In reading the many articles and letters to the editor on the “Save the Garman” project and group, it has caused me to reflect on the group and project from a different perspective.
We have been described, among other things, as unrealistic and idealistic. I consider the group neither. I consider us visionary, not unlike many other groups from the past to the present.
I have reflected on the vision of the Founding Fathers of Bellefonte, who carved out a community of industry and wealth in the late 1700s. Of the generous responses was a gift of 200 acres by a gentleman farmer and ironmaster from Bellefonte for an agricultural university, now Penn State University.
I have been reminded of the historic preservation movement that began in the 1970s by a group of residents who wanted to build a park along Spring Creek, now Talleyrand Park; of a group that enlisted the aid of a dedicated individual and saved a gristmill from demolition, now the Gamble Mill; and of the group that worked to see that about 400 buildings in the area are now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Do we need to and can we “Save the Garman”? Is there a plan for the preservation, rehabilitation and sustainability of the Garman?
Will saving the Garman aid the economy and revitalization of downtown Bellefonte?
Yes. Because we have a vision!
Sally Houser, Bellefonte