Thursday, October 16, 2008
We made a trip up to Baron von Steuben's burial memorial site again this autumn. We visited last year and you can see our photos and read all about the site and von Steuben here. It is a gloriously beautiful site. After our most recent trip, we drove northward through the foothills of the Adirondacks. The area is so beautiful.
In the town of North Steuben, we passed by an old little church. We stopped to take a quick look at it. Click the image for a larger view.
It is an old Methodist Church, established in 1849. Back then, Methodism was still relatively new and radical in America, wasn't it? The Wesleys had come to the colonies in the 1730s to preach to the Indians. Methodism didn't really "catch on" in America until Philip Embury and Francis Asbury began their missions in the late 1700s. They combined their teachings with Episcopalian teaching, which was never very popular in the Northeast (fervent Congregationalists). So a split ensued, and the Methodists combined more Protestant doctrines. The the very first Wesleyan Methodist Connection (or, "Church") was formed in Utica, NY, in 1843 (Utica is about 25 miles south of Steuben). The Methodist organization was extremely young for these parts.
The church is in remarkable shape (the visible part, anyway) for being in the middle of deep forest this long. A small and older cemetery is next to it. I walked up the stairs to see this plaque:
Intersting. I don't know anything about Jacob Ittig in the Revolution. This area of New York State was owned by the Indians back then; this wild land was given to soldiers as payment for excellent service when Congress ran out of money to pay them. I assume Jacob Ittig was awarded land around here. I don't know if Ittig is Welsh. There was (and is) an enormous Welsh population here after the Revolution. You can read more about Welsh churches here, by the way.
There are many very old cemeteries in this area. We were driving so fast and there was so much to see everywhere that I didn't stop to take photos. On a more leisurely drive, I definitely will. There is so much history here!