that need homes. That lovely big old barn would be perfect. Remember, in the past many people lived with the farm animals on the lower floor or an area attached to the house. Since my husband and I think animals and old houses and people go together, this is just the place.

    2
  11. SueSue says: 1130 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1802 Cape
    ME

    There are lots of barn house plans out there where your horses live below you. Some states don’t allow it but most do. My mother always wanted to convert a barn into a house. She never got that wish but put an apartment into her 15 year old barn that is connected to her house. It’s beautiful!!! I would happily convert this barn into my home and the horses home.

    1
  12. julie A.julie A. says: 161 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1914 foursquare farmhouse
    New Germany, MN

    i will take it! the barn is amazing! faded colors and all!

    1
  13. Donald B. Benson says: 4 comments

    “Loma Vista, Guernsey, Pa” was the address of my grandfather Oscar H. Benson from around 1929 to perhaps 1951. O. H. Benson was nationally famous as a principal founder of 4-H and Junior Achievement, author of a best-selling agricultural textbook, youth leader, and inspirational speaker. During his service as head of Rural Scouting for the BSA (with national headquarters in New York), he returned home to Guernsey (with a Biglerville phone number) by train every weekend. The house pictured was much too large for my grandfather and his family at that stage of life. Was there a smaller property nearby that shared the name “Loma Vista”? Don Benson

    1
  14. Donald B. Benson says: 4 comments

    Last night I found photos of Loma Vista Farm, with the house and barn looking to be in excellent condition, in an Oscar H. Benson family scrapbook. It was the family home from about 1930 to 1941 when my grandparents built and moved to a new house on Lincoln Hwy west of Gettysburg. This should add historic interest to the property, given the national prominence of O. H. Benson in agriculture and youth work.

    2
  15. Don Benson says: 4 comments

    The scrapbook was scanned onto a DVD by a cousin whose parents were married in a garden ceremony at Loma Vista. I’ll try to isolate, copy, and post the Loma Vista photos.

    1
  16. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11847 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Thanks Don!

    2
    • says: 5 comments

      So beautiful in it’s glory with awesome big windows! Wish so much there were interior pictures of both the manor & barn to see. One can only imagine!

      Thanks for sharing these Don! = )

      1
  17. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11847 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Note on back of photo by Elizabeth Benson Wolf: “O. H. Benson after retirement from Lone Scouts Dir., BSA, with his Scout uniform on while working with Lone Scouts in Adams County, Pa. (in back of our home, Loma Vista, Guernsey, Pa.)”

  18. says: 5 comments

    The barn is definitely blue now! Saw it myself just a few days ago! I have a few pictures I took. I’ll email them to Kelley. = )

  19. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11847 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Thanks Susan!

  20. says: 5 comments

    I regret I didn’t think to back the truck out before taking the barn photos. Sorry!

    The third picture was taken from the approximate 14x14ft room just under the room at the top of the tower. Windows surround both rooms with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

    The last two pictures were taken from the top room of the tower. It’s no wonder Marion Thomas Harbaugh loved inviting her friends to play cards and eat finger sandwiches in the top of the tower!

    And yes, it was very scary up there- haha!

    = )

  21. Steffie Cannella-Beck says: 1 comments

    I was researching the Underground Railroad and came upon this video. It states this barn was an integral part:
    https://youtu.be/8tyyb0A20SM

    • JimHJimH says: 5127 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Hi Steffie,
      The info in the video is nonsense! The railroad, mansion and barn (not a train station) were all built long after the Underground Railroad period.

      2
  22. Kathy Marinucci says: 10 comments

    Where did this guy get this stuff? So much of what he said is dead wrong! First of all, he mispronounced “Griest.” It rhymes with “feisty.” What he claims was the general store was actually the country club. ARGH

  23. Jason B says: 197 comments

    I’m glad I am not the only person on OHD with a passion to someday relocate/rebuild/replicate an otherwise doomed, dilapidated, previously magnificent house from an “undesirable / doomed due to development” to a more suitable resting spot / location such as this, or perhaps more acreage. That has been my dream for most of my adult life, but I am pushing 50 now, & time is growing shorter. 🙂

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