The "Historic Trinity Episcopal Church" Series
Turnings Dedicated To "the Old English Church" In Shepherdstown
See below regarding the origin of this pen
About Trinity Episcopal Church
Consecrated on April 5th, 1889, the history of Trinity Episcopal Church on German Street actually predates the 1762 incorporation of Shepherdstown (Mecklenburg) by some 17 years, having first existed as a log chapel erected in 1745 by old Frederick Parish and known as "the Old English Church." Upon incorporation of Mecklenburg, Church Street was actually named for the building. In 1769 the stone "Mecklenburg Chapel" replaced the original log structure. Though renovated repeatedly over the years the Chapel building still stands, and is one of the earliest surviving church buildings west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Completed on the eastern end of the former Parade Grounds (where local militia drilled from the French and Indian War until the Civil War) in 1859, the current native limestone Gothic Revival Church served as a designated "house of prayer" after the Battle of Antietam when most public buildings were pressed into service as hospitals, providing worship services for both Union and Confederate soldiers and their sympathizers througout the war. Read more about the history of "Old Trinity Church" (now privately owned) and the present day services and activities of this landmark Church here, and see the Church entry on the Historic Shepherdstown Museum Walking Tour Page here.
A Summer Storm, a Renovation, and a Celebration of Trinity Episcopal Church
A few years back two events occurred in the Trinity Churchyard that got my attention. First, the large Sugar Maple pictured below (standing at far right of first photo and toppled in the middle photo) came crashing down during a violent summer storm. I was graciously allowed to harvest some of the wood, but the tree was in pretty bad shape and, unfortunately, at that time I was still learning the tricks by which turners "get the most" out of severely damaged specimens. Very few bowls will be forthcoming as a result of the paucity of sizeable pieces I was able to cut. However, I did save much of the small stock - on a hunch because I had no idea what to do with it - and since then I have discovered that I enjoy turning writing instruments from the leftover "cutoffs" that result from my bowl turning. So, I have a good amount of dried wood from the late lamented Trinity Sugar Maple and will be crafting pens from that as requested. The OTHER event was the repair and restoration of the iconic red door to the Church. On inquiry it turned out that Mr. Jay Hurley of Shepherdstown, the proprietor of the indispensable O'HURLEY'S General Store in town, was in possession of the old arched door casing, and was perfectly willing to share some of it. The first pen pictured above is thus turned from the reclaimed pine that was the door casing, a piece of which is shown in my shop below.