Virtual Walking Tour of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
The Talleyrand Park Citizens Committee
Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association

Stop 45. Thomas Homestead and the Wren's Nest

BHCA Home | Virtual Tour Home | Entire Map | Stop One

Thomas Homestead, Bellefonte, PA

The rear portion of the Thomas Homestead, built in 1785, is the oldest house in present day Bellefonte.  It was built by William Lamb. He sold it to Thomas Gordon in 1788, and Gordon sold it to John Dunlop in 1795.  John Dunlop was Ironmaster and Proprietor of the famous "Belle Font Forge."  He was the son of Colonel James DunlopColonel Dunlop and his son-in-law James Harris laid out the original plan of Bellefonte, then known as "Big Spring." The house was purchased by William A Thomas, Ironmaster, from the John Dunlop Estate, in 1834, at which time the Georgian front section, pictured here, was added and named "The Wren's Nest."
     John Dunlop lived in several homes besides the Thomas Homestead.  In 1797 he built Logan Furnace Mansion on Route 144 between Axeman and Pleasant Gap, a house on the national registry, and lived from 1803-1806 in The Owles that stood on a lot next to the Courthouse that is now occupied by the Faith Centre.  In 1806 he built Forge House across the road from his Belle Font Forge.