York Town Square

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Centre Presbyterian Church in Fawn Township, Pa.: ‘Very little has changed in this building’

This photograph shows the inside of Centre Presbyterian Church in the late 1800s. Observers say the Dempwolf-designed, Fawn Township (Pa.) church looks much the same today. Also of interest: York countian ordained in country church: ‘Very larger-than-life character for educated Iranians’ and Hello, York, Stewartstown, Pa., no longer calling and ‘Yesteryears’ southern York County sites – Part II.

Some things change slowly in York County, and other things change scarcely at all.
Take the interior of the beautiful and stately Centre Presbyterian Church in southeastern York County, standing for 125 years just north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
The Stewartstown Historical Society’s Doug Winemiller e-mailed a photograph of the church’s interior that was provided to the historical group by Kathryn Jordan . The photo shows the church circa late 1880s.
Here are edited excerpts from Doug’s note:

The minister (pictured in the photograph) is Robert Lorenzo Clark. Rev. Clark was an avid photographer and probably is responsible for the picture, which could have been sold as a memento at the opening of the church. (We have other photographs (glass negatives) from Rev. Clark, including one in the “Yesteryears” book of the New Park and Fawn Grove Railroad’s engine traveling to Stewartstown taken from the bell tower of Centre Church).
I stated in a previous email that very little has changed in this building. Looking at this interior photograph, the only major changes visible are the choir loft area, and the conversion from kerosene lighting to electric lighting. The chandelier is the same one that in use today – the kerosene lamps have been replaced with electric lights. The pews, the pulpit, and furniture around the altar are still in use. This photograph does not show the stained-glass windows, which must be seen to be appreciated. Since you are interested in Dempwolf architecture, I thought this photograph might be of interest. (Kathryn believes that a house in New Park may be a Dempwolf designed structure.)

Of course, if you are part of a Dempwolf-designed church, why would you ever want to change the building’s look – either inside or out?
The Stewartstown historical group is preparing another book of historical photographs of that area.
Also of interest:
– To see Centre church’s exterior, click here.

– All York Town Square posts from the start.