Near Burning Springs in Wirt County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
One of the oldest “still attended” churches in the state, it was built in 1835 of hand-hewed logs. Much effort has been expended on the preservation of church's original appearance. It is heated by a pot-bellied stove and lighted by kerosene lights. Deed book states that all denominations, except those of "Northern Principles," were welcome. Many graves in the church cemetery predate the Civil War.
Erected by West Virginia Department of Culture and History. (Marker Number WI 1.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the West Virginia Archives and History series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1835.
Location. 39° 0.336′ N, 81° 20.448′ W. Marker is near Burning Springs, West Virginia, in Wirt County. Marker is at the intersection of Little Kanawha Parkway (West Virginia Route 5) and Chestnut Run Road (Local Road 35/6), on the left when traveling south on Little Kanawha Parkway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Elizabeth WV 26143, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rathbone Well (approx. 1˝ miles away); Burning Springs Oil Field (approx. 1˝ miles away); Destruction of Oil WorksMurder of William B. Dulin (approx. 1.6 miles away); Population Center (approx. 2.1 miles away); Historical Elizabeth (approx. 4.9 miles away); Wirt County Honor Roll (approx. 4.9 miles away); Elizabeth (approx. 4.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Burning Springs.
More about this marker. The church itself is exactly 3 miles west of this marker on Chestnut Run Road at the intersection of Chestnut Run Road, Ruble Church Road, and Saltkeld Road. Chestnut Run Road turns to gravel and changes road number at an intersection 1.8 miles from Route 5. (Road 35/6 turns left, you should proceed straight ahead. Some maps show the road changing name to Burning Spring Road there, but green road signs continue to name it Chestnut Run Road.)
Regarding Ruble Church. The Ruble Church is a rectangular, single-story, gable-roofed log structure
measuring fifteen feet by twenty-five feet. The building stands in a clearing on
a remote, forested hilltop (elevation 1045 ft.).
Also see . . . Ruble Church - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form.
The Ruble Church is significant because it exhibits the well-preserved craftsmanship of pre-Civil War hewn log construction in an original rural West Virginia setting. The building is also significant because it was built as a philanthropic gesture by a locally prominent individual to serve the local religious and educational needs of a wilderness area in mid-19th century West Virginia.(Submitted on June 1, 2021.)
The single-crib plan Ruble Church retains much of its original rustic integrity partly because it was never used as a domicile and therefore resisted the natural evolution of additions and alterations, and because its
A Burning Springs native and a later resident of Williamstown, West Virginia, Dr. J. K. Roberts, wrote a brief history of Burning Springs in which the following story was related: “Sometime prior to the Civil War, when Burning Springs was still a wilderness, Aaron S. Ruble, a very pious and good man, feeling the need of a place of worship had, through his influence, a log church built. It was named the Ruble Church after its founder and is still known by that name.”
The log church was constructed by area settlers who were assisted, it was reported, by Aaron Ruble’s two daughters. The land for the church was given by landowner William Petty in an official transaction before Aaron Ruble
During the early years the Ruble Log Church also served as a school. Among the teachers were David Roberts, Zachariah Hickman and John R. Pell. The importance of the building, which was only several ridges away from one of the nation’s earliest oil and gas producing fields of the 19th century, was emphasized by its siting on a mountain top at the forks of several unimproved roads serving scattered settlers.
** The deed actually records that the church was free to all but those of “Northern Principles.”
Credits. This page was last revised on January 24, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 7, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 757 times since then and 156 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week June 6, 2021. Photos: 1. submitted on June 1, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 2. submitted on May 7, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 3, 4. submitted on June 1, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.