First trip of 2019

So it was time to travel. Part of the rationale for leaving the college classroom was to allow for more flexibility in travel plans – thus time to test that out. I decided to give Road Scholar a whirl.

Road Scholar is the marketing name for Elderhostel, which organizes tours for older people to various locales, and around varied themes. My parents went on 27 such adventures over a ten-year span, and quite enjoyed most of them… back in the late 80s and early 90s. Nowadays the organization is vastly larger and attempts to appeal to a broader audience (hence the name change). I decided on a tour “Historic Homes and Gardens of NC’s Crystal Coast” – in that I knew it was in driving distance, I was familiar with the area, and it was relatively inexpensive.

I packed the cameras and a hanger bag and set out, with the intent of photographing some churches and railroad artifacts enroute. Also planned was a stop in Wilmington to see a play and visit a friend.On the journey southward I spent a nice morning in Kent County MD tracking some Episcopal churches (along with some surprising Methodists and a delightful Presbyterian structure), before the rains began. For the rest of that dreary Friday, and much of the following Saturday, I was driving in heavy rain.

1835 Shrewsbury Parish Episcopal, Kennedyville MD. Tucked back off the road at the end of a long drive this church is wonderfully preserved.

 

1713 St Paul’s Episcopal, Sandy Bottom MD. Maryland has three different Episcopal churches listed as the “oldest” in the state – the criteria seems to change depending on when the signs were made.
1728 St Luke’s Episcopal, Church Hill MD. Another entry in the “earliest Episcopal church” sweepstakes, the claim here appears this is the oldest “as originally built” church.
1860 Waters Chapel Methodist Protestant, Kennedyville MD. In 1859 the railroad came to town and within a year the inhabitants imported a new minister and some building material, and built a church.
1875 Grace Presbyterian, Kennedyville MD. Although Kennedyville is just a wide spot in the road, it’s still big enough to support two churches. Alas the Presbyterians departed but the church soldiers on under a Pentecostal banner.
1853/1882 Still Pond (MD) Methodist. While Still Pond isn’t quite the end of the earth, it’s pretty close, at least as far as the Eastern Shore of Maryland is concerned. This is one of two churches in the vicinity, located on high ground a bit west of the village proper. Built in 1853 the ornate entrance and belfry were added in 1882.
1886 Mt Zion Methodist Episcopal. A bit further out from the village one encounters this simple structure. The congregation eventually merged with the larger brick church group, and this building has housed the New Life Worship Center for several decades. It backs up to an immense cemetery.

 

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