Question: Where are the
ruins of the Union Church located?
Answer: The narthex of the former
Union Church (seen above) is located on Carter Street in historic
Falmouth, Virginia - an unincorporated area in southern Stafford County
just north of the Rappahannock River and Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Carter Street is situated between modern-day US Route 1 (Cambridge
Street/Jefferson Davis Highway) and Virginia Route 218 (Butler Road).
Question: Why the name Union
Answer: The word "Union" meant the coming together of the community. As
the National Register nomination states, "The community built a union
church because there were not enough members of one single congregation
in the Falmouth community to sustain a church building; therefore,
it was utilized by the local Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian, and
Baptist congregations. As there were very few Episcopalians in Falmouth,
the latter three denominations mainly used the church. Although the
understanding was to rotate Sundays, it was not uncommon to have three
services following on the same Sunday. Many of the townspeople attended
all three services as the church also served as a community gathering
Question: When was the Union
Answer: The current structure was built in 1819, replacing an earlier
Anglican church that had burned.
Question: Did the church play a
role in the Civil War?
Answer: Like so many churches in the area, the Union Church served as a
military hospital during the Civil War. When Falmouth was occupied by
Federal troops, the church served as a billet for the 7th Michigan
Infantry Regiment and other units.
Question: When did the Union
Church last hold services?
Answer: The Union Church last held services in 1935, after which it was
Question: When was the rest of
the church destroyed?
Answer: A violent rain storm in 1950 severely damaged the roof of the
church leading to a collapse of the chancel (rear) and nave (middle),
leaving only the narthex (front) intact. The rear of the narthex, as it
presently stands, was bricked up in 1954 by the Falmouth community in an
attempt to save what was left of the town’s old landmark.
Question: What work needs to be
done to repair and preserve the narthex?
Answer: The church suffers from a number of structural maladies. Ruins
of the belfry and cornice continue to rot or remain open to the
elements. What exists of the east wall
of the narthex is precarious, especially at the base. Currently, iron
rods are barely holding the structure together. Deteriorated asphalt
shingles are lost with every strong gust of wind.
Question: How can I help?
Answer: We need volunteers, construction materials and equipment, and
capital equipment funds to help fix and maintain the church. We
currently have merchandise to sell via Cafe press and we are accepting
donations via check or via PayPal. We will also be holding fund raising
events in 2012 to obtain the necessary funds to make the necessary