The Daniel Boone Homestead visitors center and historic buildings in Exeter Township are temporarily closed after the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission cut ties with the site's operating group.
"The PHMC is ending its partnership with the Friends of the Daniel Boone Homestead," spokesman Howard M. Pollman said in a statement. "The PHMC thanks the Friends for their service to the commission and the commonwealth."
Tammy Schaeffer, president of the Daniel Boone friends group, said Tuesday that she wished to speak with her board before commenting.
Going forward, the PHMC will take a more active role in the management of the historic site, with a focus on customer service, visitor experience, inclusion and access, Pollman said Tuesday in a telephone interview.
Pollman also said the PHMC is working with township staff on a master plan, focusing on recreation and capital improvements, such as a bridge replacement, at the nearly 600-acre site.
The PHMC expects to place a new director trained in museum management on site within the next few months, he said.
The property itself is not off-limits to the public during the transition.
"Maintenance staff will continue to care for the site, and the grounds will remain open for pedestrian use from sunrise to sunset," Pollman said.
Previously booked site rentals will be honored through the rest of the year, he said.
The homestead offers a variety of facility rental options for parties, meetings and organized group camping.
Future site rentals are expected to be handled once a new director is hired, Pollman said.
The PHMC also is working on a plan to avoid canceling a Christkindlmarket, scheduled at the site Dec. 13 and 14.
Daniel Boone Homestead was one of 11 state-owned historic sites identified by the PHMC for possible closure in 2009. Its buildings were closed Dec. 1 of that year. The all-volunteer friends group stepped up, entering into a partnership with the PHMC in 2010 to keep the buildings open to the public and oversee programming and events at the site.
Volunteer friends groups partner in the management of about seven of the commission's 24 historic sites, Pollman said. Several others are partly supported by friends or other fundraising groups.
The PHMC is reasserting its role and taking a larger and more active part in management of the site in Exeter, he said.
"I want to re-emphasize that the grounds will remain open for passive recreation, such as hiking, horseback riding and dog walking," Pollman said. "We look forward to welcoming visitors in 2020."