The red, brick-enclosure barn at the intersection of Rocherty and Cornwall Roads is a useful landmark for navigation, but what’s the story behind the property?

Known variously as the Brown Hospitality Farm and the J. P. S. J. G. Farm among other names, the property at 2055 Cornwall Road consists of several structures, two of which are more recognizable: the elevated barn overlooking the intersection and the accompanying stone farmhouse.

The lot as seen in Lebanon County’s online Property Viewer.

The farmhouse adjacent to the barn, nestled among a few trees, is the older of the the two structures, having been built sometime between 1775 and 1790. Naturally, the house as originally constructed did not have sophisticated electricity, heating, or plumbing systems, amenities that were not fully implemented until 1972. According to research by the Swatara Watershed Association, the barn structure was first built in 1797, although it is not clear what portions have been added or reconstructed since then. (This paragraph updated to clarify that we do not know how much of the current barn structure is original.)

The 18th-century stone farmhouse adjacent to the barn. (Google Street View, 2017)

For many years, the property was the home of James C. Brown, equestrian exhibitor, breeder, and president of the American Morgan Horse Institute. He and his family renovated the house but were careful in keeping the layout preserved (accommodating for old-fashioned farmhouse elements like 24-inch-thick walls).

The property, at just over 4 1/2 acres, was purchased for one million dollars in July 2018 by WellSpan Properties Inc. The property sits near the North Cornwall Commons development, which continues to progress through its phases, two of which (Phases 4 & 5) are situated up the street on Cornwall Road.

The property in question is just above the words ‘Project Site’ and is not a part of the North Cornwall Commons project. This is a map of the plans for the Commons project, available on the NCC website.

According to a spokesperson for the WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, WellSpan has “tentative plans to offer services there that would meet the needs of our community.”

The spokesperson also clarified that they “are still assessing the property, including the existing structures, and have no definitive plans or details to share at this time.”

Josh Groh is a Cornwall native and writer who began reporting for LebTown in 2019. He continued to regularly contribute to LebTown while earning a degree in environmental science at Lebanon Valley College, graduating in 2021. Since then, he has lead conservation crews in Colorado and taken on additional...


LebTown membership required to comment.

Already a member? Login here

Join the Conversation


Your email address will be kept private.
  1. Please find a way to preserve these historic structures; it would be a travesty to destroy them just for one more office complex / parking lot.

  2. Please do not destroy this beautiful property, it should be preserved as a historical site. Wellspan has plenty of other places they can build on.

  3. It’s been hard to watch this historic and beautiful property fall into disrepair. I hope Wellspan will do the right thing and preserve and integrate the historic elements of the property into their development plans.

  4. Don’t tear this down! It should be preserved!! Wellspan had plenty of other areas to build.