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Buffalo Church

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1884–1886, 1909. Intersection of Wirt County 28 and 14/12, 3.4 miles south of the intersection of 28 and WV 14, 2 miles south of Palestine

Unpaved country roads lead to the high, isolated ridge where another simple country church stands. Typical of its time and place, Buffalo Church shows even more clearly than the earlier Ruble Church how long log construction persisted in such remote areas, although the building has been covered with clapboarding since 1909. Two doors, one for each sex, are the only openings in the gabled facade, which is topped with a simple, louvered belfry with a pyramidal roof. Side elevations are three bays long. The single room is sheathed in wood boards and furnished with hand-hewn pews that served churchgoers on Sundays and school pupils during the week. Apparently construction proceeded by trial and error. As one of the builders recalled years later: We laid the foundation three times, raised the building two times, and threw it down once. With all these changes, the people were agreeable.” Buffalo Church has never been equipped with electricity, water, or gas. WPA personnel built the privies in the yard during the 1930s.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.


What's Nearby


S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Buffalo Church", [Palestine, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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