You are also welcome to join SWA on interactive sites:
Swatara QR Code. Save to your phone.
It's all about Clean Water. Post your pictures of our events, water conservation, floods, pollution. Share your memories about the Swatara.... Our projects and areas of interest include the Bordner Cabin, Eagle Scout Projects, PA Conservation Corps, Swatara State Park, Swatara River, Swatara Sojourn, Swatara Water Trail, Tenaska, Swatara Watershed Park, and Water Companies.
Swatara on Great Nonprofits: http://www.greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/swatara-watershed-association
Lebanon, PA USA
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Armar Bordner Cabin
Drive thru Swatara State Park the 2nd Fri & Sat monthly & 4th Fri & Sat Mar, Apr, Sep & Oct.
YouTube 17:37 on the Bordner Cabin narrated by 89 year old Armar Bordner Interview 1993
YouTube channel with interviews of Armar and people who knew him: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZKOIJ5vZ2KLbCwv1E1MuilkQOx5kwx8I
Take a Hike map to the Bordner Cabin
The Bordner Cabin was a "point of interest" on the proposed Heritage Trail in Swatara State Park and is a point of interest on the Swatara Water Trail; a place for artists to paint nature; a picnic spot; or a platform for people to sit and gaze at the falls.
Bordner's Cabin was created from oak logs and stone found on the site. Each log and stone is masterfully hand hewn or cut. Look closely at the bottom side of each log, and you will see a convex arch running the length of each log allowing the upper log to sit snuggly upon the log underneath. Between each log, you will find the original horse hair chinking. Look down the side of a stone wall or the fireplace, and you'll see how straight the stone for the walls was cut. Most homes and barns in the area use field stone that may be rounded or jagged, but not cut with precision. Notice the natural heat-a-laters in the sides of the fireplace. Cool air was drawn into the bottom holes as the warmed air escaped through the top holes.
In addition to growing up at the Coleman and Brock estate where Stella, his mother, cooked for Deborah Norris Coleman Brock, Armar studied Frank Lloyd Wright, and construction pictures show logs that cantilever towards Aycriggs Falls. Piers stabilize the cantilever system. No doubt, Armar picked up skills from master craftsmen who worked for the Colemans and Brocks, visited National Parks, and other architectural sites, to combine everything he liked into one cabin that he called home.
Next, the only deviation we can determine from the original blueprints is a lowered floor in what was Armar's drafting room over the garage. From the outside, you can see where a window was filled in with logs. Within the room, you can see where logs were cut off about 2' up the side walls. Also, the rafters are notched slightly to raise the height of the ceiling in this room.
In the drafting room, there's a trap door where, during nasty weather, he could hand groceries or firewood up to Peg, his wife.
The master bedroom was along Rattling Run, and Linda, Armar's daughter, used the middle room. Guests stayed in the balcony room. Look on the floor, and you'll see lines were built-in cupboards ran the length of each side.
Armar had fought eminent domain by the old DER who wanted to build Swatara State Park and a dam, and was able to live out his life in his hand-built home. He died looking up at Aycrigg's Falls in a bed in front of the fireplace, .
Saving the building from condemnation and dismantling, on June 12, 2006, Swatara Watershed Association signed and returned their first lease to DCNR, which was returned fully executed in August 2006. Repairs to Labor and Industry standards were completed in December 2015. A second 10-year lease was executed through December 31, 2025. Please consider a donation to help with ongoing maintenance, supplies and/or volunteer to adopt the cabin for a month. Projects to be funded: a porta-potty May 1 through October 31 annually, walkway, repair fireplace, stain building, solar tubes at entrance.
Please follow all Park rules. Do not enter the Park before sunrise. Exit the Park by sunset. Carry out your trash....
Wish List of Cabin projects: You have an opportunity to sponsor a project with a bequest, donation, and/or your gift of time and talent to help us take the Bordner Cabin to a condition that will last another 7 decades so that future generations will be able to learn, explore, and appreciate real workmanship with a passion. So what would we like done?
Stewards for all months! J Adopt-A-Cabin to monitor and spruce up for a month (sweep, pick up litter, pull weeds, clean the Plexiglas with a special solution, deter vandals and graffiti with your presence, share the history and answer questions posed by visitors) Take along a broom, dust pan, hammer and nails:
Many of the cabin users are there Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 12-6 with the heaviest usage 12-4. Adopt-a-cabin volunteers are encouraged to visit during those hours to garner support and stewardship for the cabin.
Where: Bordner Cabin—Take Route 72 north from the City of Lebanon. Continue north through the Lickdale intersection past Swift Trucking.
To volunteer or make a donation, contact the Swatara Watershed Association at (717)644-4698, mail a check to SWA, 2302 Guilford St., Lebanon PA 17046, or http://www.greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/swatara-watershed-association for more information. We respectfully request that you remember the Swatara Watershed Association in your will. Your generous support will ensure that our Clean Water projects will benefit generations to come. Thank you.
The Bordner Cabin is created in the Rustic style of architecture, which is defined by the National Park Service as structures built between 1916 - 1942 such as a log cabin that is so highly stylized in its attempt to be non-intrusive that it attracts the immediate attention of those who are accustomed to the simplicity and frequent sterility of contemporary architecture. It may be built of over-sized, rough-hewn logs and stones with its obviously intensive use of hand labor and its clear rejection of the regularity and symmetry of the industrial world, marking it as the work of another age, the product of an attitude far removed from our own. Perhaps for the first time in the history of American architecture, a building became an accessory to nature... Early pioneer and regional building techniques were revived because it was thought that a structure employing native materials blended best with the environment...
A survey of significant rustic structures is needed. Often
rustic structures are too young (less than fifty years) to receive proper
attention under the current criteria of the National Register of Historic
Places. Each year a few disappear and a good many more are hopelessly altered by
renovation or remodeling done without sensitivity to the original design. In
this regard the authors can only concur with Ms. Wilson: "The rustic timber and
stone buildings found in our national parks...represent an important
irreplaceable architectural resource which should be used and conserved. "3
Recently acquired donation:
89-year old Armar Bordner interview in 1993 by Jim Schucker and Don Rhoades.
Courtesy of the Lebanon County Historical Society
Enhanced by Jo Ellen Litz 6.27.2015
Armar experienced living with Horace and Deborah Norris Coleman (Mrs. Horace Brock)
RESTORATION SCHEDULE 2015
WEEK ONE : September 8-10
Can't help physically, but would like to make a donation for the cause? Please make checks payable to Swatara Watershed Association, 2302 Guilford St., Lebanon PA 17046, or use PayPal from this website. (left column)