Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.


In bold defiance of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, which required citizens to aid in the recovery of runaway slaves, Quaker abolitionist Thomas Bon­sall offered sanctuary to escaping slaves on his farm in West Caln Township, Chester County. Bon­sall, a stationmaster on the Underground Railroad for thirty years, secreted southern run­aways in the second-floor granary of his bank barn, a stop on the Underground Railroad. Known also as the Saalbach barn, it was bequeathed in 1993 as part of a 229-acre parcel by George Saal­bach to the Brandywine Valley Association. For nearly a decade, the watershed’s members wrestled with what to do with their legacy. Their dilemma was resolved on May 12, 2002, when one hundred-mile-per-hour winds leveled the historic building.



Built in 1816 in Montrose, Susquehanna County, to house the first bank in northeastern Pennsylvania, the Silver Lake Bank was converted to a private residence in 1829. It was purchased in 1841 by Francis B. Chandler, an abolitionist and member of the Susquehanna Anti-­Slavery Society. Organized in 1836, the Susquehanna Anti-Slavery Society advocated an immediate end to slavery and remained active through 1865. The society hosted an Anti-Slavery Convention for Bradford, Luzerne, Susquehanna,and Wayne Counties in Montrose in 1839. Grants from the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures and the PHMC’s Key­stone Historic Preservation Grant programs will help restore the building, which now houses the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies.