Deal crumbles to save historic Bell Tavern

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Demolition could continue at a historic tavern in Cumberland County.

Its owners reportedly say they will no longer donate the partially-destroyed building, where historians say our founding fathers first discussed the Bill of Rights.

Now, that building is crumbling.

“The community’s reaction was ‘oh my gosh, how could they tear that down, how could they do that?'” Christine Musser, a member of the Bell Tavern Association Incorporated, said

Triple Crown Corporation bought the land from its aging owners and started to demolish the tavern before they knew of its historical significance.

So they stopped.

In June, a deal was made: Silver Spring Township would rezone nearby land for Triple Crown to build a warehouse if Triple Crown donated the Bell Tavern to the recently formed Bell Tavern Association.

Then, things fell apart.

“Now, it’s being presented as a price tag of $700,000,” another member of the association, Janeal Jaroh, said.

ABC27 spoke to Triple Crown’s owner, Mark DiSanto, over the phone. He says PPL Electric bought the land that was rezoned for Triple Crown’s warehouse last month to fix power issues in the area.

The Bell Tavern deal then crumbled.

“I think he wants something more out of the township,”  Jaroh said about Triple Crown’s owner. “To him, it’s just a tool to get what he wants.”

DiSanto says he has no plans for demolition and no set price tag for the landmark. He says he’s working with township officials to see if the community can raise money for restoration, and hopes to set a plan to do that.

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