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Can You Dig It

A goal achieved: new use for historic working farm

The barn at Bell Gate Farm in Lower Milford Township is now an event center.
The barn at Bell Gate Farm in Lower Milford Township is now an event center. - (Photo / )

For one local property owner, the goal of restoring a historic gem close to her heart now has been achieved.

The past year, workers from SAGE Design-Inc. of Upper Macungie Township transformed a 268-acre working farm into a new reception venue for the Greater Lehigh Valley. The barn at Bell Gate Farm in Lower Milford Township is now an event center for hosting activities, including weddings, proms, dinners and holiday work parties at a site that dates to the 1780s.

For Stephanie Stevens, owner of Bell Gate Farm, it’s the completion of a detailed, comprehensive effort to breathe new life into a place for people to gather and create new memories.

Stevens, who lives at the Great House at Bell Gate Farm, inherited the property a couple of years ago from her parents. Now, she is eager to continue the legacy.

Having grown up on the property, Stevens knew how important it was to preserve it while creating a productive new use for it.

The construction firm said it saved, reused and repurposed many materials of the barn and also saved and reused the slate roof from the Old Milk House on the new timber frame entrance. The firm also built a structure to house the original bell and reused an existing door that included the original forged-iron strap hinges.

All of these touches help to keep alive the authentic character of the barn.

With a partnership with Rodale, based in Emmaus, to serve as the exclusive caterer providing farm-to-table food for events, Stevens has been able to create a distinctive property with potential.

 

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