New collaborative work space stays true to historic venue


Since 1829, the Stonebaker and Harbough-Shafer building has stood on the corner of West Main Street and South Jefferson Street. In that time it’s played a host of roles for the community.

“Local people remember this as being the first post office in town. They also remember it as being the first lending-library in town,” says current owner of the building, Kirk Denton.

Denton says it was originally built as a storefront business and residence by Samuel Harbough. He’d hope to take advantage of travelers beginning to head west through the town.

“[Harbough] sold general merchandise and later on as he became more successful, it became one of the biggest stores in Middletown. They had a dock in Baltimore where they would import things, bring it to Middletown, and then sell out of this building,” Denton explained.

The building then became a venue known as Rudy’s Hall, where plays and shows were presented.

During the Civil War, the building was open as a hospital.

And for more than a hundred year, the Schafer family called this place home.

“I think in Middletown, this building has been such an integral part of the town that it’s not taken for granted but it’s always been here,” Denton said.

And as a staple of the town’s past, Denton and his partner Greg Wygle have kept the architecture and theme of the building just the same as they opened Wren’s Nest, a new collaborative working space.

They currently have four subscribers who do business, or host meeting inside one of the 18 room within the historic home.

“I want people to be happy they live in a small town, and still be able to get done all that they need to do,” Wygle explained.

The owner’s at Wren’s Nest say the first-floor entrance room is open to the public for free use as a gathering place.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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