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

Lost

Strained by the weight of nearly a half-million pounds of snow during what has become known as the Winter of 1994, the century-old Mount Gretna Playhouse collapsed in February. The historic open-air theater was built in the Lebanon County summer resort in 1892 by carpenter John Cilley, a self­-taught engineer. Measuring one hundred feet in diameter and shaped like an umbrella, the facility’s conical roof was supported by twenty-six chestnut posts. Plans are underway to construct a new playhouse on the site. Individu­als interested in making contributions are encouraged to write: Mount Gretna Playhouse Building Fund, P. O. Box 111, Mount Gretna, PA; or telephone (717) 964-2046.

 

Found

Completed in 1808, the historic Forty-Fort Meeting House in Forty-Forty, Luzerne County, is an extremely rare example of a New England­-style meeting house in northeastern Pennsylvania. The wood frame structure, measur­ing forty by fifty feet, was designed and built by Joseph Hitchcock of New Haven, Connecticut. The building originally served two congrega­tions: Presbyterians and Methodists living on the west side of the Susquehanna River. An architectural treasure that played a significant role in the development of organized religion in the Wyoming Valley, the Forty-Fort Meeting house remains the least-altered example of New England­-influenced building style in the anthracite region.