Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ironmaster's Mansion Operations To Transition To Appalachian Trail Museum In 2020

The Central PA Conservancy recently announced the Appalachian Trail Museum will assume responsibility for operating the Ironmaster's Mansion in Adams County as of January 1, 2020, following the end of CPC's 10-year lease with DCNR. 
Since 1983, the facility has served as a popular overnight hostel for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers who traverse northbound or southbound along the trail's 2,190 miles between Maine and Georgia. 
The Appalachian Trail passes along the Mansion's south balcony (shown in photo), just steps from the surveyed halfway mark.
"CPC entered its tenure at the Ironmaster's Mansion in the spirit of partnership, and we are thrilled to pass along operations to a very capable partner organization--the A.T. Museum," says Ken Waidelich, CPC's President. "With an on-site presence at Pine Grove Furnace State Park and a commitment to the facility's historical integrity and use as a hiker's hostel, the AT Museum is a great fit as steward for the next decade." 
Beginning in 2010, CPC completely renovated the dilapidated facility with the help of local trail clubs, volunteers, local funders, and CPC membership contributions. 
It hosted a youth conservation leadership camp there for 6 years (Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute), the annual Ironmaster's Challenge trail running event (which will continue in 2020), and opened it up to outside groups for events such as school, scout and church youth retreats, family reunions, weddings, showers, and environmental and community/history programming. CPC created marketing materials, events, and a modern website for the Ironmaster's Mansion. 
A private guest suite was added in 2017, supported with a grant from Cumberland Valley Visitor's Bureau, and other improvements and necessary maintenance was made along the way. We thank our hard-working, on-site innkeepers over the years, who cared for the historic building and ran the day-to-day operations of the hostel. 
While CPC is turning to focus on its growing land conservation projects in the region, it's proud to have played a role in sustaining the facility and its viability as one of the few remaining hiker's hostels on the A.T. in Pennsylvania. 
The partnership with DCNR, the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Cumberland Valley Visitor's Bureau, and other local groups is critical to its continued success. The Appalachian Trail Museum already has strong ties with these entities and has a good strategy in place to achieve its organizational goals while continuing similar uses.
The Museum is working in partnership with CPC to maintain current operations, with some modifications such as increased hours and programming. 
In the future, the Museum will install exhibits there as well as utilize it for storing items from the Museum collection and housing Museum volunteers. The hostel will remain open to the public for overnight stays as well as for groups and events. 
CPC's Board of Directors would like to thank all of our members and supporters for the many years of helping us steward and operate this historic, local treasure, and we ask for your continued support as we transition to scaling up the organization's regional land conservation program. 
The CPC Board has been working hard on a new strategic plan, which it intends to approve and release in October of this year. 
For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the Central PA Conservancy website.

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