Remarkable Ohio

Serpent Mound Marker
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13-58 The First McConnelsville Christmas Tree Marker and Church

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Side A: First McConnelsville Christmas Tree. This former Universalist Church, which held a strong conviction for education and the pursuit of knowledge, was built in 1852 at a cost of $3,500. In 1865, its members decorated the first Christmas tree to be placed in a church in McConnelsville. Two years later they installed a pipe organ at a cost of $1,000, the first such organ in the community. The first Sunday School Library was also added, allowing members to borrow books and return them a week later. A number of prominent local families attended the church, including the Manly, Whitiker, Beckett, Arrick, and Murray families from the 1850s through the early twentieth century. Richard Bilbe, a former slave who had been freed, served as an early trustee of the church and attended with his family. The church was restored and reopened as a non-denominational church in 1997. Side B: Same. Same