"A young music teacher named William Pitts was traveling by stagecoach from Wisconsin to Iowa to visit his future wife. While waiting for the stagecoach horses to be changed, he walked down Cedar Street and saw the empty lot where the church now stands. Being a romantic young man, the thought came to him of what a charming setting the spot would make for a church. Returning home, he wrote the poem “Church in the Wildwood,” and later set it to music. He put it away in a drawer and forgot it."
People of the town grew tired of meeting in business locations for Sunday services and work to build a church began in 1860. All through donations of materials, little by little the church was built. When it came time to paint it the cheapest paint was this "unhappy brown".
"Mr. Pitts had married and was living in Wisconsin. In 1862 the couple moved to Fredericksburg to be near her elderly parents and Mr. Pitts was hired to teach singing class at the Bradford Academy. Imagine his surprise when he saw a little brown church nestled in the very trees where he had stood some years before. He went home and found the song and taught it to his class who sang it at the dedication service of the church. Pitts had written a song for a church that wasn’t there. The congregation had painted their little church brown without ever hearing of the song."
The B&B that I am staying at is about 8 miles from the Little Brown Church so I went to worship with Sunday morning.
The ceiling has an a lovely pattern
Because I was a visitor, they asked me to ring the church bell. I felt so blessed to do so.
The bell pull rope
Today was their "Weed and Feed" day. They had a potluck lunch in the basement and then went out to weed the garden. They twisted my arm so I stayed for the potluck. While there I met a woman who was in charge of the Historical Society (the one that is closed until May 1st) She kindly offered to open the building for me tomorrow morning to see if they had any material that I might be interested in.