History of The Rock Church

Rock Church plaque


Given by Jane Washburn at 96th Livingston Watson family reunion in 2019

While we are in this beautiful church I wanted to provide you with a little history.

Bosman Clifton hosted church meetings at his home. When one of his daughters died, he donated 1 – 1 ½ acre land for a church. He also borrowed the money to complete the work at the rate of 30 percent interest. It was built in 1851.

The stone for the walls came from Martinville – just ½ mile from here and were hauled by oxen. Imagine chiseling the rock into flat edged stones, hauling them a few at a time, lifting each stone and placing them to form the walls of church building.

The wood floors and windows were originally cut from large timbers around Martinville.

The lumber used in the construction was hauled by team and wagon from Galena, Illinois (about an hour south today’s time) and Mineral Point (about 30 minutes east).

Originally there were two pot bellied stoves with pews on each side of the church. The ladies would enter through the north door and occupy the seats on that side and the men would do the same but on the south side. This was a tradition in certain religions at that time. They had a pump organ which is still here today and thanks to Kay Moen we still
get to hear music from it. Lighting would have been by lamps.

The church was used continuously from 1851 to 1944 (when wartime broke out). Now it is used occasionally for special events and a church service is held once a year in October.

A major refinishing was done in 1985 – new pews designed after the old ones, painting the inside, new doors, roof and original wood floors were refinished.