The Shenandoah Presbytery, based in Harrisonburg, Virginia, recently transferred ownership of the former Stone’s Chapel Presbyterian Church and adjacent cemetery near Berryville to the Stone’s Chapel Memorial Association, Inc. In a ceremony at the chapel on Saturday, November 10, 2012, the Reverend Tom Rhyne formally presented the Memorial Association Board with the title to the property.
“Once we received approval of our non-profit application from the IRS, we expected transfer of the title to be pretty quick,” commented Larry Hardesty, president of the Memorial Association. “However, the only deed ever recorded for the property was the original one from 1793, conveying the property from Jacob Stone and his wife Barbara jointly to the trustees of the Lutheran and Calvinist Societies.”
“We are happy that we finally have the deed in hand,” he continued. “Our fundraising efforts have been hampered by the fact that many people didn’t want to give us money until we actually owned the building.”
The Memorial Association plans to restore the chapel building and use it for special occasion services. The Association has hosted two annual homecoming celebrations for former members of the Stone’s Chapel Presbyterian Church, both of which were well-attended. The 3rd annual Stone’s Chapel Homecoming is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 21, 2013.
The Memorial Association also plans to submit a nomination for the property to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In June 2011, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources State Review Board reviewed the Chapel’s preliminary nomination form and determined the property to be eligible for the register.