Harmony Historical Society Dedicates Bridge On Ashville Property
ASHVILLE — Visitors to the Harmony Historical Society property are now encouraged to smile as they traverse the 33-acre space it operates in Ashville.
This suggestion is permanently imprinted on a plaque at the site of a newly constructed bridge that was dedicated at the site of the Charles Masters Memorial Nature Trail in memory of its namesake Sunday.
The dedication was attended by historical society members, local Boy Scouts Troop 141, community members, and the Masters family: Susan Rowan Masters, wife, and Jon and Ted, sons, of the late Charles “Chuck” Masters, who passed away on Oct. 23 and previously served as head trustee of the Harmony Historical Society. Chuck Masters, a lifelong area resident, loved and cared for the grounds, and conceived of a bridge that would allow visitors to traverse the swampy area of the property and cross over to dry land for the purpose of picnicking or camping.
That vision was realized this year via a project undertaken by Troop 141, headed by 15-year-old Scout member Michael Clamp — with some guidance by the troop’s Scout master, Peter Radka. Clamp designed the bridge, purchased and delivered the wood and materials for the project — which were provided, at cost, by Lowe’s in Warren, Pa. — and directed the building of the bridge by his fellow Scout members.
Radka said the project took his troop approximately 400 hours to complete, and praised the efforts of Clamp and the troop as a unit.
“This was Mike’s project, and it’s the culmination of the scouting career for a Scout,” Radka said. “They have to plan a project, do a proposal, get it approved and then make sure they lead the work. They don’t necessarily need to do the work on the project, but they need to lead the work. I think it’s a wonderful project and it turned out pretty nicely.”
John Brown, historical society treasurer, welcomed visitors to the dedication ceremony and unveiled the plaque that sits adjacent to the angled bridge.
“We were so proud and happy to help Susan realize this dream that she and Chuck had, along with their sons, Jon and Ted, to have a trail that all can enjoy as we further develop our property,” Brown said. “This nature trail is part of a larger project that we’re undertaking, which is to promote the use of the property, and this is one way for us to do that.”
Brown led the group across the bridge and through some of the trails that have been fashioned on the property, pointing out the intention for campsites and a connecting system of trails that would take visitors from one end of the grounds to the other to be constructed in the near future. Refreshments were then provided, and a toast in Chuck Masters’ honor concluded the dedication ceremony.
The Harmony Historical Society is located at 1943 Open Meadows Road in Ashville. The bridge can be found in the forested area behind and between the old schoolhouse and the property’s main facility.