Thursday, July 20, 2017

World’s Smallest Church (Cross Island Chapel)

Posted by Stu On July - 12 - 2011

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On our way to Niagara Falls, we make a fairly far-off side stop at a little place I’d been meaning to see for years – what is supposedly the smallest church in the world.  There are many tiny churches, but this one claims to be the tiniest of them all!  With room for only 2 people and less than 29 square feet, you’d be hard pressed to find one smaller. It is only accessible by boat, as it’s sitting in the middle of a pond.  A metal cross stands a few feet away.

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I tried for a week prior to our trip to get in touch with someone regarding getting inside the church, but nobody answered the posted phone number.  Shame.

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Popularity: 15% [?]

Celestia, PA (Ghost Town)

Posted by Stu On February - 9 - 2009

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Another example of the place’s story being much more interesting than the place itself. I had read over and over about a ghost town in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains that was meant to be a religious utopia. Founded in 1850 by Peter Armstrong, Celestia was supposed to be where Jesus Christ himself would return to the world. Armstrong believed this so deeply he had a dwelling built for Christ. This was to be the one place on earth with people pure enough to survive final judgment.

Long story short, shady characters began moving in once it became well known that Celestia’s residents were exempt from the Union Army’s draft. Armstrong went so far as to deed the town to God, and in doing so attempting to make it tax exempt. Well, that didn’t happen, and with the draft dodgers moving in, the unpaid taxes piling up, and the lack of saviors showing up, it only took a few decades for Celestia to crumble.

After nearly 30 years of no payments, the county sold some of the property to Armstrong’s son in 1876. This would prove to be the killing blow to the town. Armstrong tried until his death to keep Celestia going, but to no avail. After he died in 1887, the few remaining believers began to disperse. The town was quickly reclaimed by nature.

And nature sure did a good job. I was disappointed to find that almost nothing is left of Celestia. Some of the roads and paths are somewhat discernable, but other than that, the only evidence I found of it were some possible cellar holes and sections of stone wall off the trail a bit.

Popularity: 34% [?]

Garden of Scripture

Posted by Stu On November - 27 - 2008

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Ever want to walk through the Bible? Ever want to walk through the Bible in some guy’s backyard? Now you can!
…for real, this place is in someone’s backyard.

There are over 40 large paintings depicting scenes from the Bible. There is a small path winding through this yard that takes you to them all, and then ultimately to a small outdoor church. Here and there are some animal carvings as well.
A small gateway built into the fence greets visitors. The parking lot is tiny; maybe 2 cars can fit in it. This place is pretty well hidden and most locals don’t know it exists.

All in all, an interesting place to visit. It’s not my faith, but I’m still able to appreciate the artwork and the amount of effort put into the entire thing. I’d like to see something like this done for the Greek or even Norse pantheons.

Popularity: 7% [?]

Columcille

Posted by Stu On January - 22 - 2007

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Columcille is a megalith park in eastern PA. It’s very Celtic influenced and has a labyrinth and chapel, among other things. The place was also much larger than I had anticipated; it’s very peaceful to walk around. Definitely one of the more unique places I’ve visited.


This looks like a baby Stone Living Room.


The Labyrinth.


St. Columba Chapel.

Popularity: 9% [?]

Palace of Gold

Posted by Stu On July - 21 - 2006

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Definitely one of the more unusual places I’ve seen – a Hindu temple and palace dedicated to Srila Prabhupada – in the mountains of West Virginia? The drive to it was a quest in itself – miles of winding, crumbling road, with few houses along the way. I’ve driven on some pretty bad roads, especially in the Pine Barrens, and I can easily say none come close to this one.

After going down the walkway, the palace is the first building you see. Behind it is a decent sized rose garden.
I was disappointed to learn photography isn’t allowed inside the palace. Of course, this wasn’t mentioned until after I paid for the tour.

For more information about the palace or the story of Srila Prabhupada, check out the Palace of Gold’s website, as well as the community of New Vrindaban’s site.

Popularity: 9% [?]

Mount Holly Altar

Posted by Stu On November - 21 - 2005

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We found this accidentally while geocaching in Mt. Holly. This “altar” is on a hill just off a main road. While we were up there, 2 other people were also checking it out. I asked if they knew what it was for, and the girl said it was a pagan altar. I doubted this was the case. It clearly has “Holy Holy Holy” carved into it. It’s also been badly vandalized, so it’s unlikely that it’s been used recently….by its owners anyway. There are what appear to be some wooden benches not far from it. These are badly weathered though.

I did some research and found out a nearby church uses the place on Easter. Again, I don’t know if they still do or not judging by the amount of crap written and spraypainted on it.


Something at some point was attached to the top.


The trail leading up the hill.

There’s supposed to be something nearby known as “the Witch’s Well” too, but I didn’t find it; I didn’t even know about it until I got back home. I’ll have to look for that next time I’m out that way.

Popularity: 13% [?]

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