|Marshallton UME Church, about 1905|
Marshallton Union Chapel, later named Marshallton United Methodist Church, was built in 1886. Through the years additions have been added and a few modifications made, but it is still in operation, located at 1105 Stanton Road in Mill Creek Hundred. Just east of the church is the Springer-Cranston house where Edwin J. Cranston resided. It was from Cranston that the land for the church was bought. Marshallton United Methodist was named for the community it serves, which was in turn named in honor of John Marshall, the founder of Marshall Rolling Mill, which was erected and began operations in 1836.
While the country gothic church was added to the National Register in 1987 based partially on its architectural characteristics, just as important was the central role it has played in bringing the community together.
In the 1880’s, a majority of the residents of Marshallton and the neighboring Kiamensi community worked in either the rolling mill in Marshallton or the Kiamensi Woolen Mill, located on the Red Clay Creek about one and a half miles away from Marshallton. By 1880 the rolling mill in Marshallton employed about one hundred and twenty-five people, and according to the 1870 census, Kiamensi Woolen mill employed about 60 people, a number which I imagine by the 1880’s had grown. In a milling and farming community with no church, many of the people would walk and attend services in Stanton. That is, until three men decided to take matters into their own hands.
George Bennett, William A. Mullin and Richard H. Williams, with the community’s interest at heart, purchased about one-quarter of an acre from Edwin J. Cranston. Monies were raised from within the community and in 1886 Marshallton Union Chapel was erected at a cost of $2,100. The chapel was a place for holding Sunday School, which had previously been held in the district school house, under unfavorable conditions. Religious meetings were held there every Sunday night and consisted of prayer meetings, or preaching.
|Marshallton UME today|
The original structure was a one-story frame, 30 feet by 50 feet. In 1922, a 30-foot by 45-foot gabled addition was added on the east side of the original building. Gothic arched commemorative stained glass windows and a bell tower were also added. The original bell was added in 1924, but cracked in 1929. In 1932 the bell was replaced. Between 1949 and 1957 a three-story brick educational building and fellow-ship hall was erected to the north and rear of the original building. For more information on the architecture of the church, click here for the National Register Nomination Form.
After almost 131 years, Marshallton United Methodist Church is still a central focal point of the Village of Marshallton. Community days, historical events, and even the town Christmas tree lighting are held on or near the church grounds. I think the church founders would be proud to see how well their idea of a community church has held together through the years