(Chickamauga Presbyterian Church)
This building, commonly called "The Old Stone Church" began construction in the summer of 1850. Its members met in an old log cabin located one-quarter mile south of the present structure from 1837 to 1845. A site was selected one mile south in 1845 and a shed measuring forty by seventy feet was constructed. Referred to as "Dogwood Campground", it was in use until 1850.
This structure is erected from stone quarried from the Stubblefield Farm and from the base of White Oak Mountain. Timber was procured from dense forests in the area. The total cost is said to be only $1600.00 and construction took two years. (1)
The pews made for the "Dogwood Campground" building were moved here. During the War Between the States it was reported that the benches were placed facing each other and used for fodder troughs for the Union army's horses. These benches show evidence of indentations of the horses' teeth.
Officially the name "Stone Church" was not attained until 1912. Military dispatches and field reports during the War Between the States era cite this name. During this time the Confederate and Union armies used the building as headquarters, a hospital and major point of reference. (2)
Other than this era, the Church has been used only as a Church until 1920 when Church membership dwindled and the Church was sold to a Methodist group and in 1923 it was sold to a group of individual citizens.
The gospel hymn "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," words by E.A. Hoffman, music by A.J. Showalter, was performed for the first time at the Stone Church led by Ref. Mark Matthews, minster of the Church. (3)
Following the 1920's the building was used sporadically until 1995 when the Catoosa County Historical Society took steps to acquire it for restoration. This effort was supported by the Catoosa County Government and the State of Georgia. Plans were finalized by architect, Ross Andrews and a grant was procured. Society members and others began a thorough renovation completed by October, 1997. The building, today, houses a museum of artifacts from the War Between the States and other early periods. The Church and Museum are open to the public on designated days and hours.
1 - "History of Catoosa County" - William H.H. Clark
2 - "War of the Rebellion - Official Report" - A compilation of Official Records
3 - "Calhoun Times" - J. Roy McGinty
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