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We Bought a Church
Old 11-12-2014, 06:05 AM   #1
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We Bought a Church

DW and I closed on a 1/2 acre property on the South Branch of the Potomac yesterday. It's a river camp from an old church that was in use until around 1940. It's rustic but came fully furnished. Has electric and plumbing but only wood heat so we went ahead and winterized the house while we were there after the closing. The former owner whose family owned the property since the 50's, was nice enough to take us through how he has done this for the last 25 years.

Hated to close it up but calling for cold weather soon even though it was 65 while were there. The property is only about 15 minutes from our house on the same main road. We've been looking for river access and this one popped on to the market a few weeks ago and had less river frontage than others but was too close by to pass up. There are a few other camps along the road but no one here year round, busiest time appears to be the week after Thanksgiving when hunting season is in full speed.

Taking advantage of the mild weather, I took a kayak out for about 30 minutes to check out the river. We're located on a long stretch of slow moving water, averaging about 3-5 feet deep. Had a nice paddle and looking forward to a lot more time on the river. The only others on the water were a herd of cows who were making a lot of noise playing and splashing a few hundred yards up stream.

Hope to get back out today to try out the wood stove and maybe get an interior shot or two. I would say it's about 1970's modern, will have to get a shot of the bright, orange sink. I asked the owner about the sink and he told me that he just liked orange, he later mentioned it was also a closeout at the local hardware store sometime in the late 70's and they needed a new sink. The house is in reasonably good shape but ready for some paint.

Since I know people like photos, the first shot is the house from the river and I also included a close up of the stone plaque above the door from the church dedication in 1897 when it was built. There is also a cornerstone from the mason that did the stone foundation in 1897 as well but didn't post that picture.






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Old 11-12-2014, 06:12 AM   #2
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Now all you have to do is get ordained : Universal Life Church - Free Online Ordination - Become a Minister
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:38 AM   #3
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Is this the old church the deer hid in during hunting season?
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:06 AM   #4
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Very nice! Are you moving into the church? Looks like a fun place.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:09 AM   #5
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Very cool, please post more pics.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:13 AM   #6
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We bought our lakefront house in late October and it had already been winterized by the owner. Not getting to use it regularly right away took the edge off the excitement of our new purchase but we have enjoyed it so much since then that the delayed gratification is a distant memory.

Five years later we demolished and rebuilt and today the property is our year-round home.
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:34 AM   #7
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:45 AM   #8
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Cool place, looks like it will be every thing from sweet and serene to barrels of hooligan fun.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:01 AM   #9
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Okay, are you going to have a choir? Maybe for the alpacas?

So cool, really. Great spot.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:29 AM   #10
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Congrats. Not sure what your plans are for the church but I've seen a number of tv shows where folks used it as a home and did beautiful renovations.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:39 AM   #11
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Okay, are you going to have a choir? Maybe for the alpacas?
The Alpaca Jamboree - Geordie - YouTube
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:49 AM   #12
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Okay, are you going to have a choir? Maybe for the alpacas?
Here comes the congregation now:

No church in the wild alpacas - YouTube
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:13 AM   #13
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Looks like an amazing property. Congratulations on the purchase.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:18 AM   #14
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I am digging that old light fixture, very neat! 1897 construction, I bet you find some different methods and repairs made over the years. Overall very nice property on the river and enjoy your time there.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:43 AM   #15
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Looks very cool. Please post more pics.

Is there any risk of flooding?
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:00 AM   #16
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Fun project - and a lovely place to ring the golden bell.
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:37 PM   #17
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Reminded me of a late 60's movie and song that started me humming a tune. Always thought it would be fun to remodel a church.



Cheers!
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:32 PM   #18
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Cool! I've wanted to live in a church ever since I read the Trevanian books (The Eiger Sanction, The Loo Sanction). Yours looks a little different, but still very cool.

South branch, I'm guessing in WV? We just inherited my Mom's house on the South Fork of the Shenandoah. A little more urban than it appears you are. We have 10 neighbors within a mile or so. We just winterized ours too. But hope to get some good kayaking and tubing done next year.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:10 PM   #19
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That looks fantastic, great water frontage.
I used to play in a cemetery behind my local Church, maybe you have some really quiet old neighbors in back
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Old 11-13-2014, 03:38 AM   #20
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Nicely done!

If it's between dams #4 and #5 you may see me cruising on by in the Porta-Bote next spring.
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