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Schellsburg in Bedford County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

1806 Old Log Church

 
 
1806 Old Log Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 1, 2018
1. 1806 Old Log Church Marker
Inscription.  This log church, built in 1806, on land donated by John Schell, the founder of Schellsburg, is the oldest church structure in Bedford County. Two congregations, the German Reformed and Lutherans, shared this church until both congregations moved to new structures in the town of Schellsburg by 1852.

The logs for each side of the church were donated by four early pioneers of the area: John Schell, John Mowry, Jacob Hillegass and George Rock. Legend says that members brought their dogs to keep their feet warm prior to the purchase of a stove and pipe in 1809! The wineglass-shaped pulpit, stairs, pews, galleries, floor and plaster were added a few years later for a grand total of $225.91 ½ cents to complete the church. In 1881 white weather boarding was placed over the logs on the exterior. However, in 1936, the weather boarding was removed, and ever since the structure has been called "The Old Log Church.”

According to accounts passed down through the years, the earliest burial occurred in 1806, when workmen were completing the roof on the church and came down to help clear the underbrush to aid in the burial. No
Marker detail: Rev. James H. Lilley started and conducted Homecoming Service during 1930s & 1940s image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Rev. James H. Lilley started and conducted Homecoming Service during 1930s & 1940s
marker exists for this grave; however, it is believed that her last name was Whetstone and a line of markers for other members of the Whetstone family can be found a few yards south of the door to the church. In 1860, Peter Schell, a son of John Schell, formed the Chestnut Ridge and Schellsburg Union Cemetery. Today there are over 4,500 burials in the cemetery including eight Revolutionary War soldiers and veterans from all wars to the present.

On January 12, 2005, the Old Log Church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Funded in part by a grant awarded from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources" Environmental Stewardship Fund, administered by the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor.

 
Erected by Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor & Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Rescources Environmental Stewardship Fund.
 
Location. 40° 2.831′ N, 78° 39.318′ W. Marker is in Schellsburg, Pennsylvania, in Bedford County. Marker can be reached from Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30) 0.6 miles west of Market Street (Pennsylvania Route 96), on the left when traveling west. Marker is located on the south side of the subject building, overlooking the south end of the cemetery. Touch for map
Marker detail: Possibly a Decoration Day gathering or a funeral image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Possibly a Decoration Day gathering or a funeral
Note the weather boarding and closed shutters on the church.
. Marker is at or near this postal address: 343 Cemetery Road, Schellsburg PA 15559, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Log Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Forbes Camp (approx. 0.4 miles away); Forbes Road (approx. 0.4 miles away); Shawnee Cabins (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor (approx. half a mile away); The Beginning of Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service (approx. 0.6 miles away); Bedford Co. Bridge #15 (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Schellsburg.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large composite plaque, mounted horizontally on waist-high posts.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Old Log Church (1806)
 
Also see . . .
1. Old Log Church, Schellsburg, Pennsylvania. Two hundred years ago, a German named John Schell, moved westward from the early settlements in eastern Pennsylvania to purchase a large tract of land nine miles west of Bedford. Schell brought his family and friends to this unsettled land and being a very religious man donated about six acres of land for the purpose of building a church. In 1806, settlers of the German Reformed and Lutheran faith built a log structure to serve as their place of worship. Later in the
Marker detail: Veterans of the Civil War at a Memorial Day Service image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Veterans of the Civil War at a Memorial Day Service
19th century the log structure had siding put over the logs. After the church was completed, Schell “laid out” the town of Schellsburg, Pennsylvania in 1807. (Submitted on August 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The Old Log Church. Members of the Lutheran, Reformed, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches were named as corporators of the cemetery of which the governor approved the charter on March 17, 1860 for the formation of the Chestnut Ridge and Schellsburg Union Cemetery. The land for the cemetery was deeded in 1897. In 1806 the first burial took place (little Whetstone girl), and since that time has been used as a burial place for area residents. The cemetery association is still active with approximately 25 burials each year. (Submitted on August 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Old Log Church, Schellsburg, Pennsylvania. This building was shared by two congregations; one was German Lutheran and the other German Reformed (basically Presbyterian). In the early 19th century, neither of these religious groups approved of unnecessary adornment in their churches. But the fanciful wineglass pulpit served two functions: it made preaching central to the psychological space of the church, and it suggested the sacrament by its chalice-like shape.
Marker detail: The Lincoln Highway (now the old section) bisects the cemetery image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: The Lincoln Highway (now the old section) bisects the cemetery
In a way, the pulpit and the spoken Word become the Holy Grail. And of course, the language would have been German. Everything in this part of Pennsylvania is German. The farms are tidy and meticulously kept--all very Teutonic. The towns all have German names, as do most of the residents. (Submitted on August 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionSettlements & Settlers
 
1806 Old Log Church Marker (<i>wide view; looking southeast from the Old Log Church</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 1, 2018
6. 1806 Old Log Church Marker (wide view; looking southeast from the Old Log Church)
1806 Old Log Church Marker (<i>wide view; marker located in front of church entrance</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 1, 2018
7. 1806 Old Log Church Marker (wide view; marker located in front of church entrance)
Old Log Church (1806) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 1, 2018
8. Old Log Church (1806)
Old Log Church Interior image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 1, 2018
9. Old Log Church Interior
Old Log Church Cemetery (<i>view from Lincoln Highway; Old Log Chuch in background at left</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 1, 2018
10. Old Log Church Cemetery (view from Lincoln Highway; Old Log Chuch in background at left)
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on September 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 177 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7, 8, 9. submitted on August 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   10. submitted on September 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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