LUTHER CHAPEL at Petersville, Maryland was established in 1873. In 1872, the lot donated by George Richards was sold to the County for a Public-School site and the money secured was spent in the purchase of a lot on which the church is now located. On September 21, 1873, a Church organization was effected, and on October 28, 1873 the corner stone was laid by Rev. D. Steck, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Middletown, MD.
The Church was completed and dedicated to the Holy Use on the first Sunday in November 1874 without indebtedness. The entire cost of the building in money paid out was approximately $1,850.00.
Rev. L.A. Mann, the first pastor, resigned on Easter Monday, April 17, 1876. Due to deaths and the removal of several families from the community, there were only 25 members at the time of his resignation.
During the pastorate of the Rev. John C. Shuff, extensive improvements were made to the property and the membership increased. Some of the property improvements were: complete renovation of the interior of the building; new pews; new cathedral lighting fixtures; new art glass windows portraying the life of Christ; and Estey reed organ purchased from Bethany Church, Brunswick; new carpet; coal burning stoves; and shrubbery planted on the lawn. A service of dedication was held on May 17, 1942. The total of $1,400.00 was paid in full at the time of the dedication.
In November 1949, extensive improvements were begun to the exterior and interior of the building and continued during the following year. The cracked walls and the crumbling bricks were covered with white stucco; chimney rebuilt; the two doors at the front of the building were closed and replaced with a large center door; a new concrete walk was built to the approach and an ornamental iron railing built around the steps; a steeple was erected on the roof of the building to accommodate a bell which was purchased from Zion Lutheran Church, Middletown (the bells had formerly been used on the Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church, near Middletown); the interior walls and woodwork were repainted; the floors sanded and refinished; and the new carpet laid in the center aisle and chancel together with many other improvements. Funds were provided by gifts from the Ladies Aid Society, Sunday School, and members and friends of the congregation. Volunteer labor was provided by members and friends of the congregation. The total cost of the improvements was approximately $3,000.00. A rededication service was held on Sunday evening, November 18, 1951 when a former pastor, Rev. Dr. John C. Stuff, was the guest preacher.
The congregation was incorporated Luther Chapel Evangelical Lutheran Church of Petersville, Frederick County, Maryland on November 18, 1954. During the summer of 1958 a social room was added to the Church building at a cost of $7,000.00. In 1965 new chancel furniture was provided through gifts of several families as memorials, and the Ladies Aid Society.
Since the initial renovations of the Church, many dedications of worship furnishings have been added to Luther Chapel, such as new Entrance Doors, Advent Wreath and Candles, Plexiglass on Stain-glass Windows, Refinishing of Communion Table, Painting of inside and outside of Church, Literature Rack, Candelabras, New Carpet, Organ Refurbishing, entrance Railing, New Roof and Rain Spouting, New Cross on Top of Steeple, Speaking System, Storm Doors, Social Room Windows, Parking Area, Ceiling Fans, and Chancel Railing.
The words of the first pastor, Rev. L.A. Mann, recorded in the records of his ministry provide an appropriate conclusion to this brief sketch:
“May the blessing of God rest upon this little fold, multiply the number and finally bring them all ‘to that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens’. – Amen”
THE HISTORY OF PETERSVILLE MARYLAND:
"Petersville is an unincorporated community in Frederick County, Maryland, United States. Petersville is located at the junction of Maryland Route 79 and Maryland Route 180 1.3 miles (2.1 km) northeast of Rosemont."
"The village of Petersville has a long and prominent heritage in the history of Frederick County and the State of Maryland. Located along a main east-west route which became the Harpers Ferry and Frederick Turnpike (later MD Route 180), Petersville grew as a stop along the turnpike with businesses to serve travelers as well as local farmers. The land on which Petersville is situated was originally patented by Captain John Colvill as the "Merryland Tract" on November 5, 1731, containing over 6,000 acres. Shortly after the Revolutionary War, Petersville began to develop as a village, with lots facing the turnpike route and four cross streets. The village also sat at the crossroads of one of the valley's north-south roads leading from Middletown to Berlin (today Brunswick). The 1808 Varle Map of Maryland shows Petersville. Five years later, in October 1813, the Petersville Post Office was established (it closed in 1909). The Maryland General Assembly established the Petersville District in 1829."
