150th campaign

Quarry Chapel Announces Campaign Success.

Gambier, Ohio.  The members of the Board of the Friends of the Quarry Chapel announced the successful completion of a fundraising Campaign to mark the 150th anniversary of the Quarry Chapel in Gambier, Ohio.

The initial campaign goal was exceeded by more than 100 percent, with a final total of  $115,770.  Tom Hoffmann, chair of the Friends of the Quarry Chapel board, said “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the community, including individuals, families, and foundations, in helping to maintain and preserve this wonderful historic landmark.  Now we look forward to having the Chapel serve as a venue for small weddings, concerts, and other gatherings in Knox County.”

The purposes of the Campaign include replacing the bell, repairing and enhancing the grounds, and upgrading the electrical system.  Part of the grounds project was to replace the old split rail fence with a handsome new stone pillar and chain fence and the installation of an irrigation system.   In addition to these current projects, a Campaign priority was to build an endowment to provide for future maintenance needs.  The endowment fund,  invested through the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County, now stands at more than $55,000.   “We are especially grateful to Sam Barone and the Community Foundation for their guidance and support of this Campaign,” notes Hoffmann.

In 1862, the stone masons constructing Kenyon College built Christ Church at the Quarry as a place to worship. By 1930, most of its congregation had moved away or joined other churches.  What is now known as Quarry Chapel was deconsecrated and abandoned.  In 1967, College Township assumed ownership of the property and in 1972, the Knox County Historical Society formed the Quarry Chapel Restoration Society to rescue the Chapel from further deterioration.   It was during this period that Christ Church at the Quarry was designated as a national historic landmark.  Volunteers again stepped in during 1998 to restore the building, making both interior and exterior improvements, and in 2009, the Friends of the Quarry Chapel assumed the financial responsibility for further restoration and maintenance.

“We encourage people to come out to see the results of the Campaign at our Sunday afternoon concert series,” said Hoffmann.   The first concert will be this Sunday, July 13, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, when attendees can enjoy old-time string-band music featuring traditional fiddle tunes and country songs performed by Howard and Judy Sacks and friends.  The other three concerts in the series feature The Heritage Singers on August 3rd, harpist Lily Ann McBride on September 7th, and the Chase Quartet chamber group on October 5th.  All concerts are free and open to the public.

The 150th Anniversary of the Quarry Chapel

Gambier, Ohio

During the past year, we joyfully celebrated the now nearly-complete restoration of the Christ Church at the Quarry, built in 1863.  Our community of Friends has thus far been very generous in supporting the “leadership phase” of the 150th Anniversary Campaign, with donations currently totaling over $95,000.

As we embark on the final phase of the campaign, we have established a goal to raise an additional $18,630; please note the hidden numerical significance!  However, given the continuing generosity of our many Quarry Chapel Friends, we believe we can go somewhat beyond this figure, and raise a grand total of $115,000 or more, thereby ensuring that the historic Quarry Chapel will be available for future generations to enjoy.

All campaign donations are fully tax-deductible and go directly into the Friends of the Quarry Chapel Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County.  This Fund pays for continuing enhancement and maintenance of Quarry Chapel.

Several enhancements, such as replacing the cracked bell and upgrading the electrical system, have already been made and others, including landscaping and fencing, will begin in April 2014.

Clearly, a building constructed in 1863 needs constant attention to maintenance.  To preserve this historic site, we must regularly see to a variety of tasks, including tuck pointing, replacing roof shingles, refinishing floors and pews, painting and staining, dealing with foundation and drainage issues, interior cleaning, exterior landscaping, and lawn and tree care.  Of course, we must also be prepared for the unexpected.

We are delighted that Quarry Chapel no longer sits vacant.  In 2013, the Chapel hosted ten weddings and numerous additional events, including the dedication of the adjacent Jewish Cemetery.  Indeed, one of the important ongoing missions of the Friends of the Quarry Chapel Board of Directors is to promote year-round use of the Chapel for all kinds of appropriate events.

Thomas P. Stamp, Gambier and Kenyon College Historian, has recognized the restoration of the Quarry Chapel as a prime example of concerned community members banding together to save a landmark.  “In an era–and area–in which many historic structures are often at best, being taken for granted and, more commonly than most of us know, being sacrificed on the altars of ‘modernization’ and ‘progress,’ it is important that efforts such as those of the Friends of the Quarry Chapel be publicly recognized and adequately funded.”

To support the continuing efforts of the Friends of the Quarry Chapel, we invite you to make a one-time gift to the 150th Anniversary Celebration Campaign.  We are confident that when we meet our overall campaign goal there will be sufficient financial support in our Community Foundation Fund to maintain Quarry Chapel for many years to come.

Please make your check payable to: “Friends of the Quarry Chapel” and mail your donation to:

Friends of the Quarry Chapel

PO Box 849

Gambier, Ohio 43022-0849