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Old 11-13-2014, 04:10 AM   #21
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Congrats! This property caught my eye when it was first listed so it was funny to see it mentioned here - small world!
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:18 AM   #22
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Thanks to all for the replies and comments. Loved the videos. We hung out at the church yesterday afternoon and had a fire in the wood stove, warmed up the main room nicely. Will post some interior pics later. Plans now are to leave the place alone but will want to replace the front concrete stairs with a deck and possibly a ramp. Winds were up yesterday and only in the 50's so stayed off the river. Started investigating floating docks last night. May pick up a kerosene heater to use for quick visits as we don't want to leave the church with the stove still hot and would warm the place up more quickly.

The earliest picture of the church we've found is from 1952, well before the huge screened porch was added. Found this one hanging in a frame at the church so opened it up to see if there was anything on the back and found the date. We believe it was last used as a church in the early 40's and was closed after a big Methodist and Episcopalian conference in Kansas City in 1939. I found a record online that showed the Reverend Brandt from Romney attended the combining congress and the church trustees deeded the church to Brandt in 1940. He sold it to the father of the person we bought from in 1955. Will be fun to learn more. The MECS denomination was formed by a break up in the church well before the Civil War in a disagreement about slavery. We've not found any evidence of a cemetery around the church and if one had been in the front yard, all evidence could be long gone to the river. The area behind the church is a rock mountain that rises a few hundred feet so no way one would have been there. There was also a reproduction river map from 1901 that show there was a river crossing right at the church as well, it didn't have a name, just showed a ford at that point on the map.

Walt, we're just downstream from the Hanging Rocks on the South Branch which I'm guessing is about 5 or 6 river miles north of Romney.

As for flooding, the property is in the flood plain. In the "big" flood here in 1985, water reached the crawl space we were told. The last owner said that the water can be 10 or 15 feet higher at times than it is right now depending on winter snows. Most everyone in this area tells us that the flood of 1985 won't happen again because of changes in how the water is controlled now and because many of the bridges which caused debris to pile up and the be released in a torrent are gone or of a different construction now. As an example, the old iron bridge on Highway 50 west of Romney was replaced a few years ago with a much higher, concrete version.

Thanks again for the stories and encouragement.


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Old 11-13-2014, 10:48 AM   #23
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Congratulations on the Church! Looks great.
We considered a schoolhouse at one time, but ...

Anyway... re: kerosene heater...
We used two when we were living at camp in the early days, but some downsides... smelly and expensive, and slow to warm up a room in a short time...
We now use one of these for quick visits to our camp.
Dyna-Glo 30k LP Double Tank Top Gas Portable Heater - CSA-TT30CDGP at The Home Depot
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:24 PM   #24
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I use one of the same dual burner radiant heaters as imoldernu to heat my detached shop garage (approx 1200 sq ft). Propane is much easier than kerosene, burns clean without bad smell. It will add humidity to the room, which may be beneficial. wood is nice heat, but takes a long time to heat up, the propane is instantaneous - especially the radiant aspect if you are in-line with it.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:47 PM   #25
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Kero can produce CO, I think propane is safer.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:24 PM   #26
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Guys/Gals, that propane heater is not for inside a sealed house/church. It's for outdoors or in unsealed construction sites.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:20 PM   #27
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Guys/Gals, that propane heater is not for inside a sealed house/church. It's for outdoors or in unsealed construction sites.
Sure is. Guess you'd sleep OK, waking up might be a problem.

I used a kerosene heater in the past. Yes they are slow and I hate the smell of kerosene. Not sure of any better indoor option.

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Old 11-13-2014, 06:04 PM   #28
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Can't remember if it helped with the smell. A friend would fill a cast iron pot with water and cinnamon and put that on top of the kerosene heater.
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:01 PM   #29
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You should metal detect around there. Old silver coins can be found around old churches especially in areas where they may have had picnics. Owning the property would make it extra cool. I found two morgan dollars around a church in Georgia built in 1885.
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:31 PM   #30
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Re: propane heat...
Propane Heater Safety

You can decide... Carbon Monoxide detector, and reasonable ventilation, and we don't use overnight. Hasn't been a problem as we use mostly for a quick room warm up then sustain with electric heaters. Some room type space heaters come with ODS, an automatic shutdown.

Problems usually come in with small spaces... several hundred cubic feet or less. Our room is 3200 cu. ft. plus additional ventilation.


