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Henry Swoope Farm and Houses

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c. 1858. 7961 PA 305, 1 mile northeast of Alexandria

The two Swoope farmhouses facing each other across PA 305 incorporate much of Design No. 11, “A Plain and Ornamented Villa,” from Samuel Sloan's The Model Architect (1852). Both are square, two-story, three-bay houses with hipped roofs crowned by large, square, three-bay cupolas. One house is brick and one is frame. Each is set well back from the road, but the Henry Swoope house (brick) is distinguished by a tree-lined lane and an enormous barn with vented cupolas, while the frame house is board and batten and has a modern barn for cows, of the type that farmers call a “loafing shed.”

The nearby town of Petersburg at the confluence of Juniata River and Shaver Creek boomed in the 1850s, when the PRR chose to diverge from the old canal route and follow a different branch of the Juniata River. The town soon grew to double the size of its neighbor Alexandria, which had benefited mightily from the canal and expected to host the railroad. Instead, Petersburg became the site of the county's only stockyard (demolished), allowing it to ship agricultural products by rail.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Henry Swoope Farm and Houses", [Alexandria, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 364-364.

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