Tag Archives: North Georgia Churches
Isaac Chubb and his eight sons [Henry, John, Jacob, William, Isaac, Nicholas, George, and Thomas] arrived in Floyd County circa 1864, via Morgan County, and established a community here, which came to be known as Chubbtown. Isaac was born to Nicholas Chubb circa 1797 in North Carolina. Both he and his father were listed as free men of color, though the circumstances of the former’s manumission are unknown. Chubbtown was a thriving community in its time, with a post office, school, sawmill, general stores, and a coffin factory. The church, now known as Chubb Chapel United Methodist Church, was built in 1870 and is among the only surviving relics of the original settlement.
Because of its rural setting, Chubbtown may have been unique in Georgia, as most free men of color settled in urban areas such as Savannah and Augusta. The community and its ability to survive in a state hostile to African-Americans has become legend, even within the family. The best-known Chubb today is former Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb, now filling that slot with the Cleveland Browns. He and his father Henry discussed some of the family history with Chip Towers in a 2015 interview for Dawg Nation:
“They came and settled and they were never slaves,” Nick says…“That’s the biggest part everybody in the family always talks about — never slaves. I’ve never really understood how they were capable of doing all those things during that time period. I don’t know how they became educated and knew what they were doing. There are still questions about how they were able to do some of the things they were able to do. It’s crazy to think about it.”
Chubb’s father, Henry, fills in some of the blanks…“They say the father, John Henry, got along with the sheriff of Rome, and he kind of looked out for them,” Henry says. “John was the main man. They’d all meet on Sundays and talk about the businesses and what they needed to do that week.”
National Register of Historic Places
Cave Spring Baptist Church [presently First Baptist Church of Cave Spring] was constituted on 24 September 1836 and is third oldest Baptist congregation in Northwest Georgia. Before this elegantly simple Greek Revival structure was built in 1851, they met in a general store and a dormitory of the Hearn School. Early members were instrumental in the establishment of the Georgia School for the Deaf.
As the congregation grew in the early 20th century, they decided to build a new church home, selling this structure in 1931 to Dr. Joseph Rolater for inclusion in a community park. It remains a beloved reminder of simpler times.
Rolater Park Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Van Wert was settled in the early 1830s [formally laid out in 1837] in Paulding County. It was named for Isaac Van Wert, one of the captors of Benedict Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John André. Van Wert served as the county seat until 1851 when a section of Paulding County became Polk County. The Methodist Church was built in 1846 and was shared by the Baptists until 1850.
In 1872, the most famous preacher in the South got his start at this church. Samuel Porter Jones, known professionally as Sam P. Jones, is estimated to have preached to over 3 million people all over America, throughout his career. Upon his death in 1906, his body lay in state in the capitol in Atanta before burial in Cartersville.
The church is leaning a bit to the right, but I understand it has been recently stabilized.
Braswell Methodist is one of the most fascinating vernacular church buildings in Georgia. Its small utilitarian size as well as its local interpretation of the church form might seem crude to some, but they are proof that most rural Georgians did the best with the materials they had available. It stands not only as a testament to the faith of this small historical congregation but as a work of art in itself.
In the 1880s, Henry Braswell and New Yorker William McCracken opened a timber business, focused on crossties, in this section of Paulding County, and the nearby town was named for Braswell. It was a thriving village for about thirty years but was in decline by the 1920s. Mr. Braswell died in 1902 but not before donating land on Brushy Mountain for the purpose of building a Methodist Church. That congregation didn’t materialize until the early 1920s and this unique little church was completed around Christmas Day, 1926, with the first services coming early in the New Year of 1927. The church disbanded many years ago and is now owned by the City of Braswell.
Recently, a group of concerned local citizens, including descendants of members, has led an effort to restore the church.
Yorkville Baptist Church was established in 1866. The present structure was built in 1945. The history of the church has strong connections to the York family. In the 1820s, Josiah York, a native of Washington County, