Study on Mickley-Prydun Farmstead is completed
A feasibility study of the historic Mickley-Prydun Farmstead, dating back to the 1700s, has been completed.
Whitehall Township will now examine the study’s findings and its recommendations to best move forward with the Hokendauqua property’s future. Mayor Michael Harakal Jr. said a meeting is set for Sept. 16 with Tom Jones, who conducted the extensive review of the 12-acre tract of land and buildings.
“The feasibility study was needed so that we can submit for a state grant,” Harakal said.
Such funding can pay for the restoration and other costs involved in bringing the land and the main building to its original state.
Harakal said he foresees some of the land reserved for native plantings, as was the case in a similar Bucks County setting.
In the interim, the township will soon erect fencing around one of the outbuildings with a crumbling wall.
In March 2013, the township paid $310,000 at a property settlement with Prydun family members. Funding for the Prydun tract was provided by grants from the Lehigh County Green Futures block and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The Coplay Creek meanders through the property at the north end of the spacious grounds, with the Ironton Rail Trail traversing the far end of the tract. The homestead is near Hokendauqua Park & Playground.
Deer, fox and other wildlife have been spotted on the property. The township pledged to have it remain as open space and not an active recreation area.
Former Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. favored opening the homestead to the public once work was completed in the restoration phase. He suggested it could be named “Whitehall House” and that groups could hold meetings there.
Christian Mickley (1757-1812) built the original stone home, which is currently the summer kitchen. Peter Mickley, son of Christian, built a large house near the original home. Peter’s son, Abraham Tilghman Mickley, lived on the homestead for a period in the 1800s.
John Prydun and his family came to own the property in the late 1800s or early 1900s.