I Purchased a Historic Civil War Church

Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
31
Location
Raccoon Ford, Virginia
#1
Greetings Folks!

I am very pleased to make your acquaintance and would like to share my short story as to how I ended up here.

A year and a half ago, I was shopping around rural Virginia for a cheap piece of property to retire onto. What I found was an old quasi neglected and unoccupied church for sale. I made arrangements with the realtor to take a look at it, not really having any expectations, but thought this would be an interesting old building to walk thru.

When I arrived on site, I discovered that I liked the lot location and then found that the overall condition of the building was surprisingly good. Inspecting the foundation and roof I found them to be structurally sound consisting stone and massive hand hewn timbers. I was quite taken with the unique Gothic style architecture and the remoteness of the place kind of spoke to me in subtle way. For what reason I will never know, but shortly thereafter I began negotiating for purchase of the property. Within a few short months we closed with my having paid cash for the place. Looking back, I must have seemed nuts to the realtor, since he had never gotten any serious offers on the place.

Afterwards when I told them, my entire family were aghast at what I'd done. Two of my brothers were strongly advocating that I quickly bull doze the church down and build a nice house in it's place. I have to admit that for a couple of months, I was considering doing that very thing. However, I decided that I had first better do a little research and determine the history of the church and the surrounding area.

Good thing I did, because it happens to be the site of numerous Civil War engagements and some significant personages stopped in there. So almost overnight, I have become not just a hobby researcher but addicted to all things Civil War related and a die hard preservationist. The later in part fueled by the destruction of numerous southern statues and monuments.

My intention is now to live in the back parsonage and convert the church itself into a "living history museum" and Civil War themed Wedding Chapel. As a desk bound engineer during the work week, I now anxiously look forward to every weekend being out at the church. I really enjoying doing manual labor again fixing the place up and scrounging around locally for a few items to display in the museum.

I'll keep you all posted on my progress.
 

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Jimklag

Lt. Colonel
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 3, 2017
Messages
9,909
Location
Chicagoland
#5
Greetings Folks!

I am very pleased to make your acquaintance and would like to share my short story as to how I ended up here.

A year and a half ago, I was shopping around rural Virginia for a cheap piece of property to retire onto. What I found was an old quasi neglected and unoccupied church for sale. I made arrangements with the realtor to take a look at it, not really having any expectations, but thought this would be an interesting old building to walk thru.

When I arrived on site, I discovered that I liked the lot location and then found that the overall condition of the building was surprisingly good. Inspecting the foundation and roof I found them to be structurally sound consisting stone and massive hand hewn timbers. I was quite taken with the unique Gothic style architecture and the remoteness of the place kind of spoke to me in subtle way. For what reason I will never know, but shortly thereafter I began negotiating for purchase of the property. Within a few short months we closed with my having paid cash for the place. Looking back, I must have seemed nuts to the realtor, since he had never gotten any serious offers on the place.

Afterwards when I told them, my entire family were aghast at what I'd done. Two of my brothers were strongly advocating that I quickly bull doze the church down and build a nice house in it's place. I have to admit that for a couple of months, I was considering doing that very thing. However, I decided that I had first better do a little research and determine the history of the church and the surrounding area.

Good thing I did, because it happens to be the site of numerous Civil War engagements and some significant personages stopped in there. So almost overnight, I have become not just a hobby researcher but addicted to all things Civil War related and a die hard preservationist. The later in part fueled by the destruction of numerous southern statues and monuments.

My intention is now to live in the back parsonage and convert the church itself into a "living history museum" and Civil War themed Wedding Chapel. As a desk bound engineer during the work week, I now anxiously look forward to every weekend being out at the church. I really enjoying doing manual labor again fixing the place up and scrounging around locally for a few items to display in the museum.

I'll keep you all posted on my progress.
Howdy, Rev Ron, and welcome aboard from the Railroads and Steam Locomotives forum. Thanks for sharing a great story.
 

zburkett

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
1,416
Location
Orange County, Virginia
#8
Congratulations. You didn't say where it was but here in Orange County, Virginia it is amazing how many local resources would be made available to you. Don't overlook local reenactors, historians and historical societies. I was restoring an old house and called a sawmill of very good reputation. I need some oak planks. After telling him what I wanted I add, "The kicker is it needs to look like it was milled in the 1800s." Mr. Lamb laughed and said. "You're restoring an old house. It will be ready Thursday." Virginians appreciate their history.
 

Cavalry Charger

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
5,215
#12
Congratulations on your purchase :smile: I'm so glad you decided not to bulldoze it, and good luck with the restorations.

Welcome to the forums Reverend Ron.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Messages
8,309
Location
Hannover, Germany
#14
I sooooo envy you!!!!
Imagine the finds you will make once you'll start searching with a metal detector!
Live well in your church and stay open for the spirit of lots of warrior souls... I strongly believe that emotional energy lingers in some places and you might experience it.
All the best, and welcome from Germany!
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
9,596
#17
Hi and welcome from Missouri. Please show us some pictures and let us know a bit about the Civil War history of your church. I had some friends who lived in an old church for several years. It was a wonderful place.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
13,892
Location
north central florida
#18
Greetings Folks!

I am very pleased to make your acquaintance and would like to share my short story as to how I ended up here.

A year and a half ago, I was shopping around rural Virginia for a cheap piece of property to retire onto. What I found was an old quasi neglected and unoccupied church for sale. I made arrangements with the realtor to take a look at it, not really having any expectations, but thought this would be an interesting old building to walk thru.

When I arrived on site, I discovered that I liked the lot location and then found that the overall condition of the building was surprisingly good. Inspecting the foundation and roof I found them to be structurally sound consisting stone and massive hand hewn timbers. I was quite taken with the unique Gothic style architecture and the remoteness of the place kind of spoke to me in subtle way. For what reason I will never know, but shortly thereafter I began negotiating for purchase of the property. Within a few short months we closed with my having paid cash for the place. Looking back, I must have seemed nuts to the realtor, since he had never gotten any serious offers on the place.

Afterwards when I told them, my entire family were aghast at what I'd done. Two of my brothers were strongly advocating that I quickly bull doze the church down and build a nice house in it's place. I have to admit that for a couple of months, I was considering doing that very thing. However, I decided that I had first better do a little research and determine the history of the church and the surrounding area.

Good thing I did, because it happens to be the site of numerous Civil War engagements and some significant personages stopped in there. So almost overnight, I have become not just a hobby researcher but addicted to all things Civil War related and a die hard preservationist. The later in part fueled by the destruction of numerous southern statues and monuments.

My intention is now to live in the back parsonage and convert the church itself into a "living history museum" and Civil War themed Wedding Chapel. As a desk bound engineer during the work week, I now anxiously look forward to every weekend being out at the church. I really enjoying doing manual labor again fixing the place up and scrounging around locally for a few items to display in the museum.

I'll keep you all posted on my progress.
Welcome from the sunshine state.
 


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