A bout a month ago, I went on at length about how I thought it was silly to save, for historic reasons, the Avalong Dairy Farm barn in east York.
I pointed out the difference between something having value just because it's old and something having value because it's old and historically significant.
For example: I'm old, but no one is talking about trying to preserve me -- thank goodness.
The house I'm living in is more than 80 years old, older than the Avalong Dairy Farm barn, I'm thinking. No one thinks my house should be preserved, either. That includes me.
I've got underwear and socks half the age of the Avalong Dairy Farm barn -- I don't throw anything away until a hole actually appears -- and I pray to the heavens no one ever thinks it's a good idea to preserve them for any reason.
Unless, that is, some museum wants to create an exhibit making the point that at one time in this country we actually tried to manufacture products that lasted longer than two years before they started falling apart. That would have been the days and years before planned obsolescence took over our industrial/retail thinking.
Anyway, my point was that not everything that's old should be preserved for historic reasons.
Not everyone agreed, of course.
What it comes down to, I guess, is that each of us saves "old" stuff -- some of it valuable and some not -- for different reasons. And each of us draws the line at a different place when it comes to thinking something is old and valuable ... or just old.
I thought the Avalong Dairy Farm barn was old -- anything older than me is old -- but not worth preserving.
I received a bunch of email from people wondering what I considered old and worth preserving for historic reasons. I guess they wanted to know where I drew the line.
OK, I'll try to explain.
The Highpoint and Lauxmont Farms property down by the Susquehanna River -- about 266 acres -- that our former York County commissioners maneuvered taxpayers into paying $73.2 million to preserve as a county park and historic place was not worth preserving for any reason, historic or otherwise. Especially not for that amount of money.
If we could have gotten the Highpoint property -- all 79 acres -- for $3 million to $5 million, I might feel differently about it. Otherwise forget it.
Then there's Camp Security, the 47 acres in Springettsbury Township that is thought to be the site of a Revolutionary War prisoner-of-war camp for two years from 1781 to 1783. The owner of the land, Tim Pasch, agreed to sell it to The Conservation Fund a year ago, for $1.05 million.
The state kicked in $350,000 for the project. That left $750,000 for preservationists to fund. So far, they haven't. The deadline has been extended.
I'm not convinced it has sufficient historic significance. I'm keeping an open mind on that, hoping to be convinced somewhere along the way.
But whether it has historical significance or not, I'd be in favor of preserving the land as a community park, an open space where York countians could spend time hiking, picnicking and enjoying the beautiful scenery without having to drive two hours to find it.
Then there is the Hoke House in Spring Grove, which I know is more than 250 years old (built in 1750 or thereabouts) and the oldest remaining building in or near Spring Grove. It is one of the oldest structures still standing in York County.
That alone would be enough for me to support its preservation for historic purposes.
Add to that, however, the fact the house served as a tavern stop on the Monocacy Trail between Wrightsville and Frederick, Md., in the mid-1700s.
Consider, too, that this country's first president, George Washington, is said to have met with a York delegation there in July 1791.
And, almost 150 years ago, on June 27, 1863, the 35th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry, known as White's Comanches and led by Confederate Col. Elijah V. White, camped on the Hoke farm just days before the Battle of Gettysburg. The 35th was part of the Rebel invasion of Wrightsville and was one of the first Confederate units to arrive on the Gettysburg Battlefield several days later.
In my mind, all of that constitutes historical significance.
There is a difference between something being old and something being old and historically important.
The Hoke House is historically important to Spring Grove, to all of York County.
It's worth saving.
And I hope it can be done.
Since you asked, that's where I draw the line.
Columns by Larry A. Hicks, Dispatch columnist, run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.