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St. Mary's City in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Rebuilding a Lost Chapel

 
 
Rebuilding a Lost Chapel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 30, 2019
1. Rebuilding a Lost Chapel Marker
Inscription.  There are no plans and few references to the Brick Chapel, nor information about its construction. How long did it take to build, what quantities of materials were needed, and how was it actually built? Architect John Mesick suggested that we make this project an experiment in architectural history, rediscovering how such a structure was erected in frontier Maryland. To this purpose, master mason Jimmy Price kept records of every day of labor, and every brick and pound of mortar used.

While we did transport bricks and mortar vehicles, and placed the heavy roof timbers with a crane, other aspects of the project were done as true to the period as possible. All materials were lifted up to the workers with a hand-operated winch or windless and the bricklayers stood on wooden scaffolding. Partially based on archaeological evidence, this scaffold was made of pine saplings lashed together with rope.

The holes you see in the walls of the chapel are called "putlog" holes where the end of a log was inserted. These horizontal logs helped to fix the scaffold to the building and provided a base for a work platform. Normally, each hole
Rebuilding a Lost Chapel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 30, 2019
2. Rebuilding a Lost Chapel Marker
is filled with a brick as the scaffold is dismantled. We left the holes open to illustrate the construction process. Notice the three lines of holes, showing how the work surface was raised in stages as the walls of the chapel grew upward.

[Captions:]
A hand-operated windless, based on 17th-century examples, was used to lift each brick and bucket of mortar as the chapel walls rose.

The masons found the wooden scaffold to be better than any modern scaffold they had ever worked on. Archaeological traces of the holes where the scaffold logs were placed in the ground helped the museum recreate this ancient system.

These "putlog" holes helped support a wooden floor for the workers as they laid bricks. Used with both brick and stone construction, this method dates back to Roman times.

 
Erected by Historic St. Mary's City.
 
Location. Marker has been reported unreadable. 38° 10.978′ N, 76° 25.679′ W. Marker is in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker can be reached from Point Lookout Road (Maryland Route 5) 0.4 miles west of Rosecroft Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16721 Point Lookout Road, Saint Marys City MD 20686, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Finishing the Walls (here, next to
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this marker); An Experiment with Liberty of Conscience (within shouting distance of this marker); The Brick Chapel's History (within shouting distance of this marker); Sacred Ground and Holy Buildings (within shouting distance of this marker); An End of Freedom but Persistence of Faith (within shouting distance of this marker); The Chapel Architecture (within shouting distance of this marker); Andrew White, Apostle to Maryland (within shouting distance of this marker); "...buried...in a most solemn manner" (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Mary's City.
 
Categories. ArchitectureChurches & ReligionNotable Buildings
 

More. Search the internet for Rebuilding a Lost Chapel.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 2, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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