Propane furnaces not subject to CO because of outside venting.
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:59 AM   #31
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We have used kerosene heaters quite a bit and have found that the newer versions burn much cleaner and with less smell. We don't plan to use the heater for overnight stays. Good point about the CM detectors, doubt there is one there and would be a good idea to install in the main room where the stove and fireplace are located. Will pick up one right away.
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:09 AM   #32
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Here are a few interior pictures. Other than a small bag on the kitchen table, everything else you see in the pictures was in the house as part of the purchase. The light above the stairway was an oil lamp that was converted to electric some time ago based on the wiring. We're not in to deer heads so they will probably have to go as well. Enjoy.









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Old 11-14-2014, 05:16 AM   #33
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Thought I had posted a picture of the outside of the church, here's one. The porch was added some time after 1955 when the previous owner purchased the property. The dirt area you see is where a new septic tank and leach field were installed last summer. The original septic was actually on the property (pasture) next door and had to be removed if the property was ever sold.



I think I also promised a picture of the sink!

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Old 11-14-2014, 04:18 PM   #34
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Your guests will never forget the sink!

I'd keep it just for the sake of being unique.
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:21 PM   #35
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That is some sink. Is there anything in the interior that's left of the old church? Is there a bathroom? Are there any downstairs bedrooms? What's in the screened in porch? Are you far off the main road? My mother would have a heart attack on those spiral stairs. My sister has a metal spiral staircase from her outside deck to a patio below and my mother won't use them.
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Old 11-15-2014, 08:21 AM   #36
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Your guests will never forget the sink!

I'd keep it just for the sake of being unique.
We are leaning towards keeping the sink, it does add a certain "character"!

splitwdw- there are two bedrooms on the main floor, the living area takes up about 2/3 of the width of the church and the bedrooms the rest. There are two double beds in one bedroom and one double bed in the other. And yes, there is bathroom with a tub/shower. The bathroom even has an electric wall heater for just that room which warms it up nicely.

The spiral staircase is very narrow and I will add some additional rails to make the spaces between the stairs a bit smaller. Originally, there was a standard staircase to the loft area but it was removed to make room for the bathroom. There was only enough space for the small, spiral version and was only used by adults, mostly as a hunting camp.

I'm told that all 4 of the camps along the river here will most likely be in use for parts of Thanksgiving week as this is the kickoff for hunting season. In our county, the schools shut down for that week because of the high absenteeism there would be from the kids out hunting.

This camp is about 6 or so miles from the main road on a typical WV rural road. It's asphalt for the first 3 miles, then turns to two lane gravel before eventually being a single lane of what passes for gravel at the end. The road is plowed to within about a 1/4 mile of our camp where there is a farm used year round and a wide enough spot for a plow to turn around. We don't typically get too much snow and would use a four wheeler to get in if I needed to in the winter.

I realized I don't have any porch pictures, it has a couple of chairs, an old table and some cabinets and a place for a hammock. I'm going out there today so will get some pictures. There is also a pew from the original church being used as a bench for the table and another pew inside beside another table.

There is what looks to be the carcass of an organ in the living room but the insides are gone. Looks like it was used as a desk. I found a couple of wooden panels in the loft that look like they came from the organ, had the controls for tone, etc. I think. Will have to research a bit to see if this is old enough to be from when the church was in use.

Thanks for the interest.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:01 PM   #37
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Very nice. I have enjoyed looking at all of the pictures. I have never seen an orange sink before that picture. It is definitely unique! I am sure that you will have very good memories here. Looks peaceful.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:27 PM   #38
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It looks like an awesome retreat, Dave! I think the orange sink is a great conversation piece. The church would make a good place to write the next Great American Novel. With a few gallons of paint you can personalize it. Is the fireplace usable?
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:46 PM   #39
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You should metal detect around there. Old silver coins can be found around old churches especially in areas where they may have had picnics. Owning the property would make it extra cool. I found two morgan dollars around a church in Georgia built in 1885.
+1. I've never used a metal detector, but was thinking the same thing. You could get lucky and find coins from the early church years or maybe even something from an earlier era. Civil or Revolutionary War musket balls, uniform buttons or coins come to mind.
I don't usually try to keep up with the Jones, but now I'm thinking I need a metal detector and a new sink!
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:54 PM   #40
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Very cool photos - thanks for posting!

I love the shot of the converted oil lamp. Think of all the times somebody had to unscrew that cap and fill that lamp with oil.

I'd definitely keep the sink. That's just too unique, and has a story behind it. No way I'd get rid of that.

Enjoy the place - looks amazing!
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