As of April 26th 2002 the Carbon Model Railroad Society took ownership (actually the bank owns it) of the old Catholic Church (Chapel) on Ore Street in Bowmanstown.
The first thing we needed to install was the first bathroom the building ever had. The Chapel never had one, but the Catholic Dioceses did pay for the sewer tap fee, which was put in a year or so before. We also placed attractive shutters on all the ground floor windows for security reasons. The windows were also in the way of the new second floor so we just decided for several reasons to do away with them without detracting from the outward appearance of the building. The first year was spent upgrading the building to fit our needs. We had a full complement of members to do the work. We have our electrician, our plumber, our carpenter and mason, a general contractor who is providing us with guidance and our crew willing to work.
The main platform is on the first floor with the workshop, storage and meeting area on the second floor. The second floor is also set up during our open house as a model railroad flea market along with our portable operating display.
We believe the building was once smaller when it was a one-room schoolhouse. It was then made larger and was used as a Chapel until a few years ago when the Catholic Congregation was asked to worship in Palmerton. The cornerstone has a 1911 date on the exposed surface, but when we were working in the crawl space underneath, we notice the same block has a date that precedes the 1900’s. The last two digits are hidden in the foundation. We will continue to investigate its history.