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St. James Episcopal Church

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1856–1859, Richard M. Upjohn. 215 S. Main St.
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

Although Quakers were Muncy's first settlers, Episcopalians had become the town's elite by the middle of the nineteenth century. Formed in 1819, the congregation worshipped in Emanuel Lutheran Church and a schoolhouse until 1832 when the first St. James Church was erected on this site. In the early 1850s a larger brick building was proposed, but parishioner Susan Hall approached the Reverend John Henry Hopkins Jr., a childhood friend and the publisher of the New York–based Church Journal, who persuaded his friend Richard M. Upjohn to give St. James a set of plans. Built of Muncy sandstone in random sizes, the church is a good example of Upjohn's understated design: a steeply gabled rectangular box with a square corner tower that rises in three stages and is topped by a gabled hexagonal spire. St. James is only three buttressed bays deep, but Upjohn gave it a monumental presence, gracing its front with a small bell-gable and a large rose window. At the east is a semi-octagonal apse. The single-nave plan is covered by a truss ceiling, the trusses corresponding to the exterior buttresses. The Minton-like floor tiles date from 1989 when the floor was torn up to excavate a cellar.

The adjacent one-story parish house was built in 1856 from bricks salvaged from the original church. Resembling a Gothic Revival chapel, it is a hall with one large room and a twentieth-century kitchen addition to the rear. Behind the church at 210 S. Washington Street is its three-story brick rectory (1856), a well-proportioned and simply detailed Greek Revival building. Its Tuscan-columned front porch was added in the early twentieth century.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "St. James Episcopal Church", [Muncy, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 566-567.

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