Bordner Cabin 
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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:



Limited Offer:  Order a commemorative t-shirt of the Armar Bordner cabin today with the above picture and text.  Send requested quantity, sizes limited, and  check to SWA at 2302 Guilford St., Lebanon PA  17046.  Please be as generous as you can.  "Profits" will go toward restoration projects.


The Bordner Cabin is a "point of interest" on the proposed Heritage Trail in Swatara State Park and 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. 

June 12, 2006, SWA signed and returned a lease to DCNR, which was returned fully executed in August 2006.  We're ready to begin repairs.  Please consider a donation to help purchase supplies and/or volunteer to help with repairs or adopt the cabin for a month.

Who Volunteers wanted to help with projects and maintenance at the Bordner Cabin.  Please fill in and forward the Adopt-A-Cabin form.  Also let us know what project(s) you would like to undertake.

Stewards for all months!  J

Adopt-A-Cabin to monitor and spruce up for a month (sweep, pick up litter, pull weeds, deter vandals and graffiti with your presence, and answer questions posed by visitors) Take along a broom, dust pan, hammer and nails:


January, Dick and June Blouch (1st week also Dave Ravegum)


February, Don and Stephanie Mock (1st week also Dave Ravegum)


March, Bob Arnold, Dave & Ann Lasky

bullet bullet

April Becky L. Soliday & Pete Silldorff
May, Dale & Marty Miller


June Lisa Carter, Joan and Tom Hawk, Mike Willeman


July, Ed and Elaine Ludwig, Mike Willeman


August, Marta Trainer & husband Mike


Sept, LC Conservation District.


October Becky L. Soliday


November Bill and Genie Potters


December Fred Rogers

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.  At the intersection before Bonnie Brook Restaurant, turn right onto Monroe Valley Road (towards the golf course), then left onto Old State Road to Swatara State Park, under the Route 81 bridges to the Appalachian Trail bridge ( a total of 2.7 miles).  Look at your odometer.  Go another 2.7 miles north of the Appalachian Trail Bridge.  The cabin lane is on your right.  Please park along the road and walk up the lane.  Watch the pot holes on the last tenth of a mile.

Architecture   Partners & Projects    Progress   History  Adopt-A-Cabin    Donations    Your Story    Roofing Instructions  Rules


Original Blue Prints

Approved Labor & Industry Architectural Drawings: 

Projects/Bordner Cabin/Bordner Cabin ext stairrail.pdf

Projects/Bordner Cabin/Bordner Cabin loft stairs r.pdf

Projects/Bordner Cabin/Bordner Cabin New Columns.pdf

Projects/Bordner Cabin/Bordner Cabin plexiglass.pdf

Projects/Bordner Cabin/Bordner Cabin Porch Floor.pdf

Projects/Bordner Cabin/Bordner Cabin Porch Structu.pdf

Projects/Bordner Cabin/Bordner Cabin Shed.pdf

Projects/Bordner Cabin/Bordner Cabin steps&door.pdf

Projects/Bordner Cabin/Bordner Cabin wood plank.pdf

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 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

1. National Park Service, Park Structures and Facilities (Washington, D.C>: Government Printing Office, 1935), 3.
2. Merrill Ann Wilson, "Rustic Architecture: The National Park Style," Trends, (July August September, 1976), 4-5.
3. Ibid., 7.

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)

  1.                       27:56.71  Armar was born in Lickdale.

  2.                       28:25.23  Armar graduated from Lebanon High School in 1924.

  3.                       28:41.69  Armar went to Millersville University to be a school teacher.

  4.                       29:34.85  After 2 years, Armar went to Penn State.

  5.                      31:20.77  After seeing his student s make more money than he did, Armar worked as a draftsman in industry for 16 years.

  6.                      32:47.46  Armar also taught his final 4 years at Northern Lebanon High School, where he retired with a pension.

  7.                      32:58.35  Armar built his cabin over 2 years, and finished in 1939.

  8.                      33:48.72  The cabin is built from oak trees found on the site.

  9.                      37:02.61  As a kid, Armar also worked for Boyer Printing.

  10.                      37:48.61  Armar sold 4 lots from his over 400-acre property.

  11.                      38:22.55  When the State took it over in 1977, Armar had over 100 acres remaining.

  12.                      39:09.90  Armar thought a dam wasn't feasible.

  13.                      45:59.83  They took 200 properties for Swatara State Park.

  14.                      46:40.80  Mytan Vassil knocked down the homes for Swatara State Park.

  15.                      50:43.59  Growing up, Armar lived East of Lickdale near the covered bridge.

  16.                      52:20.43  The L&T hit a woman and killed her.

  17.                      53:27.43  Dr. Samuel Bordner Groh DDS.

  18.                      54:21.72  Francis Ditzler visited Armar from time to time.


Site Work Hours are 8am until 3pm. We must be off of the trail and secured by 4pm. Mike Willeman is our project manager. Volunteers welcome. A signed liability release is required. During repairs, the public will not be able to access the cabin. Please do not cross the yellow caution tape.

WEEK ONE : September 8-10
- Install 18" x 18" x 8" Concrete Pads in (11) Locations...
- September 13 : Volunteer Project Walkthrough at Cabin
- September 13 : fabricate plexi panels. fabricate door panel 9AM-1PM.
WEEK TWO : September 14-18
- Install New 6x6 Wood Post/Columns on 18" x 18" x 8" Concrete Pads in (11) Locations
to Support Log Floor Joists.
- Install New Door Panel at Opening to Garage Area (fabricate door offsite)
- Installed 42" High Plexi-Glass Panels to Existing Railing.
- September 19 & 20 : fabricate wall panels for job johny
WEEK THREE : September 21-25
- Install New Handrail at Existing Stairway to Loft Area (recreate original, fabricate offsite)
- Build Porta-Potty Shed. (some fabrication offsite)
- Install Stream Flow Diffusion Damn Up-Stream of Piers & Wall Rebuild Work Area.
- Install New Handrail at Existing Exterior Stone Steps.
WEEK FOUR : September 28 - October 2
- Remove Damaged Stone and Concrete Piers Under Porch. (piers 2 & 3). Install Concrete
Retaining Wall and Reinforced Concrete Piers. Piers and Retaining Wall to Have Stone
Veneer Anchored to Concrete with Masonry Ties.
Backfill Behind Retaining Wall and Install Reinforced Concrete Slab to Protect House
- Rebuild Collapsed Area in Retaining Wall, South of Porch.
- October 3 & 4 : stain/treat floor boards
WEEK FIVE : October 5-9
- Replace Wood Plank Fencing Between Piers and Posts Under Porch.
- Install New Porch Railing. top of railing at 42" A.F.F. Minimum Opening 4".
- Porch Floor is 3/4" Planks with Space Between Planks. Install Tongue and Groove Floor
Boards Over Existing.
WEEK SIX : October 12-16
- Punch List Items and Site Clean Up.

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)