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.