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"Because These Things Meant Much To Them?"

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Photograph by F.W. Thorlton

On a little hill in Western Pennsylvania, men and women struggling to survive in a harsh frontier wilderness, met and laid the foundation of a church, a community, and in so doing, helped to build a nation that would nurture the hearts of freedom loving people all over the world.


These people were at the edge of the American frontier, on their own with only their wits to protect them. Here, where it was a struggle just to supply the basic necessities, their spiritual needs were paramount. But in this wilderness there were no churches nearby to serve their Presbyterian needs, so in 1786 the congregation contracted a John Spencer to build a log meeting house "...near where Captain John Thorlton and Lieutenant James McGinnis live..."
This crude little log church, which cost $75.00 (a huge sum to these people who had no money) was the first church in this frontier wilderness.


Photograph by F.W. Thorlton

The "Hartslog Church" was a primitive log building, it had no windows, and only an earthen floor. Arranged on the floor were split log benches, and at the end of the building, a crude pulpit. Above the worshipers, swallows flew in and out paying little attention to the people below, while an occasional snake slithered in at the feet of the congregation. With no means of heating, in the winter it was as cold inside as out, and in the summer the hot, stagnant air was stifling.

..............................
Then....................................................................................................................................... Now

Sixty-five, men and women led their families, mostly barefoot and walking along narrow wilderness paths from as far away as 10 miles to take the first communion from the Reverend John Johnston. Each was given a little pewter token to mark the event.


The little log meeting house on that hill in Pennsylvania served the people for almost two generations, marrying its men and women, baptizing its babies, and burying its dead. A new modern structure now stands about a mile and a half from the original site.

All that remains to mark the spot where so many found comfort in the lord, is a marker surrounded by the crumbling illegible tombstones of the people of the Hartslog Church, and a granite marker which reads . . .

Mother of Churches...

The first church in the Juniata Valley west of Jack's Narrows.....

and in 1937 when the congregation set the stone marker in the ground on the site of the original log church. The speaker said.....



Photographs by F.W. Thorlton


"So now today we gather here to unveil this tablet to mark the place where these people worshipped and where servants of God preached. If one was to come to you now as Joshua envisioned later generations coming to the Israelites and should ask you; What mean ye by this stone?......What would you say?.......What is the significance of it?........Why should we bother to mark this spot?

Well you may be able to think of many reasons but it seems to me the principal one is this:
It is to commemorate certain events in the history of a living faith. These things, the erecting of this meeting house and all the human interest that centers around it, have significance because these people were Christians and we are Christians. These things we have been talking about are part of the history of Christianity, and Christianity is still alive today, In spite of all that has been said against it, and in spite of all the false and faint hearted professors of it, it is still a force to be reckoned with in the world.....These people were devoted to the Christian faith. As soon as the frontier could be regarded as at all quieted down at the close of the Indian wars, they built a house of worship. They wanted a place where they could hear the gospel preached and have the Sacrament administered as they had been accustomed to in more settled parts of this country, and in the north of Ireland........

These Things Meant Much to Them!

Excerpt From "They Came From Ireland"

Representing 15 years research and writing.


copyright by
F.W. Thorlton 1996



Why A Hartslog Society?


To recognize the gift that was given to us by those brave people who faced incredible hardships, and untold dangers to make possible the way of life we enjoy today. To say thank you, and in so doing get to know and appreciate the genealogy of each of our families.

This area of Pennsylvania, along with the Northern Neck of the Chesapeake Bay, around Cecil County, Maryland, supplied a very large percentage of the Scotch-Irish, who when these places were filled to overflowing moved south into the states of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky, in the latter part of the 18th century. Then for the next one hundred years their descendants followed the pioneer trails into the American frontier, peopling the new territories and helping create what would become the United States of America!

That little Log Church on that hill in Western Pennsylvania was one of the cornerstones of the many created by these pioneer Americans as they worked to make a life for themselves and their children, and in the process

...they built that new nation!

F.W. Thorlton

Other Pages of Interest on This Site

Who Are The Scotch-Irish

The True Birthplace of Nancy Alexander Thorlton

Before America "The Great Plantation of Northern Ireland"

Seven Brothers From Ireland

The French and Indian War

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence

Bedford County Militia During the Revolution

Continental Line Soldiers of the Revolution "Rangers of the Frontier" Hartslog Area

This Name of Ours "Thorlton" A Study of Name Origins

The Iden Thorlton & Captain John Thorlton - Abagail & John Quincy Adams Connection

The Great Wagon Road

Knoxville Tennessee circa 1800

War of 1812 (Fighting the Creeks) General John Cocke


F.W. Thorlton Photo-Graphic



........Heraldry..........


