The Sara Sweet House
Built in 1825, the Sara Sweet House was built in three layers of plank construction: one vertical, second horizontal, and third vertical. It is typical of homes built by Pennsylvania Dutch. Long windows were added when the Victorian era came along. The horsehair plaster came from the tanning business conducted on this property.
This building is part of the Murray-Mosser (Musser) tannery complex, one of the earliest enterprises in the settlement that became Springfield, and later Boalsburg, when Andrew Stroup began selling lots in his development about 1810. John and Catherine Miller are thought to be the builders of a log house on this large tract of land. Michael Jack bought the property in 1804 and dug the tanyard vats in the side yard before selling to William Murray. While Murray had the Springfield Tannery, other structures on this property included a large bank barn (the foundation still exists), the log house and this plank house. Foundations also exist for out houses. In 1837, Jonathan Mosser became the owner and his sons Henry, Frederick, and John continued the tannery operation for many years. The next owner, Philip Meyer, made changes to the house. He installed large coal and wood burning stoves popular at the time. He also heightened the first floor windows and shutters. The old “summer kitchen” has a big fireplace and oven. It was typical of the era to have a separate summer kitchen to try to keep as much heat outside of the house as possible in the summertime. The house was the girlhood home of Sara Meyers before her marriage to William Nathanial Sweet.
Members of the Boalsburg Conservancy wanted to establish a museum in Boalsburg and this house was purchased in 1983 by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Aikens presented the property to the Museum Association as a gift. The Aikens required that a Trust Fund of $25,000 be raised by the Museum Association, half of it prior to the purchase of the property, and that it be held in escrow with only proceeds from it being used for operating expenses. The Fund was established on schedule with the help of residents in town.
Transfer of deed for the property was accomplished in November of 1983. There is currently no mortgage on the property and loans by residents were gradually paid off. Funds and volunteers are needed to continue to restore and maintain the facilities.
The property of the Sara Sweet House is currently the site of the Boalsburg Heritage Museum which also includes the Light House, the 2008 rebuild of the Bank Barn, and the Summer Kitchen.