Monday, June 20, 2011

Jacoby Church turns 150

The 150th anniversary of the original dedication of the Jacoby Church on King Road was held on June 12, 2011. A stirring message was delivered by Bob Read, who grew up in the church, and the Maxinkuckee Singers provided inspirational music.

The following is a history of the Jacoby Church:
In 1847 a group of German families from Ohio settled together in what would become known as the Jacoby Neighborhood. After losing their daughter Catherine to typhoid fever in 1850, John & Catherine Jacoby deeded a parcel of land for the purpose of a cemetery, church, and school. John Fesser began construction in 1860 on the one room Greek Revival style church building. On May 23, 1861 the Plymouth Democrat reported that the German Reformed Church situated three miles east of Plymouth in the Jacoby neighborhood will be dedicated on June 9, 1861.
Jacoby Church operated for the German Reformed and Lutheran Denominations (1850), German Reform Church (1861), St. John’s Church (1870), and St. John’s Reformed Church of Center Township (1892). According to the Daily Pilot on Sunday April 7, 1935 the Maple Grove and Jacoby Sunday School honored John R. Jacoby, Jr. for serving 54 years as a faithful janitor and sexton of the church. During the 1940’s a congregation formed with ties to the Missionary Church denomination, through Bethel College. On June 29, 1958, the Jacoby Church reopened after being closed for many years by the congregation that would later build Sunrise Chapel. Services were held here until April 26, 1964 when their new church was constructed east of Plymouth. Iris Price, a Jacoby descendant, coordinated maintenance for the structure and cemetery for many years after. A one room school house was once located north of the building.

The building is a combination hand-hewn timber frame and balloon frame construction. The floor timbers are oak and poplar logs 24” wide. The roof has unusual hewn timber frame trusses. While most of the interior finishes date to 1910 when the building was remodeled and the foyer and bell tower were added, the unusual wood ceiling was exposed during restoration and dates to 1860. This type of ceiling exists in only one other known location in Indiana. The oil lamps hanging from the walls are original, as are the wood slab benches and wood stoves. The pews, podium, alter, and hymn and attendance boards date to the 1910 remodel as does the piano.

In 2006 Wythougan Valley Preservation Council worked with Center Township Trustee Doug Kucera to restore the building. Restoration was completed in 2008 using more than $40,000 in cash and volunteer services. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

1 comment:

Xonia Stout said...

Thank you to all who helped restore my family church. I am a descendant of John and Catherine Brown Jacoby. I really appreciated all that has been done to help keep the church up and the cemetery. God bless you all.

Xonia Stout