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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hartwood in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Hartwood Presbyterian Church

 
 
Hartwood Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin White, August 30, 2007
1. Hartwood Presbyterian Church Marker
Inscription. Organized in June 1825 by the Winchester Presbytery as Yellow Chapel Church, the brick church was constructed between 1857 and 1859. It became Hartwood Presbyterian Church in 1868. During the Civil War an engagement took place here on 25 Feb. 1863. Confederate Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, commanding detachments of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Virginia Cavalry Regiments, defeated a Union force and captured 150 men. The interior wooden elements and furnishings of the church suffered considerable damage during the war, but were replaced. The building was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 and it is an American Presbyterian Reformed Historical Site.
 
Erected 2004 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number E-126.)
 
Location. 38° 24.107′ N, 77° 34.02′ W. Marker is in Hartwood, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker is on Hartwood Church Road (County Route 705), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 50 Hartwood Church Rd, Hartwood VA 22471, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Hartwood Presbyterian Church (here, next to this
Hartwood Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin White, August 30, 2007
2. Hartwood Presbyterian Church Marker
marker); Gold Mining in Stafford County (approx. 0.3 miles away); Mt. Olive Baptist Church (approx. 3.1 miles away); The Mud March (approx. 3.8 miles away); Fredericksburg Campaign (approx. 3.8 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps Company 2363 (approx. 3.8 miles away); Hulls Memorial Baptist Church (approx. 5.1 miles away); Milton Snellings (approx. 5.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hartwood.
 
Regarding Hartwood Presbyterian Church. Hartwood Presbyterian Church, which includes the site of the Hartwood Chapel, or Yellow Chapel, and the graveyard, began its life as a chapel-of-ease of Brunswick Parish about 1767. The oldest surviving recording of the churchís existence cited it as a landmark in orders for repairing the road that ran by it. The half acre containing the chapel was sold to the parish in 1771 by Arthur Morson for five shillings “current money of the colony of Virginia,” subject to an annual payment of “one pepper corn, on St. Michaelís Day, if demanded.” Arthur Morson, who emigrated
Hartwood Presbyterian Church - Front image. Click for full size.
By Kevin White, August 30, 2007
3. Hartwood Presbyterian Church - Front
Note the plaque below the window. A closeup of the plaque is shown in Picture 5.
from Scotland to Virginia and fought in the Revolutionary War, received a 5,000-acre crown grant that was known as the Morson Tract. He and his wife Marion Andrew Morson are listed among the founding members of Yellow Chapel Church, established as “a chapel of ease” so that residents of Hartwood Plantation would not have to navigate the muddy roads to attend services in Fredericksburg.

After the Revolution and the disestablishment of the Anglican Church, Presbyterians began to use the chapel. The Winchester Presbytery officially recognized the Yellow Chapel Church on 2 June 1825. Until 1983 Hartwood was the only Presbyterian church in Stafford County.

Between 1857 and 1859 members of the Irvine family and their slaves built the present building on an acre of land immediately adjacent to the Hartwood Chapel half acre.

The area around Hartwood Presbyterian Church saw many skirmishes and camps in the early years of the Civil War. Like many churches in the area, it saw use as a church, stable and hospital. By the end of the War, everything that was combustible was burned, leaving only the brick walls standing.

In 1872, the Irvine family gave the church building and one acre of land “more or less” to the trustees of Hartwood Church, the present owners, raising the total area of land to about 1.77 acres. They also gave the church
Hartwood Presbyterian Church - Side image. Click for full size.
By Kevin White, August 30, 2007
4. Hartwood Presbyterian Church - Side
its pulpit furniture: a communion table, two chairs, and a sofa, all of which are still in use.

According to tradition and to a survey of 1965, the present land includes a small portion of land used for a former sighting of the road, which was at one time closer to the church. This road area is shown in Picture 7, with its accompanying marker shown in Picture 6.
 
Also see . . .
1. Hartwood Presbyterian Church Website. Includes a brief history and historical timeline of the church. (Submitted on August 31, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 

2. Inventory - Nomination Form. The completed National Register of Historic Places form describing Hartwood Presbyterian Church. The above information was gleaned from this document and a similiar one for the nearby Hartwood Manor. (Submitted on August 31, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.MilitaryWar, US Civil
 
Hartwood Presbyterian Church Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Kevin White, August 30, 2007
5. Hartwood Presbyterian Church Plaque
Plaque is mounted in the front of the church, between the doors and below the window.
A Road from Yesteryear image. Click for full size.
By Kevin White, August 30, 2007
6. A Road from Yesteryear
The opening in the woods between this white oak and the red oak to its right indicates the existence of a bygone thoroughfare that predates the present Hartwood Presbyterian Church to the east. This road would have crossed the churchyard, run close to the front steps of the church, continued east around the existing woods and connected with what is now Hartwood Road.
The Road from Yesteryear image. Click for full size.
By Kevin White, August 30, 2007
7. The Road from Yesteryear
... between this white oak and the red oak ...
On picture number 2 above, the Road from Yesteryear can be seen immediately to the left of the Highway Marker
Nearby Hartwood Manor image. Click for full size.
By Kevin White, September 6, 2007
8. Nearby Hartwood Manor
Hartwood Manor was also constructed on what was known as the Morson Tract. While it has had several additions, the original home was constructed in 1848. Note also the unusual fence composed of distinctive concrete cannon ball-topped columns and white-painted wood rails, constructed in the 1950s.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 31, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,151 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 31, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   8. submitted on September 7, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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