- Barleywood - The farm house at Barleywood, constructed of logs, was erected around 1800. The historic farm was the site of a female school operated in the 1830s by Rev. R.H. Phillips under the auspices of St. Mark's Episcopal Parish.
- Howard Marvin Jones House - Built between 1914 and 1920, the Howard Marvin Jones House is an example of Colonial Revival Style constructed in an American Foursquare plan.
- Levin West House - The Wests were among the earliest families to settle in Petersville. The Levin West House, constructed of stone in the Federal style with later brick additions, was completed circa 1815. The grandson of the builder, Dr. Levin West, operated his medical practice in the house in the late 19th century.
- Methodist Episcopal Church/Faith Reformed Church - Governor Francis Thomas, who lived at Montevue, just south of Petersville, erected a two-story stone "town hall" for Petersville around 1850. The structure became the Methodist Episcopal Church of Petersville shortly before the Civil War and served that congregation until the 1890s. In 1900, the building was renamed Faith Reformed Church and operated as such until 1938, at which time it was converted to a residence.
- Mount O'Donnell - Originally named "Montevue," Mount O'Donnell was built in 1819 by Col. John Thomas, father of Francis Thomas, Governor of Maryland from 1842-1845. During the Maryland Campaign of 1862, Mount O'Donnell was used as a headquarters for Union offices while troops were encamped at Petersville. The home was sold by Governor Thomas in 1861 to General Columbus O'Donnell, at which time the name changed to Mount O'Donnell. The house is constructed of brick and is built in Federal style.
- Oakland - The land on which Oakland is situated was originally part of a large tract called "Hawkin's Merry Peep-O-Day," patented in 1753. The first house on the farm, described as a stone dwelling, was constructed by Dr. Grafton Duvall in the 1840s. The present Greek Revival styled house was erected in the 1850s by Horatio Claggett. The home remained in the Claggett Family well into the twentieth century.
- Petersville Luther Chapel - Lutheran services were started in Petersville by ministers from St. Paul's Lutheran Church in nearby Burkittsville as early as 1870. The congregation was organized on October 28, 1873, by which time work had already commenced on erecting a church. Petersville Luther Chapel was dedicated in 1874 and was constructed of brick and covered in stucco at a cost of $1,850.00."
1. "Petersville". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
2. Williams, T.J.C.; McKinsey, Folger (1997). History of Frederick County Maryland (1910). Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. p. 333. ISBN 0-8063-7973-1.
3. Smithsonian Institution. "Checklist of Maryland Post Offices" (PDF). National Postal Museum.
4. Williams, T.J.C.; McKinsey, Folger (1997). History of Frederick County, Maryland (1910). Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. p. 332. ISBN 0-8063-7973-1.
5. Federal Writer's Project (2013). The WPA Guide to Maryland. Trinity University Press. p. Tour 2B.
6. Williams, T.J.C.; McKinsey, Folger (1997). History of Frederick County Maryland (1910). Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. p. 333. ISBN 0-8063-7973-1.
7. Garner, Karen (March 20, 2014). "Historic Houses Get Their Day". Frederick News Post. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
8. Davis, Janet L. "Levin West House". Maryland Inventory of Historic Places. Maryland Historical Trust.
9. Reed, Paula S. "Methodist Episcopal Church of Petersville". Maryland Inventory of Historic Places. Maryland Historical Trust.
10. Scharf, J. Thomas (1882). History of Western Maryland. Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts. p. 620.
11. Davis, Janet L. "Oakland/Claggett Farmstead". Maryland Inventory of Historic Places. Maryland Historical Trust.
12. Wentz, Abdel Ross (1920). History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Maryland of the United Lutheran Church in America 1820-1920. Harrisburg, PA: Evangelical Press. p. 326.
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