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February 16, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Churches: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

Church_St.-Peter's

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Courtesy Historic Buckingham) 

Yet another of the nineteen Buckingham County churches accounted for in Thomas Baldwin’s Gazetteer of the United States (1854) was St. Peter’s Episcopal Church founded in 1832.

Over one hundred years later, in 1937, Elizabeth McCraw wrote at length about St. Peter’s Episcopal Church for the Virginia Historical Inventory.  Located less than a mile north of Curdsville, she described the church as follows:

This church “by the side of the road” is entered by double doors and a vestibule. Above the vestibule and facing the pulpit, is a balcony or gallery where the colored carriage drivers and other slaves worshiped before 1865. . . . Several years ago the steeple was struck by lightning which so damaged it that it had to be taken down. The old bell, which for many years called the membership to divine worship, was sold and is now used in Johns Memorial Church, Farmville, Va. This church served a large and wealthy congregation in its early days. On its roll were to be found the names of Epps, Cox, Crute, Osborn, Henry, Stinson, Grigg, Evans, Sheppard, Hubard, Bolling and others. For thirty years the Rev. Thomas Hugo Lacy was the beloved rector of this church.

Rosa G. Williams, fieldworker for the Virginia Historical Society, took a photo of the church’s façade.  It can be viewed online along with Elizabeth McCraw’s survey:  http://image.lva.virginia.gov/VHI/html/04/0386.html

Note: See the 1/31/2013 post for a map of the area around Curdsville.

8 Comments

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  1. Ed Ayres / Feb 18 2013 2:18 pm

    I remember visiting the site of the church sometime in the early 1960s. There were still some pieces of wooden siding and other timbers on the ground, mostly overgrown by weeds. I think i still have a sadly damaged little hymnal or Book of Common Prayer that i picked up at the time. I am also fairly sure the church is identified on the 1863 manuscript map of Buckingham and Appomattox at the Library of Congress.

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 18 2013 3:34 pm

      Thanks, Ed. It’s good to know that the bell went to Johns Memorial Church in Farmville.

  2. Patt / Feb 16 2013 10:11 pm

    Excellent! Found some additional information from LVA.

    BUCKINGHAM COUNTY.
    St. Peters’ Church, Tillotson Parish.
    Rev. JAS. GRAMMER, Rector.
    Baptisms–infants, white, 1. Communicants–white, 47 ; colored, 2; added, 2; removed, 1 ; present number 50. Confirmed–white, 3. Marriages–1. Contributions–objects within the Parish, $91; objects in connection with the P. E. Church, $125; objects not in connection with the P. E. Church, $68; total $284. Postoffice–Farmville.

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 17 2013 9:22 am

      In 1865, the journal for the annual convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church listed Rev. Jas. Grammer as Rector of St. Peter’s in Buckingham County.

  3. Steven / Feb 16 2013 5:34 pm

    Does it still exist?

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 16 2013 5:42 pm

      No. According to Margaret A. Pennington and Lorna S. Scot in “The Courthouse Burned” (Book II), “The old church stood for many years but eventually disappeared.”

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