The mission of the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps is to develop the workplace skills, life skills and self-confidence of corpsmembers; instill an ethic of citizenship; accomplish significant conservation and historical work; and carry out other projects of public benefit. The Corps is committed to a comprehensive approach that fosters a spirit of teamwork and advances the concept of individual empowerment through community service.

 


 
 

 

The PCC accomplished many important projects at the Somerset Historical Center over a period of 25 years with funding ending in 2011. The program's many contributions include:

 
  • Mountain Craft Days.  Every year the crew helped prepare the site for the annual festival that brings 12,000 people to the Somerset Historical Center.  They put up tents, set out picnic tables, chairs, tables, garbage cans and signs.  They help with all aspects of festival set-up.  They have repaired over 100 picnic tables and have built 40 new ones.
     
  • Construction of a building for the 1890s Jacob Emerick Cider Press.  The press features a 40’ long pressing beam that squeezed the apples.  The Cider Press was moved to the Somerset Historical Center and restored by the PHMC and PCC in 1999-2000.
 
     
  • Hanging farm implements on the Fluck Exhibit Hall
 

     
  • Installing rolling shelving in Fluck Exhibit Hall
 

 

   
  • Renovation of Hoffman Hall.  Hoffman Hall is a 50’ by 100’ metal pole barn.  The PCC strengthened and renovated the interior of the building from 2000 to 2001.  Trades and markets are interpreted in Hoffman Hall.  The renovation created more usable interpretive areas to tell the story of various trades in the county.
 
     
  • Renovation of the 1798 Adam Miller Log House, interpreted in the 1830s Farmstead.  When the log house was originally moved to its current location in the 1970s, it was restored incorrectly.  From 2001 to 2002 the PCC properly restored the log house by removing cement from between the logs that had been used as chinking and installing bead board on the walls, among many other improvements that restored the historical integrity to the house.
 
     
  • Construction of a Summer Kitchen for the 1830s Farmstead 2004 to 2005.  The detached summer kitchen helped complete the historical 1830s Farmstead.  This space was used historically to prepare meals, preserve food, and launder clothes, among many other uses.
 
     
  • Construction of a Site Pavilion with a large hearth and beehive oven 2005.  The pavilion serves many purposes on the site from providing an area for school tours to have lunch to hosting programs and workshops.  The pavilion is used throughout the summer, fall and spring months.
 
     
  • Construction of an addition to the 1830s Log Barn, improving it from a single bay to a double bay barn.  Originally constructed by the PCC in the 1980s, the single bay barn was not adequate for the needs of the farm.  Research showed that a double bay was more common in the county. From 2008 to 2009 the PCC added a bay and connected the two bays.
 
     
  • Collections Care projects 2005 to 2011. The PCC worked with the Society Curator to help maintain and improve upon collection areas.  PCC has created many, many platforms to lift collections off the floor in the storage areas. 
 

 

     
  • The PCC have installed jack stands to help support the axles of many of the large farm implements. 
 
     
  • The PCC designed and built signboards used throughout the site to label collections for the public.
 
     
  • They also designed and built stanchions for use all over the site as well.  The crew regularly assisted the Curator, helping prepare exhibits, move collections and preserve collections.
 

     
  • The crew helped with “annual cleaning” every year, just before Mountain Craft Days, getting the buildings ready for the crowds.
 

 

  • Moving the smokehouse to a more appropriate location on the 1830s Farmstead

 

  • Putting up fencing around the 1830s Farmstead.
 

 

 

 

     
   
     
The PCC has helped with many other projects throughout the site from large to small, ranging from setting up tables for programs to building an entry sign, moving and renovating the Haupt Education Center, and building the Haupt Pavilion for family reunions.  Without the help of the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps the Somerset Historical Center would not have been able to accomplish its mission so effectively and offer such a rich and meaningful experience to visitors.