Kenyon College does not exist in a vacuum. Raised in a forest, in the middle of nowhere, it has since built a small community. This community is important to record for both Kenyon history and the history of Gambier’s townspeople. It is easy for the college to forget the town that helped build and maintain Kenyon to this day, but this would be the first step in losing a key part of the college’s history.
The history of Quarry Chapel, a small church in a rural land, is interesting in itself, but also it also shows a sub-society of Kenyon. The workers, who built Kenyon, lived outside of town and wanted their own community rather than mix with the school. They started by building a church, Quarry Chapel. The people who built and worked for Kenyon never made a town of their own. To this day Gambier’s identity is inseparable from the college, but the history of Quarry Chapel illustrates to see the relationship between the town and the school. The town made the first step of separation. In the nineteenth century a church was a center of a community. A separate church meant a separate people. In the middle of the Civil War, when the attention of the nation focused on the youth killing each other, the townspeople of Gambier built a separate church for themselves. The town did its part for the war, two veterans are buried in the adjacent Township Cemetery, but they pulled away from the college. Ironically, the chapel eventually served to strengthen ties between Kenyon and Gambier, but the separate history of the chapel remains.