Route 981 Section Q20 Project Cultural Resources
Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, any project that receives federal assistance (funds, permits, licenses, etc.) must consider the effects of their project on historic properties. These are properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), the nation's list of properties worthy of preservation.
As part of the project planning process, PennDOT seeks to avoid or minimize effects to historic properties. In some cases that is not possible and the project results in an adverse effect to historic properties. This means that the project diminishes the qualities that make a property eligible for the NRHP. PennDOT must mitigate the effects of the project on historic properties and we must compensate for the loss of or damage to historic properties.
The Route 981 Section Q20 project resulted in an Adverse Effect to two aboveground historic properties which are eligible for listing in the NRHP: the Reynold-Shultz Farm and the Fisher-Trout Farm. Two of the main public outreach efforts resulting from public consultation process included scanning of the Mount Pleasant Area Historical Society's hard-copy collection of the Mount Pleasant Journal newspaper to make it accessible to the public and the production of an online storyboard focusing on historic preservation and historic agricultural practices with emphasis on the characteristics of the Allegheny Mountains Part-Time and General Farming, 1840-1960 historic context.
View Historic Context
Recognizing that the consideration of historic properties is a public benefit, PennDOT strives to educate the public about the historic resources as part of these mitigation efforts. The story map is part of those efforts.
View Story Map
According to Mr. Gene Kowaleski, a representative of the Mount Pleasant Historical Society, the scanning opened up "many avenues…for research and access to the public," of this collection. "Future plans [of the historical society] include purchasing computers for the public to use to access the publications at our facility. Now, the historical society will be working on soliciting funding for more computers and supplies for the public to research. Since the journals are now electronic, a simple search of a keyword can help the researcher find what they are looking for which, in turn, brings more people to the organization and more opportunity to fund raise." Many of the images scanned under this effort have been featured on the Historical Society's Facebook page.
For additional information regarding access to these documents please contact the Mount Pleasant Historical Society, located at 422 Washington Street, Mt. Pleasant, PA 15666, at 724-547-9155 or