BY ABRAHAM KLINE
For 190 years the home located at 801 Salt Street in Saltsburg Borough, has served as great historical significance to the town. Aside from being nearly 200 years old and holding several antique items within its structure, the building housed Saltsburg’s first doctor and first bank. The historical significance along with the fact that his brother and his family had lived there for 40 years are among the reasons that Lawrence Eckenrode (better known as Albert) decided he wanted to purchase and renovate the house.
Eckenrode and his wife, Elvia, purchased the place almost three years ago, and have been working on it ever since. Major repairs, including the roof, are ongoing. The challenge for the couple has been completing the repairs out of their own pockets. To help offset some of the costs, Eckenrode has been selling wooden flags he has been making from spare materials. He used to make the flags as a hobby and give them away until one of his friends suggested he sell the product to help with the renovation costs.
Initially, the flags were only the traditional red, white, and blue we all know so well. However, following a conversation with Borough Officer Don Isherwood, Eckenrode began making policemen flags. That evolved into him creating the fireman’s and paramedic’s flags. According to Albert, no two are alike. Because he considers himself to be a “wood butcher” because he doesn’t follow a specific pattern, each one has a unique design.
Those interested in purchasing a flag or assisting with the preservation of the structure in any way can do so by visiting the Master Cleaners Shop, 623 Market Street, Saltsburg or call 724-639-9410.