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Old 08-20-2009, 03:19 AM   #721
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Historic Church - Kanawha Co

Located on Rt 60 in Cedar Grove.

From the Daughters of the American Revolution, Pratt/Kanawha Co website.

Virginia’s Chapel, “The Little Brick Church” is located in Cedar Grove, Kanawha County, West Virginia. Cedar Grove was the first settlement in the Kanawha Valley. Salt industrialist William Tompkins came to the Kanawha Valley in 1815. His wife was the former Rachel Grant, daughter of Revolutionary War Captain Noah Grant. Her brother was Jesse Grant, father of President Ulysses S. Grant.

The Tompkins had 10 children. Virginia's Chapel was built as a graduation present from William Tompkins to his eldest daughter, Virginia. Virginia married Presbyterian minister John Brown. Some of their descendants still live in the Kanawha Valley.

In 1912 a bell tower was added to the chapel. In the early 1900s Forrest Hull painted the mural on the wall behind the pulpit in the chapel.

Members in the Cedar Grove and Glasgow areas used the chapel until the chapel could no longer accommodate its membership size. Each community built their respective churches with the last built in 1931. The church was used for weddings and funerals over the next two decades and began to deteriorate.

On June 16, 1952, the 100th Birthday Celebration of Virginia’s Chapel was observed. For the occasion, the Reverend Homer Cummings wrote the song “The Old Brick Church by the Side of The Road.”

In 1979 restoration funds were received from the West Virginia Department of Culture and History Preservation Office, other state and county offices, local businesses and private donations. The restoration was completed in 1980. On January 1, 1994, the Virginia Chapel Foundation, Inc. was chartered for the purpose of providing perpetual care to Virginia’s Chapel.

Historical Marker located in front of the church.

Same marker - side #2

View of the marker and church

Plaque on the front of the church.
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