Man Showcases His $300,000 Coal Baron Mansion in Pennsylvania – Newsweek

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A millennial’s TikTok tours of his $300,000 coal baron mansion in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, have gone viral, attracting over 2.1 million likes.

Dakota Schuck went from paying $2,000-a-month rent in Washington, D.C., to—for the same amount in mortgage costs—owning a historic 1908 mansion built by coal baron A.D. Robertson. The three-story home, which Schuck calls “Sunbury Manor,” has nine bedrooms spread across 8,226 square feet.


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At a time when homeownership seems increasingly challenging as mortgage rates are at 23-year highs, the 34-year-old’s move to a town outside of a major metro area may inspire others to look for new possibilities.

In his video, Schuck, who works from home, boasts of being just three hours from Washington, D.C. and three hours from Manhattan, making the property close to both cultural centers.

Schuck’s mansion, which he named the “Sunbury Manor” is going viral on TikTok for its unique qualities.

The data specialist at MetaPhase decided to make the move in June after struggling to find a property in the competitive D.C. housing market.

“I put in an offer in the metro D.C. area, and it didn’t get accepted, so I kept widening my range,” Schuck told Newsweek. His search eventually led him to the mansion in Shamokin.

Schuck’s home in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1908 by coal baron A.D. Robertson.
Dakota Schuck/Realtor

The TikToker discovered the home when a friend jokingly shared the listing on Facebook and marveled at its artistic features and stained glass. Although initially skeptical about the move, the house’s charm and affordability convinced him to take the plunge. Schuck recalls thinking: “Wait, technically, I could [buy] that. What, what? Yeah, let’s do it.”

The Mansion’s Historical Significance

Schuck’s TikTok fame soared when he started sharing videos that highlight the mansion’s grandeur and history.

Robertson, a notable figure in the coal industry, was associated with Thomas Edison, being one of the original stockholders and a director of the Edison Electrical Illuminating Co. in Shamokin, which further adds to the home’s historical significance.

A D Robertson's Home
The foyer of Schuck’s home with a detailed carving of a lion. The nine-bedroom property has a number of period features.
Dakota Schuck/Realtor

Schuck told Newsweek that he was mesmerized by the property’s unique features, including a pile of coal left in the basement that he is selling on Etsy as novelty gifts, a large copper dome, intricate woodwork, and stained glass windows.

The mansion has a functional dumbwaiter that spans three floors, intricate woodwork, four sets of pocket doors, and multiple fireplaces. There is also a butler’s pantry equipped with antique built-in wall refrigerators. The second-floor bathroom has a unique tub and the attic, accented by copper details, opens to a city view.

A D Robertson
A walk-in safe with the name of the original owner, A.D. Robertson, above the entrance. Schuck bought the mansion for $300,000.
Dakota Schuck/Realtor

Financial and Lifestyle Shift

Purchasing the mansion for $300,000 at a 6.1 percent interest rate, Schuck found himself transitioning from paying steep rent to investing in a historic property. “It’s probably going to require refinance eventually, but hey, I’m paying into equity, so whatever,” he said, noting that while Shamokin is not as busy as D.C., the people are nice.

His ability to work remotely was also a critical factor in the decision. “I don’t have to be that close to the office,” he explained.

In his new home, Schuck envisions hosting events and possibly turning parts of the mansion into rentable spaces. “It’s also zoned for business, so the options are open,” he said, contemplating the potential of transforming the property into a bed and breakfast or a cultural venue.

“It should be a museum piece,” Schuck added. “It’s historic.”

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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