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Future of Shelter House in question without support

The Shelter House Society is seeking assistance in ensuring the future of the historic 1734 colonial log cabin in Emmaus.

For those new to Emmaus, the Shelter House is located on the northern slope of South Mountain on the southeastern boundary of Emmaus, near the end of South Fourth and Fairview streets near the athletic field.

The Shelter House is owned by the Borough of Emmaus. It is a two-story, eight-room log cabin constructed before the Revolutionary War of 1776. It is believed to be the oldest structure in the Lehigh Valley and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1974, the society’s membership totaled over 500. Every year since, the membership has been decreasing to a count of 119 members in 2023.

As of Jan. 1, the Shelter House Society, along with the Knauss Homestead and the 1803 House became members of the new Emmaus Historical Commission. Each of the three historic home organizations are authorized to have two members and one alternate member on the commission. The Shelter House Society has only one person to volunteer for the position.

The Shelter House also needs volunteers with the skills needed to manage the society. With the continued loss of members and the “elderly” members of those serving on the board of directors, the future of this society is in question.

President Dave Biles is appealing to anyone with an interest in local history to consider joining the Shelter House Society.

Send a note to the Shelter House Society, P.O. Box 254, Emmaus 18049.