.....E-mail......

Copyright © 1996-2007 The Hartslog Society and F.W. Thorlton
Most recent update 10/3/2011
Content of This Page or Any linked Pages May Not Be Used Without Written Consent of the Copyright Holder

Any Unauthorized Use or Misuse are Subject to Prosecution Under the Copyright Laws of the United States of America



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thorlton ...... Caldwell ...... Johnston ...... Kennedy ...... Hunter Gray ...... Watson ...... Stewart ...... McCormick ...... Dean ...... Glen ..... Nowlin ...... Ferguson ...... Logue ...... Wilson ...... Nelson ...... Brown ..... Canan ...... Donaldy ...... Ramsey ...... Hysop ...... Laird ...... Prior .... Longe ...... Maffitt ...... McCune ...... Little ...... Donnoldy ...... Keer .... Davis ...... Flemming ...... Smith ...... Tussey ...... Bredin ...... Moorehead ...... Henry.....Jackson ... Eaken .... Sharrow ... Mitchell ... Patton ... Flectcher ...Williams ...McGomery ... Anderson ... Thompson ... Canan ... Young ... McGinnis ...Spencer ...Davidson ... Deemitt ... Meyers ... McLlwan ... Keer ... Bowers ... Hysop ... Lloyd ... Shaver ... Garrad ... Graffius ... Elliot ... Lee Thorlton ...... Caldwell ...... Johnston ...... Kennedy ...... Hunter Gray ...... Watson ...... Stewart ...... McCormick ...... Dean ...... Glen ..... Nowlin ...... Ferguson ...... Logue ...... Wilson ...... Nelson ...... Brown ..... Canan ...... Donaldy ...... Ramsey ...... Hysop ...... Laird ...... Prior .... Longe ...... Maffitt ...... McCune ...... Little ...... Donnoldy ...... Keer .... Davis ...... Flemming ...... Smith ...... Tussey ...... Bredin ...... Moorehead ...... Henry.....Jackson ... Eaken .... Sharrow ... Mitchell ... Patton ... Flectcher ...Williams ...McGomery ... Anderson ... Thompson ... Canan ... Young ... McGinnis ...Spencer ...Davidson ... Deemitt ... Meyers ... McLlwan ... Keer ... Bowers ... Hysop ... Lloyd ... Shaver ... Garrad ... Graffius ... Elliot ... Lee Thorlton ...... Caldwell ...... Johnston ...... Kennedy ...... Hunter Gray ...... Watson ...... Stewart ...... McCormick ...... Dean ...... Glen ..... Nowlin ...... Ferguson ...... Logue ...... Wilson ...... Nelson ...... Brown ..... Canan ...... Donaldy ...... Ramsey ...... Hysop ...... Prior .... Longe ...... Maffitt ...... McCune ...... Little ...... Donnoldy ...... Keer .... Davis ...... Flemming ...... Smith ...... Tussey ...... Bredin ...... Moorehead ...... Henry.....Jackson ... Eaken .... Sharrow ... Mitchell ... Patton ... Flectcher ...Williams ...McGomery ... Anderson ... Thompson ... Canan ... Young ... McGinnis ...Spencer ...Davidson ... Deemitt ... Meyers ... McLlwan ... Keer ... Bowers ... Hysop ... Lloyd ... Shaver ... Garrad ... Graffius ... Elliot ... Lee Thorlton ...... Caldwell ...... Johnston ...... Kennedy ...... Hunter Gray ...... Watson ...... Stewart ...... McCormick ...... Dean ...... Glen ..... Nowlin ...... Ferguson ...... Logue ...... Wilson ...... Nelson ...... Brown ..... Canan ...... Donaldy ...... Ramsey ...... Hysop ...... Laird ...... Prior .... Longe ...... Maffitt ...... McCune ...... Little ...... Donnoldy ...... Keer .... Davis ...... Flemming ...... Smith ...... Tussey ...... Bredin ...... Moorehead ...... Henry.....Jackson ... Eaken .... Sharrow ... Mitchell ... Patton ... Flectcher ...Williams ...McGomery ... Anderson ... Thompson ... Canan ... Young ... McGinnis ...Spencer ...Davidson ... Deemitt ... Meyers ... McLlwan ... Keer ... Bowers ... Hysop ... Lloyd ... Shaver ... Garrad ... Graffius ... Elliot ... Lee Thorlton ...... Caldwell ...... Johnston ...... Kennedy ...... Hunter Gray ...... Watson ...... Stewart ...... McCormick ...... Dean ...... Glen ..... Nowlin ...... Ferguson ...... Logue ...... Wilson ...... Nelson ...... Brown ..... Canan ...... Donaldy ...... Ramsey ...... Hysop ...... Laird ...... Prior .... Longe ...... Maffitt ...... McCune ...... Little ...... Donnoldy ...... Keer .... Davis ...... Flemming ...... Smith ...... Tussey ...... Bredin ...... Moorehead ...... Henry.....Jackson ... Eaken .... Sharrow ... Mitchell ... Patton ... Flectcher ...Williams ...McGomery ... Anderson ... Thompson ... Canan ... Young ... McGinnis ...Spencer ...Davidson ... Deemitt ... Meyers ... McLlwan ... Keer ... Bowers ... Hysop ... Lloyd ... Shaver ... Garrad ... Graffius ... Elliot ... Lee Thorlton ...... Caldwell ...... Johnston ...... Kennedy ...... Hunter Gray ...... Watson ...... Stewart ...... McCormick ...... Dean ...... Glen ..... Nowlin ...... Ferguson ...... Logue ...... Wilson ...... Nelson ...... Brown ..... Canan ...... Donaldy ...... Ramsey ...... Hysop ...... Laird ...... Prior .... Longe ...... Maffitt ...... McCune ...... Little ...... Donnoldy ...... Keer .... Davis ...... Flemming ...... Smith ...... Tussey ...... Bredin ...... Moorehead ...... Henry.....Jackson ... Eaken .... Sharrow ... Mitchell ... Patton ... Flectcher ...Williams ...McGomery ... Anderson ... Thompson ... Canan ... Young ... McGinnis ...Spencer ...Davidson ... Deemitt ... Meyers ... McLlwan ... Keer ... Bowers ... Hysop ... Lloyd ... Shaver ... Garrad ... Graffius ... Elliot ... Lee Thorlton ...... Caldwell ...... Johnston ...... Kennedy ...... Hunter Gray ...... Watson ...... Stewart ...... McCormick ...... Dean ...... Glen ..... Nowlin ...... Ferguson ...... Logue ...... Wilson ...... Nelson ...... Brown ..... Canan ...... Donaldy ...... Ramsey ...... Hysop ...... Prior .... Longe ...... Maffitt ...... McCune ...... Little ...... Donnoldy ...... Keer .... Davis ...... Flemming ...... Smith ...... Tussey ...... Bredin ...... Moorehead ...... Henry.....Jackson ... Eaken .... Sharrow ... Mitchell ... Patton ... Flectcher ...Williams ...McGomery ... Anderson ... Thompson ... Canan ... Young ... McGinnis ...Spencer ...Davidson ... Deemitt ... Meyers ... McLlwan ... Keer ... Bowers ... Hysop ... Lloyd ... Shaver ... Garrad ... Graffius ... Elliot ... Lee Thorlton ...... Caldwell ...... Johnston ...... Kennedy ...... Hunter Gray ...... Watson ...... Stewart ...... McCormick ...... Dean ...... Glen ..... Nowlin ...... Ferguson ...... Logue ...... Wilson ...... Nelson ...... Brown ..... Canan ...... Donaldy ...... Ramsey ...... Hysop ...... Prior .... Longe ...... Maffitt ...... McCune ...... Little ...... Donnoldy ...... Keer .... Davis ...... Flemming ...... Smith ...... Tussey ...... Bredin ...... Moorehead ...... Henry.....Jackson ... Eaken .... Sharrow ... Mitchell ... Patton ... Flectcher ...Williams ...McGomery ... Anderson ... Thompson ... Canan ... Young ... McGinnis ...Spencer ...Davidson ... Deemitt ... Meyers ... McLlwan ... Keer ... Bowers ... Hysop ... Lloyd ... Shaver ... Garrad ... Graffius ... Elliot ... Lee

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