Spirit of Stone Manor; The Eberly Estate

If you have ever driven south on Route 10 and crested Green Tree Hill, you may have noticed a quiet old mansion sitting back in the shadows behind the rehab hospital. Maybe you have wondered what the story behind it is.

The Tudor castle style mansion was built by Fink Construction Company in 1925 for Isaac Eberly, owner of Oakbrook Hosiery Mill. Eberly was born in a Gibralter log cabin on new years day 1880. He worked his way up in the Leininger’s Hosiery Mill in Shillington; eventually becoming a partner despite not evening finishing his elementary education. By the age of 30 he built Oakbrook Hosiery mill and became one of the four major producers in the lucrative Berks County hosiery industry. Isaac’s life was a quintessential rags to riches story.

Not only did he build his empire from the ground up; he overcame many obstacles during the process. In winter of 1912-13 a fire destroyed much of the Oakbrook Knitting Mill building. Shortly after rebuilding in August 1913 bandits dynamited through the safe in the mill, stole $132 and decimated the office space in the process.

Stone Manor Estate
Stone Manor pictured during construction in 1926 – Hagley Digital Archives image

Despite these setbacks Eberly became one of the wealthiest men in Berks County in the proceeding decade. He purchased the 125 acres on Green Tree Hill in 1924 from George Horst; partner in Nolde and Horst Hosiery Mills. Horst’s “Sheerlund” estate was also nearby off New Holland Road/route 625. Horst’s partner Jacob Nolde’s estate was across route 625 from Horst; the Nolde Forest State Park we all enjoy today. They might as well have named this area of Cumru Township Hosiery Hills, as many of the major players had their estates in the general area.

Eberly named his new palace Stone Manor Estate. The construction of Stone Manor took nearly two years, and the Eberly’s hosted their housewarming party in January of 1927. The main level gathering room was called the “Great Hall”. This was the area that Isaac and his wife hosted parties for the wealthy elite of Berks and beyond. The Great Hall included its own full pipe organ for entertaining with music, as well as one of only eight Steinway grand pianos in the world. The gardens in front of the house were equally as spectacular. The Wyomissing Women’s Club, in which Mrs. Eberly was a member, held their garden party on Eberly’s grounds for many years in the 1920s and 30s.

There was also an indoor pool, ballroom, and billiard room on the lowest level of the home. Shortly after the Eberly’s moved into Stone Manor Mrs. Eberly gave a tour to Ann Herr, writer for the Reading Times “Women’s Page” section. Her article which ran in the January 11th, 1927 Reading Times described the indoor pool, “so far removed from the old pool of bygone days, this, in green tiling, electrically lighted, with a plentiful number of radiators – so cozy and comfortable as to temperature that we wanted to take a swim right then and there.” It was dubbed the “million dollar mansion” by those who had witnessed its grandeur.

Stone Manor Estate consisted of 260 acres at its peak. Other structures on the grounds included a gatehouse, chauffeur’s house, carriage house, an observation tower, two commercial green houses and fully furnished play house with a thatched roof. There was also a dairy farm enterprise further down Green Tree Hill toward route 724 called Stone Manor Dairy which provided milk to the city and surrounding area.

Eberly’s huge outdoor party pavilion in 2023

The 1940 census places 6 people living in Stone Manor. Isaac, his wife Katheryn, son Richard, Katheryn’s sister, Bertha, and two servants; Alice and Emma.

Outdoor pool changing room in 2023

The Eberly family enjoyed many decades at their estate, until 1958 when the patriarch died suddenly of a massive heart attack. Isaac died in his “million dollar mansion” on Jan 23, 1958, a day before he was scheduled to leave for a trip to Florida.

Stone Manor Estate

After Isaac’s passing his wife Katheryn decided fairly quickly to sell the Stone Manor Estate. She no longer felt at peace within the walls of the mansion that her husband met his demise in. In 1960 she sold the property to the Seventh Day Adventist Church; doctors Russell Youngberg and Irving Jones hoped to start an acute care hospital on the site. The doctors quickly learned that there was a dire need for physical rehabilitation care in the area. So began the era of the rehab hospitals on the grounds.

By 1971 the mansion was bursting at the seams with patients. The facility was expanded in 1974 to the current building that stands today above the gardens. Another four story addition was constructed in 1979. The hospital was acquired by HealthSouth in 1998. Health South purchased Encompass Health in 2014, and the rehab began bearing the Encompass name in 2018.

Stained Glass window from Stone Manor’s Great Room

There have been reports that there was at least one, possibly two drownings that occurred in the basement pool of the Stone Manor Mansion. I have not been able to find any tangible proof to substantiate these claims.

Abandoned Stone Manor Mansion in 2023

The mansion itself has not been used as a patient facility in nearly 50 years, but it was utilized as offices for the rehab hospital until 2005. Health South also rented out the Great Hall for private events as recently as a two decades ago. It has been completely vacant and unmaintained since the mid-2000s. People who have attended parties there have reported hearing strange things; a single pipe organ note held for a few seconds, footsteps in a dark corridor, and the feeling of being watched. Perhaps Isaac Eberly still wanders the halls and gardens of his million dollar mansion.

Born and raised in Berks, I am fascinated by the design, architecture, culture & style of the 20th century. I started this website to research and build a collection of the places, things and stories I have heard about my entire life. Read more here.

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Susan Wright
Susan Wright
2 years ago

Thank you for sharing this interesting story!

John Richards
John Richards
2 years ago

I have heard the main beam in the great room is cracked and the building has been condemned! Last time I was in the building there was a lot of black mold. There was office furniture just dumped in the pool. The place was just a mess!

Rick Littlehales
Rick Littlehales
2 years ago

This once gorgeous mansion is now in a state of demolition by neglect. The corporation that owns it has done absolutely nothing to maintain or repair it since approximately 2002. It is a crime that we will be intentionally losing a Berks County historical landmark. The family also built and owned a second home in Winter Park, FL. I have no information on it or even whether or not it still exists, but I’d love to know and maybe see photos of it.

Jason Batz
Jason Batz
2 years ago

The Fire Department trained at the nuns home before it was demolished. We were told the mansion would be demolished by the staff of Health South.

Berks Nostalgia