February 1, 2010

Living History at Falmouth, VA

No progress on the layout these past few days as I have been working on some other projects. But I did receive a nice note from Private S. Hainstock, of the 7th Michigan Infantry Regiment USV, Company B, a reenactor unit. He alerted me to a living history presentation that takes place near Falmouth, VA where his unit participated. The 7th Michigan Infantry reenactors helped unveil a historic marker at the Union Church where they had war-time winter quarters. Several of the 7th are also model railroaders.

The APVA Web site has the following description of Union Church.

The Falmouth Union Church was built in the 1820s on the foundation of an earlier church, which burned. As a "union church" it was used by Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians on a rotating basis. It remained a focal point in the Falmouth community until storm damage occurred in the 1950s. Most of the structure was then torn down to salvage old bricks.

The Union Church is just a fa├žade today, although a contributing structure to the Falmouth Historic District. There are no mandatory guidelines or landowner restrictions, however, governing the historic district. The church, an unfortunate victim, suffers from a number of structural maladies. Ruins of the belfry and cornice continue to rot or remain open to the elements. It is feared that the 2,000-pound bell -– still in its belfry! –- will fall and cause considerable damage. What exists of the east wall is precarious, especially at the base. Currently, iron rods are barely holding the structure together. Deteriorated asphalt shingles are lost with every strong gust of wind.

Although in disuse, Union Church continues to serve as a focal point, giving cultural identity to the historic town of Falmouth. It is a visual statement of the Town’s past and a reminder of the much-needed role of preservation in the community. The Church deserves salvation as a fine example of Federal architecture in a religious structure and as a survivor of war, storms, and salvage assaults.
The Union Church was about mile from the railroad and probably not visible from the tracks. But it is tempting to include it on the layout some place.


  1. Hey! That's just down the road from me... I'll have to put that one on my calendar... would be very interested to see it.
    That locale looks very much like it did during the Civil War... I wish it would be made in to a state or part of the National Parks down here.

  2. An N-Scale version, would suffice, on a slight hill, because the river is downslope, and another larger church is even upslope... you ought to check it out... at least after we thaw out!