Major ‘oversight’: Historic house where Bill of Rights originated partially demolished

It’s bad enough that liberals are rushing to erase American history.

Perhaps the most surprising part about the demolition of the reputed birthplace of the U.S. Bill of Rights was the fact that the building still stood.

Contractors tasked with reducing a two-story stone house in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, had no idea of the historic significance of the structure.

Neither did local officials or a real estate developer, according to The Sentinel.

The demolition, which had already begun, was quickly halted once it became clear that this wasn’t just any stone house.

The Sentinel reported:

Built in 1780 as the James Bell Tavern, the structure hosted the Stony Ridge Convention on July 3, 1788, a meeting of Anti-Federalists opposed to ratification of U.S. Constitution, which led to amending the document with the Bill of Rights.

Triple Crown Corporation, the property’s owner, legally obtained a permit from the township for the demolition, according to Christine Musser, a member of the township’s Conservation and Preservation Committee.

Musser said she was informed about the stone house’s history by an “outside source.” After “doing some digging” about the matter at the Cumberland County Historical Society, she alerted township officials about the matter.


“Triple Crown apparently had no clue of the building’s historical significance,” Musser told The Sentinel. “It was an oversight.”

Regrettably, the location, most recently home to Stone House Auto Sales, was not listed as an historic site, and It’s not clear why.

“Whether intentional or by error in 1995, the Bell Tavern was not listed as an historic, protected building on the Township’s Cultural Features Map and Historic Buildings List referred to in our zoning ordinance,” Silver Spring Township officials said Thursday in a news release.

A stop-work order was issued, but part of the building had already been reduced to rubble.

“Late Wednesday, January 6, township staff became aware that demolition of a building later identified as the Bell Tavern had begun by Triple Crown Corporation,” the statement said. “Township staff issued a stop-work order on the demolition, and the developer complied. By that time, a portion of the building had been demolished.”

Officials said they were “upset by the circumstance,” and have taken steps to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again, but the newspaper reported that the fate of the Bell Tavern stone house is undecided.

Tom Tillison


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