Friday, April 8, 2016

4-7-16 and 4-8-16 ~ Church on Way to Crabtree Falls

 This wonderful little church is on the winding road to Crabtree Falls. The address is Tyro, VA, but I was unable to find out when it was built. For some reason it reminded me of the old hymn, 'Little Brown Church in the Wildwood."  It was precious church and in my mind a wonderful place to have a wedding.

I decided to see if I could find a photo of the church for which the hymn was named and this is what I found. "The Little Brown Church" is a historic church located at 2730 Cheyenne Avenue in Nashua, Iowa that was made famous by a song, The Church in the Wildwood. The structure was completed in 1864. Wikipedia

Words & Music: Will­iam S. Pitts, 1857 (MI­DIscore):
One bright af­ter­noon of a day in June 1857, I first set foot in old Brad­ford, Io­wa, com­ing by stage from Mc­Greg­or. My home was in Wis­con­sin. The spot where the “Lit­tle Brown Church” now stands was a set­ting of rare beau­ty. There was no church there but the spot was there wait­ing for it. When back in my home I wrote the song ‘The Lit­tle Brown Church in the Vale.’ I put the man­u­script away. In the spring of 1862 I re­turned to Io­wa and set­tled at Fred­er­icks­burg…
In the years of 1859 and 1860 the good peo­ple of Brad­ford were de­ter­mined to build a church…By the ear­ly win­ter of 1864 the build­ing was rea­dy for ded­i­ca­tion. While I was hold­ing the sing­ing school, near its close in the spring, the class went one ev­en­ing to the church. It was not then seat­ed, but rude seats were im­pro­vised. My man­u­script of the song I had brought with me from Wis­con­sin. It had ne­ver been sung be­fore by an­y­one but my­self. I sang it there. Soon af­ter­wards I took the man­u­script to Chi­cago [Ill­i­nois], where it was pub­lished by H. M. Hig­gins. It won a speedy re­cog­ni­tion lo­cal­ly and with the years won its way in­to the hearts of the peo­ple of the world.
Soon after its pub­li­ca­tion the church at Brad­ford, which had been paint­ed brown (for want of mo­ney to buy bet­ter paint, some say), be­came known as “The Lit­tle Brown Church in the Vale.” My hope is that it will stand for a thou­sand years and call the old man and his de­scend­ants to wor­ship.

There’s a church in the valley by the wildwood,
No lovelier spot in the dale;
No place is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.
Come to the church in the wildwood,
Oh, come to the church in the dale,
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.
How sweet on a clear, Sabbath morning,
To list to the clear ringing bell;
Its tones so sweetly are calling,
Oh, come to the church in the vale.
There, close by the church in the valley,
Lies one that I loved so well;
She sleeps, sweetly sleeps, ’neath the willow,
Disturb not her rest in the vale.
There, close by the side of that loved one,
To trees where the wild flowers bloom,
When the farewell hymn shall be chanted
I shall rest by her side in the tomb.
From the church in the valley by the wildwood,
When day fades away into night,
I would fain from this spot of my childhood
Wing my way to the mansions of light.


  1. Your church is charming! I found a charming church and referred to that song here:

  2. Hello Genie
    A charming little church and a beautiful song.
    I wish you a nice weekend.
    Greetings Sadie

  3. I have heard the song. You have an interesting find in running down its origin. I love the fact that Harmony Church is also the local Habitat For Humanity office. I'm just off this morning to build on a Habitat house.

  4. I have always loved the song, and I sure do love the little church you photographed.

  5. I know the song, but never knew the history. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love the little church you found!