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The church, designed in 1704, was patterned after an old Bohemian one. Its well‑pointed brick façade had withstood the ravages of time and the weather, owing to the care the church received from its parishioners. The church spire stood directly over the oval main entrance, and served as a constant reminder to the members of the parish to live their lives in concert with the Lord’s commandments.
The twin white doors in front opened directly into the nave, where two aisles led through the chancel and up to the sanctuary trisecting the rows of pews. Along the middle of one exterior wall, a brick chimney rose over a fireplace. Long ago abandoned in favor of a modern oil‑fired furnace, the hearth no longer provided heat to those kneeling in prayer.
On both sides of the church, large, arched windows, framed by black shutters, accentuated the period architecture. During the hot summer months, the windows remained open during Sunday services. Other than the occasional chirp of a bird, only the prayers of the congregation permeated the surrounding hills and valleys.
On the church’s south side, surrounded by a three-foot-high stonewall, stood the cemetery. Less a bulwark than a symbolic boundary line, the wall delineated the world of the living from that of the dead. Gravestones dating back to the mid‑seventeen hundreds stood in a pattern long ago sacrificed in favor of the best use of the limited space. Some were quite large, commensurate with their owner’s pocketbooks, while others were more modest. Most of the headstones were chiseled from granite brought from local quarries. The names of the dearly departed along with the dates of their passage on earth were etched deeply into the stone–as if the depth of the inscription could somehow reflect the family’s pain.
On the older stones, the weather and the ravages of time had tried feebly to erase the records of birth and death. Here the inscriptions almost blended into the face of the stone. On the newer stones, the names of the deceased stood in stark contrast to the chalky white face of the stone. Engraved on a highly polished black marble stone was the name “John Grant” followed by the dates “September 22, 1956, to August 31, 1957.”
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