OK, it's too cold and icy to ride this weekend, so I'm going back through old ride reports to find photos of Historical Markers I've already photo'd. I came across this one from down in Smoke Hole that I took back in 2006. It's located on the south end of Smoke Hole Road (CR 2 -3 where it divides into CR 2 to go up to Big Bend (next to Shreve's Store). Smoke Hole Road is a GREAT ride, just don't be in a hurry - there's lots of families with kids out fishing and sightseeing. We don't want to give motorcycles a bad reputation now, do we?
Historical Marker located on CR 2 about 100 yards from cutoff to Big Bend.
Photo of the church.
(I added some notes to another ADV rider's thread about this church a while back. I copied and pasted them here.)
It's been over 25 years since I've been through Smoke Hole, except to drive my grandmother through a few weeks before she died back in 1992.
As far as this building, it has an interesting history. The following notes are taken from the book "A Place Called Smoke Hole" by D. Bardon Shreve.
The first pastor in Smoke Hole was John Shreve, a Methodist preacher who never built a church building -- they just met under a large maple tree. Methodists contimued meeting in the open and in peoples' homes for the next 60-70 years.
1889 - Jacob and Amy Kimble sold a tract of land to the Methodists, and a log church was built. The Methodists flourished in this area and the church was very strong. One interesting note is that this church baptised by immersion in the South Branch Potomac River (which ran by the church) rather than the traditional sprinkling method.
Late 1920s - The church had a big split, possibly over the pastor's salary.
1932 - The church replaced it's board of trustees and immediately sold the property to the Episcopals for $100.00. The Methodist church (national church leaders) decided to abandon the church, so it died a sudden death.
The Episcopal church sent a missionary to build up the following. He had some volunteers -- 5 well-dressed men who were camping along the river who drove nice cars and always had plenty of money and whiskey. Hmmm.... When the mission house and other buildings were completed, the 5 men moved on. No questions asked.
1937 - Attendance grew at the church until a new preacher arrived. (The former preacher's wife was expecting a baby and did not want it born in a place called "Smoke Hole".) The new preacher was not liked and attendance dropped.
1949 - The Great Flood of '49 damaged the buildings and the Episcopal Church decided not to rebuild. The property was sold to some local businessmen who donated it to the South Fork Rotary Club, who maintain it as a historic site.
To see a nice photo of the church taken by iDave, click here