A community of caring since 1908.
Cross Keys Village-The Brethren Home Community traces its roots to 1908, when church leaders and congregations of the Southern Pennsylvania District of the Church of the Brethren bought a farmhouse near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and founded the Brethren Home for the Aged at Huntsdale. The home was a place where aging widows could receive a compassionate helping hand.
That small facility, which soon came to house both women and men, was soon expanded. It operated successfully for more than 40 years until the house was destroyed by fire in 1951. Fortunately, all residents and staff escaped the blaze.
Responding to this adversity, the Brethren Home’s trustees and other supporters decided to purchase the Cross Keys Hotel near New Oxford and relocate to this larger building. The new facility opened on October 20, 1952, and soon was serving twice as many residents as had been at Huntsdale.
Since then, we have been expanding almost continuously. The old hotel building was razed in the 1970s, and the Brethren Home evolved into a modern continuing care retirement community, offering nursing care, sub-acute rehabilitation services, adult day services, personal care, and independent retirement living. As the facility grew, it attracted residents of all faiths.
In 1987 we changed our name to The Brethren Home Community, to reflect the diverse population we now served, and the strong community focus we’ve always cultivated.
In our more than 50 years at Cross Keys, our campus has grown from 19 acres to more than 250. Much of the new space is devoted to residential housing for more than 500 villagers who live in cottages, country homes, and apartments of various sizes.
Over the years we have also expanded and built new support facilities, including:
- The Nicarry Meetinghouse, which provides space for worship, concerts, and other activities
- The Campus Inn and Community Center, which houses restaurants, shopping, and other services, as well as our Personal Care and Health Care services
- The Harvey S. Kline Wellness Center, which offers an indoor swimming pool and aquatic center, exercise rooms, fitness centers, a day spa, and much more
Throughout all of these changes, we have preserved our strong ties with the Church of the Brethren. The church’s Southern Pennsylvania District offices are located on campus, and the support of Brethren churches and individuals has remained a constant—as has our commitment to the denomination’s long-held value of compassionate service.
In 2006 we changed our name to Cross Keys Village-The Brethren Home Community, reflecting our leadership as a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community. Throughout the years and all of our changes, we have kept the accent on Christian love and community.