She said she was inspired by a
small book on the history of county churches written by Jesse M. Trinkle
and published in 1940 by The Paoli Republican.
The Historical Society felt that an updated
history of county churches was a worthwhile project, so Marjorie went to
First, she photographed all of the existing church
buildings, an undertaking which required visiting and revisiting some of
the churches to get a better view or better light.
Marjorie bought a new computer, printer and
scanner, then had to learn how to use them, because she was unfamiliar with
Once that was accomplished she spent hours
scanning in the text supplied by members of the churches. She said the days
she was snowbound during the winter months helped her complete the work.
All churches in the county are not included in the
book, despite repeated efforts by the Historical Society to obtain the
history of every church. Letters were sent repeatedly to church officials,
notices were placed in all of the newspapers in the county, seeking
information on churches, and phone calls and personal visits were made.
The publication date was also extended to give
church officials and members more time to assemble information. But there
were still many churches which did not respond, and as a result, could not
be included in the book.
The book, though, does include information on the
history of a large number of churches in the county, those still active,
and those which no longer exist. It is indexed to assist the reader, and
has a map of the townships showing the location of rural churches. The book
outlines the history of Our Lady of Lourdes, a church built on the hillside
just west of the West Baden Springs Hotel by Lee Sinclair. Though that
church no longer exists, the brick, large rosette window and six stained
glass windows were used in the construction of the St. Raphael Catholic
Church in Dubois.
The history of the Log
Church, destroyed by a tornado in
1905, is included in the history book, as is the history of the First Baptist
Church in West Baden, and the Newberry Friends Church,
both named to the National Register of Historic Places.
The book contains information on the history of
discontinued churches such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Paoli,
Patoka Chapel, Scarlet Chapel in Northwest
Township, United Brethren in Chambersburg, and Lost River Friends.
Churches such as Syria Christian, Providence
Primitive Baptist, Orleans United Methodist, Ames Chapel and Christ the
King Catholic, are among the many present day ones included in the history
The book can be purchased by contacting Mrs.
Lapping or any member of the Orange County Historical Society.
From the Paoli News, reprinted by permission