The Vestry of St. Mark’s Church voted to renovate the bell tower of our historic building. At this point with the help of a $10,000.00 grant from the Willard Stephenson Foundation, $500.00 grant from Ambassador to Poland during President Bush’s term in the early 1990’s, Victor H. Ashe of the Eastern Tennessee Foundation, and pledges from members of St. Mark’s work has been completed. Frances Wiedey has been heading up a committee to reach out to former members and the Wadsworth community for further donations. The total cost was approximately $47,000.00. We are at $40,000.00 + and welcome further donations at this time. As many of you know this is the oldest building in Wadsworth and has always been used as a church. 3rd graders from our community visit the church each spring as part of their learning experience about the history of Wadsworth. Every Memorial Day the parade stops in front of the church at which time the bell is rung in memory of those who have died in the various wars in which the United States has been a part of.
The St. Mark’s church building plays an important part in the rich heritage of several religious groups. Over the years, the building has housed Congregational, Mennonite and Episcopal congregations, beginning with the early settlers of the “Ohio Country”. Wadsworth, at the edge of the lands of the Western Reserve of Connecticut, first attracted settlers from Connecticut and other New England states in the year 1814, a group of Congregationalist pioneers migrated to the Western Reserve from New England, settled in Wadsworth, and built a log structure on the church site. Several years later, the original structure was taken down to make way for a more elaborate building. Few details are known about this building.
The church, built in 1842, is considered a classic of early Western Reserve architecture and is also a fine example of Greek Revival architecture. The Wadsworth Heritage states, the building “spans all the Wadsworth eras with simple dignity and grace.”
The church was designed by George Hinsdale, and was constructed under the supervision of George Lyman, Sherman Loomis and Dr. G.R. Pardee. Because of the efforts of vestryman John Moss, the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior listed the building in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. St. Mark’s is the oldest structure in Wadsworth.
Below are various pictures that have been taken of the building. Click on picture to enlarge and for more information.