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Thursday, February 21, 2013

St. John's Episcopal Church

St. John's Episcopal Church

Here is a famous example of a plantation church, and perhaps the last one built in Tennessee. This church was the dream of Leonidas Polk who was a farmer, Episcopal bishop, second cousin of the President, and Confederate General. Polk gave of his land, oversaw the construction and financed it for the three years it was being built. It was completed in 1842 with the bell placed in the tower in 1849.

Polk wrote, "This church is of chaste and simple Gothic architecture...capable of seating...about five hundred people." The building is 41 feet wide, 65 feet long, the walls are sixteen inches thick and there are four buttresses on each side with a tall stained glass window between them.

Today, there is no congregation that meets here anymore since 1915. However, once a year there is a service on Whitsunday, which is seven weeks after Easter. It is located on old Highway US43 (today TN243) in an area that used to be known as Ashwood but today is just between Columbia and Mt. Pleasant in Maury County. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See the Historical Marker here.

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