Click image to enlarge.
I can't always blame the destruction of our local history on businessmen and crooked mayors within my memory. Too often, historic structures are torn down before they get a chance to become truly historic. So it is with the building on this postcard. My grandma sent it to her younger sister at some point, but there's no date on it. I'm thinking 1920 or earlier. I don't know when the grand old church was demolished, but I think it was soon after that time.
I believe it stood on Market Street in Parkersburg, though I'm not sure. You'll notice the "dirt" on the brick streets around the building; I venture to say that dirt is actually "powdered" horse manure, chewed up by the hooves of passing horses and buggy tires. If I remember, the building was vacated by the church when they moved a few blocks to a new and larger building. I believe this building was then sold and a bank, hotel or some other business built on the site. I find it frustrating that I can no longer find any information on the building online, where I originally read about it, but forgot to save the information. Even what I believe to be the modern incarnation of the church has no information about their former historic locations on their website. DISGUSTING!
For those who don't know, "M.E." stood for "Methodist Episcopal," the SOUTHERN branch of the Methodist Church during the Uncivil War. The northern branch was called "Methodist Protestant." Maybe that's why the current incarnation of the church wants no-one to know their history. They're politically correct idiots if that's the case.
If anyone local reads this who has information on the old building and it's congregation, please share it.
P.S. - The friend that I call "the guru" found this for me. Thanks to him and his source:
The first Methodist services occurred in Parkersburg area in 1799, but a church wasn't built until 1815, on Avery Street between Third and Fourth streets. Twenty years later the congregation built a new church at the corner of Fifth and Market. In 1844, when the question of slavery split the Methodists into Northern and Southern branches, Northerners moved out of the church at Fifth and Market and met in homes until they constructed a small, frame church on Fifth Street in 1846. They built another church in its place in 1862, but it burned down eleven years later. (Meanwhile, the Southern church eventually became St. Paul's at Eleventh and Market.) The next Northern church was built in 1874 on the corner of Fifth and Juliana and became known as "Old First Church" (left). It was damaged in a 1895 Little Kanawha River boat explosion near the Juliana Street Bridge. In 1911 the congregation moved up Juliana from Fifth to its current Gothic building on Tenth Street (below).