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153 year old Pennsylvania church converted to a home & artist workshop studio

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Help The1870

Want to help restore The1870? Any size of donation is appreciated!

Mystery Packages will help fund exploring our Mystery Room!

Ever since we bought this old church, we’ve known it’s had a secret or two we needed to explore. The bell tower is a mystery on it’s own, but at the very base of the bell tower, just behind the newer drywall wall in the studio kitchen, there’s an actual secret room we haven’t been able to enter yet.

What’s waiting for us in there? Your guess is as good as ours. It was probably used for storage. What we do know is that it is about 14 feet by 14 feet, will have really thick walls and we want to be able to use that space, since it’s ideally situated at the front of the church by our gardens, to put electric to the outside and a much-needed hose connection.

Our waiting to get in the room has always been because of the fact we had to replace the big roof, bell tower roof and spend so much money just to make this place watertight, we’ve not had any extras to spend on a room that might not even be useable. We don’t know what we are getting in to when we take down the drywall wall and explore the basement room of the bell tower. It’s a total mystery.

None of the locals who went to this church, when it was a church, know what it was used for. Not one clue. One said he might have carried Christmas decorations in there in the 1960’s but he isn’t sure, it might have been another part of the basement. There are two of them here.

One basement is the home of the old oil boiler that runs hot water to the 22 radiators in the vestry, main sanctuary and loft. I has four oil tanks in it that each hold 275 gallons of oil, aka black gold, and I thank our lucky stars that we have the biomass stove that is our primary heat source every time I think about that old basement. The other basement, where the bell tower holds it’s hidden room, is the beautiful 2400 square feet studio that has a split unit in for heating and cooling and is so efficient, it costs us just a dollar a day to run it in the winter or summer. Behind the stove and refrigerator, behind the wall that was built who knows when, there is a room. The mystery room.

Several months ago Morton and I fell in love with TikTok. If you use it, you can find and follow us at 

As we started using it, sharing short videos about our church home in the mountains of Pennsylvania, doing live TikTok’s and interacting with people who really love what we’re doing, something wonderful happened! We started selling so many Mystery Packages from The1870 Studio! Every day, without fail, we get orders for these Mystery Packages filled with surprises made right here, by me! It’s really remarkable, wonderful and so incredible to see the money come in to take a wall down, explore the mystery and hopefully have a functional room to use that is at the very front of the church.

Morton and I are so grateful to everyone who buys one and guess what? People are loving them because they’re buying more than one! It’s a straight up church miracle!!!

Hopefully we will solve one mystery by selling another, to our lovely friends online who see this place as something special and worthy of saving.

We truly appreciate and love you!

Priscilla & Morton

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