McDowell Presbyterian Church

      

                                    

Nearby is the site of one of more than two dozen western frontier forts built under the command of George Washington in the 1750's. The fort in Clover Creek was built in 1757 by Captain William Preston on orders of Major Andrew Lewis.


The land for the chapel and the cemetery behind it was donated by the McClung family who have held title to the surrounding farmsince 1821 when William McClung married Rachel Gwin. The original owner of the land was probably Wallace Estill, who in 1743, obtained a 344-acre land patent in then Augusta County.


The community of Clover Creek, which appears on very few modern maps, at one time had a grist mill and also a post office in the private residence of Louis Martine McClung, who acted as postmaster.


The outside door of the chapel and the inner vestibule door were not aligned, so large caskets could not be carried in or out of the chapel.  Consequently, the casket would go in and out through one of the chapel's windows.


The cemetery predates the chapel itself by many years, probably originating as a family graveyard used by the farm owners.  Among those buried there is Captain David Gwin (1742-1822.)  Gwin fought in the Virginia Militia at the Battle of Point Pleasant (in present West Virginia) under Generl Thomas Lewis, prior to the Revolution, and later as a captain in the Revolutionary forces, serving at Guilford Court House and Yorktown.  He was twice married and had thirteen children.  Gwin's grave is marked by a stone tablet erected by the South Branch Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.


Ministers who served the chapel included Rev. Lyle Moffett, Rev. George H. Rector, and Revs. Southall, Young, Starbuck, Rhoad, and Goodman.   From the 1950's through the early 1960's (the chapel was closed in 1962) local historian Kent Botkin reports that "sometimes the only people at attend services would be 'Uncle Brookie' ( Harry Seabrook) McClung (1880-1968) and 'Uncle' Jerry Helms."   According to some, 'Brookie' often slept throught the services, manifesting a soul at pease with God and the world.


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CLOVER CREEK CHAPEL


Clover Creek Chapel, a former chapel of McDowell Presbyterian Church, was established in 1881 in the community of Clover Creek in central Highland County - about four miles south of McDowell on Rt. 678 (the Bullpasture River Road).