Stone Churches of Wellsboro PA – USA

On the day of the wedding (we are getting closer to it 🙂 ) we visited the nearest town Wellsboro, to have breakfast in the famous Wellsboro diner…… guess what, the one thing I did not take a photo of.  But I did find a couple of stone churches, which to be truthful, I didn’t expect to see.  I suppose I had seen so many white wooden ones, that I though thats all there would be, unless we were in a big city.  I did try the doors on both of the churches, but they were locked, so really no different than home, guess they have the same problem of people helping themselves.

The above church is St Paul’s Episcopal 1838, I found some details from the churches web page and so very different from the forming of a UK church, I found it really interesting.

‘As the first organized church in Wellsboro, PA, St. Paul’s enjoys a proud heritage of 165 years of service to the community. Benjamin Morris, a Quaker who built a meetinghouse for fellow worshippers, which founded Wellsboro in 1806. After the Quaker group disbanded, James Lowery and Joshua Sweet headed a group interested in forming a new church.

In 1838, the church leaders hired an Episcopal priest, Mr. Charles Breck, then still in seminary in New York City. Mr. Breck accepted the call and was offerred $250 to fill the post, with the hope of this sum being increased to $300 soon thereafter. Subsequently, the first Episcopal services were held at the courthouse on Sunday, August 26, 1838. Because the location was not uniformly popular, on the second Sunday of Mr. Breck’s tenure, he was met at the door of the courthouse by the sheriff bearing weapons and bringing the news that the worshippers were no longer welcome at the courthouse.

Thereafter, and until the present structure was erected and completed in 1899, services were held at the site of an old school building on the corner of Charles and Walnut Streets. In the meantime, the now-present Romanesque structure was being completed at a cost of just over $30,000 with regular services beginning on Easter Sunday, April 2, 1899.

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 Just a little further from St Paul’s Church is the First Presbyterian Church (1894)  The church was built about the same time as St Paul’s, the church also started life in the courthouse during the 1830’s.  There is a lovely stained glass rose window, but sadly as I said, both churches were locked.

June 2015 USA

8 comments

  1. Great photos! It is hard to get inside most churches these days, it’s a pity. I like the castle look of the second one. And those look to be actually functioning gargoyles. Most I see these days are just ornamental. Cool!

    1. So glad you like the photos, I was amazed to see them, well its not like I visit a lot of American towns, so that I get to see what kind of churches you have. I really liked them, very Victorian Gothic and so well cared for. And yes I too think the gargoyles are actually doing their job, they were a nice surprise too 🙂

  2. The “Northern Tier” of Pennsylvania is beautiful, in the summer. It is a cold and icy landscape in the winter months. The mountains were dubbed “The Endless Mountains” as the vistas from Pike County to the headwaters of the Allegheny prove. The Child Bride is from a town to the east of Wellsboro and I have used that area as locations in two of my books. Great photos.

    1. Thank you, and I’m going to have to read a couple of your books, I love the area, it never seems to change, I’m sure it does, but to me its always so green and beautiful, or white and beautiful 🙂

  3. Thanks for the photos and the information. Interesting to see a new generation of churches on a new continent creating an odd sort of hybrid of style.

    1. Thank you Jenny, it was so interesting seeing these two churches, as you say a hybrid style. I saw some lovely stone churches in Boston, but they will come later. I suppose I thought they would all be all brick built, so they were a nice surprise 🙂

  4. Blosslyn, I have been enjoying your journey in the U.S. I find the history of religious intolerance that keeps showing up as we learn about our history a fascinating insight into our ongoing struggle with religious and other liberties in this country. So a peek into the history of a small church in Pennsylvania calls our attention once again to the long history of religious and racial intolerance we continue to endure. Of course I always enjoy traveling with you and looking with your eye at the wonders your encounter. As always, I look forward to more from you. Happy trails.

    1. Really glad that you are enjoying the journey with me, its lovely to relive it all again, its like a pictorial journal 🙂 We have had our share of religious intolerance in the Uk over many centuries and I suppose it will never really stop, there will always be something. Anyway I have lots more to post as we continue on our journey 🙂

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