Updated May 26 with purchase price

The Coleman Chapel, located at 1901 W. Cumberland St. in West Lebanon Township, is set to become the newest addition to the Stone Gables Estate, a wedding and events complex in Elizabethtown.

The 1890-era property had been listed at $415,000 with Bering Real Estate’s Bill and Molly Bering. It ended up selling for $375,000 in a purchase that was recorded May 25.

“(Stone Gables) reached out because they have a big-time interest in historic buildings, and this one has been on their radar for a while,” said Bill Bering in an interview with LebTown.

Bering said that Stone Gables plans to disassemble the building and reassemble it near the Star Barn, a well-known wedding venue on the grounds.

The Star Barn itself actually ended up in Elizabethtown through a similar process. Stone Gables Estate owners David and Tierney Abel acquired the Star Barn, then in Middletown, in 2014 and thereafter initiated a multi-year process for the historic 1877 structure to be relocated to Elizabethtown in a meticulous, piece-by-piece engineering effort.

The Coleman Chapel property was purchased through DAS Real Properties, an LLC linked to the Abel-owned DAS Companies. DAS Companies is the founding sponsor of Brittany’s Hope, the nonprofit created in honor of the Abels’ adopted daughter, Brittany Ann O’Connell, who died in 1999, her senior year of college. Stone Gables donates its net proceeds to Brittany’s Hope.

“As you can imagine, thousands of pieces compose this magnificent structure,” notes a history timeline on Stone Gables’ website. “The labeling and organization process was critically important when the re-assembly day began.”

Inside view of the chapel. (Bering Real Estate)

Bering said that there isn’t currently a time frame for when disassembling would take place, and permits would need to be obtained once a timeline is decided, but relocating and preserving the structure is the long-term goal and plan for the property.

Although the move will see the historic chapel relocated from Lebanon County, its future in the county was not assured – with no historic district regulations or other preservation restrictions on the property, the parcel could have seen the structure erased entirely depending on who the buyer ended up being.

The property had been listed by other realtors before coming to Bering Real Estate, who had the listing for about a year. Bering said that other potential buyers were churches considering relocating, although inability to secure financing ended up stymieing some of those plans.

Once the chapel is relocated, the future goal would be to list that land and sell it for commercial use, said Bering.

“It’s going to be in good hands,” said Bering of the chapel’s future prospects. “It’s going to basically live on forever.”

The sale is expected to become official following settlement today.


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