Thursday, October 29, 2009


A couple weeks ago now, I went to an old country church on Sunday morning where my retired uncle occasionally preaches. His son and daughter and their families also went along, because this was sort of our family reunion weekend.

The church was originally built in 1825, then replaced after a fire. It happens to be the place where my maternal grandparents were married. They may have been the first wedding there after the church was rebuilt.

It is a one-room building with entry doors at the ends of each of 2 aisles. There is a low platform, and behind it a large wallpapered mural of Jesus and Mary Magdalene in the garden. On each side, pews have been turned in a C shape to accommodate a wood stove. Both stoves are gone now, but one area now holds the unattractive furnace.

It was like walking back in time to enter the building. The pew seats are made short (where half your leg overhangs--and I'm short legged, LOL) and uncomfortable. The wood floors give and creak.

But the best part about the visit was singing in harmony with my cousins, without microphones or soundtracks. The old piano, played by my mother, carried us and the sound was awesome.

Mom and I may go back this Sunday for their homecoming event.

As a lover of history, genealogy, and historical novels, visiting this place was special to me. Have you visited a place that transported you back to another age and time?


Mary Connealy said...

JoAnne, there's an old, old church in the country near me. They no longer hold services there but for years they did. In the end there were six people going. No pastor, just neighbors getting together to worship. I always loved the idea of that.

I wonder what it looks like inside.

Erica Vetsch said...

That's how I felt when I walked up the steps and entered the James, J. Hill House in St. Paul. I could almost see the carriages pulling up, lights in every window, wasp-waisted dresses with leg-o-mutton sleeves, and a Gilded Age party in full swing.

I love touring old houses, visiting old churches, prairie school houses. Every time, I wonder about the people who have passed through them, and what their stories were.

That's a lovely old church in the photo. I hope you get to return there soon.

Beth Loughner said...

I love history. So, our family likes to visit historical sites such as Williamsburg and Gettysburg. All you have to do is close your eyes while standing on the fighting fields of Gettyburg to feel and see it happen. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about the experience.

Last year I volunteered during the Christmas season at the Ohio Historical Village in Columbus for their "Dicken's of a Christmas". It's an entire village from the 1850s and we dress in era-appropriate clothes. It's like living in that time. Totally awesome. While working in the "Funeral Parlor" one night last year, my mind thought about a dozen plots for a contemporary mystery novel about a woman who works in such a village. Imagine her surprise when she opens the old wooden coffin to find a real body. I'm sure it's worth one village guest fainting. Wouldn't that be a great story?

Can't wait for another plot idea when volunteering this year. :-)


Donna L. Rich said...

I love going into old structures like that and try to imagine who of my ancestors entered there before. I’ve taken several genealogy road trips one of which took me out east to New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

I find fascination with visiting graveyards where my ancestors were buried. Yes, I know it’s kind of spooky, but so much is revealed there. Just make sure not to lock your keys in your car as I did and have to wait for someone with a cell phone to travel down the lonely road. (I had visions of the barking dogs in the distance tracking me down and attacking me lol.)

On one journey, I found out just how much love my great grandfather had for my great grandmother when I found her Civil War era stone.

This is the inscription:
“Beneath this stone her ashes rest whose memory fills my aching breast.”