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Augusta Stone Church

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1749; later additions. 28 Old Stone Church Ln.
  • Session House

Fort Defiance was the site of a tollgate along the old Valley Turnpike and there were several services provided for travelers here, including a tavern, recently restored by the local historical society, and a spring called Willow Spout. The small one-story brick house (early nineteenth century) located across from the spring is believed locally to be the tollhouse. Presbyterian settlers built a log church here c. 1740 on a site east of the existing church. They replaced the log building in 1749 with the rectangular stone church with a clipped gable roof, which remains the core of the present building and is believed to be the oldest Presbyterian church in continuous use in Virginia. The church has been altered and added to several times. The main entrance was moved from the south wall to the east facade. A major remodeling in 1921–1922 gave the church a transept with a delicate spire, a lengthened sanctuary, and an entrance porch that echoes the clipped-gable design of the roof. The session house, which had been attached to the church's north side opposite the original entrance, was removed and located along the drive north of the church and now houses a museum of the church's history. The church cemetery of the earlier log church, near I-81, retains a nice collection of early grave markers.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Anne Carter Lee
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Anne Carter Lee, "Augusta Stone Church", [Fort Defiance, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VA-02-AU33.

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