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Sharon Lutheran Church and Cemetery

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1883. VA 42, 0.4 miles west of VA 625

The present church replaced one built on this site in 1821. Typical of many rural late-nineteenth-century churches, it is a large, rectangular, frame structure with a projecting front tower topped by a pyramidal roof. Unfortunately the building lost much of its character with the addition of aluminum siding, but it still retains its early-twentieth-century, round-arched stained glass windows and original cast-metal oil-burning chandeliers. A cemetery immediately southwest of the church has a rare group of about sixty boldly carved headstones. Representing the folk culture and stone-carving skills of a large eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century German settlement in Wythe and Bland counties, the thick stone slabs are decorated on both sides with carved heart, pinwheel, and six-pointed star motifs. Other early Lutheran cemeteries are located in nearby Wythe (WY18) and Tazewell (see TZ18) counties, but none is as extensive as this burial ground.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee

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