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Orefield resident keeps an eye on Wehr’s Dam


Special to The Press

For all those who may find themselves at Wehr’s Dam, South Whitehall, look for a 2001 Chevy Cavalier parked nearby.

The owner is Leroy Schmidt, 82, of Orefield, who has spent 70 years volunteering at various locations, and also monitoring activities at the dam.

He will gladly talk with anyone interested in the history of the dam and his opposition to removing the dam when it came to South Whitehall Township deciding its fate.

The Wildlands Conservancy had recommended the dam be removed in 2014, as it was not compatible with a healthy Jordan Creek.

Schmidt was one of many who were vocal in their objections to destroying the dam.

The planned demolition was subsequently canceled by the South Whitehall Township board.

A 2016 referendum to borrow $600,000 for repairs to the dam was approved by some 53 percent of voters in the township.

Major restoration work was completed in February.

PRESS PHOTO BY LOU WHEELAND Leroy Schmidt, 82, of Orefield, has spent 70 years volunteering at various activities and monitoring activities at Wehr'S Dam at Covered Bridge Park, South Whitehall. Wehr's Dam is shown behind him on Oct. 20.