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Posts tagged “old st. luke’s church

Sunset, Old St. Luke’s

old church in winter sunset
old church in winter sunset

Sunset, Old St. Luke’s

Say what you will about winter and snow and cold, the combination makes for dramatic sunsets.

This is the Revolutionary-era churchyard of Old St. Luke’s Church in Scott Township, PA, the first Christian church established west of the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania. It was originally a native American lookout place on a bluff above the Catfish Path, which we call Chartiers Creek. I’ve canoed past this place on the creek, and visited this site when the church was closed when I was a child, though now it is restored.

I used a wide-angle lens on my camera that is not made for it, but fits well enough that I can take a good photo with it. I’m glad to have a new piece of equipment.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

 


Sunset, Old St. Luke’s

old church in winter sunset
old church in winter sunset

Sunset, Old St. Luke’s

Say what you will about winter and snow, but the combination makes for dramatic sunsets.

This is the Revolutionary-era churchyard of Old St. Luke’s Church in Scott Township, PA, the first Christian church established west of the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania. It was originally a native American lookout place on a bluff above the Catfish Path, which we call Chartiers Creek. I’ve canoed past this place on the creek, and visited this site when the church was closed when I was a child, though now it is restored.

I used a wide-angle lens on my camera that is not made for it, but fits well enough that I can take a good photo with it. I’m glad to have a new piece of equipment.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Ancestors

black and white photo of burial ground

Ancestors

Perhaps this is the season to remember out ancestors, or at least those who came before us in this place. This photo is a portion of the burial ground at Old St. Luke’s Church in Scott Township, PA.

The church was founded in 1765 and though in this century it was abandoned. I grew up near here and remember tiptoeing though that burial ground and peering into the church windows imagining we saw skeletons lying on the pews and ghosts flitting about in broad daylight. I am surprised the church survived intact with so many curious teens around, and yet it did, sans skeletons.

It has no congregation, but a group of people for the sake of history secured it, renovated and reopened it. Many of the markers date before the American Revolution and few in this section are newer than 1840. They are worn nearly smooth with age, or cracked and chipped, but a new technology has proved to show the text and images on the stones as if they were newly carved.

And in those days this little settlement on the bluff above Chartiers Creek was a tiny clearing the dense old-growth forest on the hills, hard to believe people could survive here.


The Light Within

photo of church window

The Light Within

The sunlight shone not only through the windows of this tiny historic church, but through the church itself, silhouetting the profile of someone waiting for the service to begin.

This is Old St. Luke’s Church in Scott Township, PA, the oldest Presbyterian church in America west of the Allegheny Mountains. Set on a bluff over Chartiers Creek, the setting sun shines through the west windows and right through the sanctuary to the east windows, very plain yet colorful and elegant stained glass in a traditional diamond shape.


Coming to a Close

Old St. Lukes Church in Scott Township

Winter Mood

As the winter solstice approaches the quickening days of late autumn bring earlier sunsets, sometimes much earlier than we are prepared to accept. Bare trees allow the sun to illumine familiar sights that have been draped in cool shade and fluttering leaves all summer. The lower winter angle of the sun casts dramatic shadows, especially at sunset. The whole effect can change a world we take for granted into a place that looks familiar but is somehow strange.

And sometimes the place just has an “otherness” about it. This is Old St. Luke’s Church in Scott Township, established as a stockade church in 1765 but serving as a lookout point for centuries before that for tribes of Native Americans who paddled the “Catfish Path”, now Chartiers Creek, after hunting on the verdant hills. The overlook stands above a bend in Chartiers Creek and overlooks a flood plain valley, and even prior to European settlers’ Christian homage, the site seems to have had a spiritual essence. No doubt the very soil remembers many feet, many words, many prayers.

The church yard holds the graves of settlers from the Revolutionary period, and a scattering of others from later years. The building was rebuilt at least twice and served as a church and burial ground from 1765 until about 50 years ago when it closed and fell into disrepair. While I was growing up we were all sure it was haunted and that Revolutionary War soldiers’ bodies littered the pews inside. About ten years ago a group of interested people found funding to re-open it, preserving a part of it as a museum, conserving the church yard and offering tours and services.

Today was dark with heavy, lowering skies from the first light, but nearing sunset the clouds parted and drifted away toward the east, leaving the sun to set in a varied sky, etching the old oak tree against the brilliant display. Still, as welcome as the sunlight was after a short dark day it looks somehow ominous, and I remembered the long history of the site as I stopped to take the photo.

Visit the website for Old St. Luke’s at www.oldsaintlukes.org.