GETTYSBURG, PA (June 1, 2023) – One of Adams County’s most-recognized and unique landmarks, the Historic Round Barn & Farm Market operated by Knouse Fruitlands boasts a new, engineered-to-look-original roof, thanks in part to a low-interest loan facilitated by the Adams Economic Alliance and the state’s Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA).
“It’s thrilling to see any Adams County small business housed under a new roof, but the Historic Round Barn is unlike any other small business we’ve assisted over the years. This new roof ensures the continuation of the Knouse family’s fourth-generation agribusiness, as well as the preservation of a beloved community icon and historic structure,” said Kaycee Kemper, Alliance Vice President.
A $125,000, 15-year low-interest (3.50%) loan processed through the Alliance’s Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) and PIDA financed about a third of the barn roof’s total cost. The project was completed in April.
“We spent about nine or 10 years patching the old roof, but it was disintegrating,” said Kevin Knouse, business manager for Knouse Fruitlands. “There are only a handful of round barns left in the U.S. today, and even though we knew it would be expensive, we needed to protect it with a new roof. We’re grateful to the Alliance for making the loan process as smooth as possible.”
Located just outside Cashtown, at 298 Cashtown Road, the Round Barn was built in 1914 by the original owners, the Noah Sheely family. The second family to own the historic barn, the Knouses purchased it in 1984. It functions as a farm market and event venue for Knouse Fruitlands, a family-based business that farms 700 acres of farm and orchard land across Adams and Cumberland Counties.
While the Round Barn’s wooden structure is original, its new roof returns the historic barn to its original appearance, with a modern twist. Engineered with today’s technology to look like the barn’s original slate roof, the newly-installed shingles are comprised of durable synthetic materials. With a circumference of 290 feet, and a central silo soaring 60 feet from the barn floor to the top cupula, the barn’s round roof features three distinctly-angled pitches.
Knouse said the family considered a number of roofing options, from real slate to cedar shake shingles and metal options before opting for synthetic slate. Ultimately, the project means peace of mind on several levels.
“Having the new roof is a big relief because it protects our assets and allows us to continue growing the business. Rising interest rates were a concern, but the Alliance offered us a decent interest rate, so we jumped on that. It gives us stability in knowing what we’re paying, while we continue operating our business,” said Knouse.
The loan, with a fixed interest rate for seven years, marks the 151st low-interest PIDA loan facilitated by the Alliance’s Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC). In total, the Alliance has assisted more than 200 Adams County businesses throughout its history, generating a grand total of nearly $430 million in financing.
ACEDC is certified annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in order to process and administer loan and grant programs for Adams County’s businesses including those in the agricultural sector. Kemper encourages Adams County’s farmers, agribusinesses, manufacturers, aspiring entrepreneurs as well as established businesses to contact her regarding potential loan and grant opportunities. Kemper can be reached at the Alliance at 717-334-0042, ext. 2 or by email at [email protected].
It is the mission of the Adams Economic Alliance to develop and implement creative community-based strategies to enhance economic opportunity and foster a dynamic framework for balanced growth and development through the Adams County Economic Development Corporation, Adams County Industrial Development Authority and Adams County General Authority. For more information, see adamsalliance.org, or follow the Alliance on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
MEDIA CONTACT: KAREN HENDRICKS / HENDRICKS COMMUNICATIONS / 717-253-3553