Churches in Brooke County…If you have names and records of other churches not listed here and would like to share them with us, please contact me by E Mail or the snail mail address on page one.
The "Old Swamp Church " on the local scene, we have attributed the planting of the Church in this section of the country, and in Wellsburg in particular, to the Reverend Doctor Joseph Doddridge. He planted well, and as long as he continued in the Church militant, he also watered well. But his own spirit was contagious, and others continued in his steps - others who forever will remain unnamed, unhonored and unknown to men. Through their efforts and untiring zeal, however, the first Episcopal Church building was erected in Wellsburg, and probably because of its location in the town, it came to be known as "The Old Swamp Church".
We do not know exactly the date of the erection of this building, save that certainly Doctor Doddridge did not live to see it. It might have been erected in 1829, but again it could have been two or three years later.
This building was located in Wellsburg on Seventh Street on the site where the A & P Supermarket now stands. An old photograph of this building was presented to the Church by Miss Virginia Hall who procured it, in turn, from her aunt, Mrs. Howard I. Tryon of Winter Park, Fl. From an examination of the photograph, it cam be observed that the edifice was a most handsome structure of colonial architecture. It was built of brick, and the roof of the very large front porch was supported by four massive columns. Immediately above the roof was a large tower and pointed spire of wooden construction. In many ways, the building reminds the author of the present court house in Wellsburg, and it is surmised that this style of architecture was once very popular in this section. Evidently, also, the building was handsomely furnished.
As for the early records of this Church, both the Parish Register and the Minutes of the Vestry, neither has been found. They are not to be located in the archives of the Diocese of West Virginia or the Diocese of Virginia, and it is highly probable that if they were not lost or destroyed otherwise, they all went down the Ohio River during the flood which also ruined the "Old Swamp Church"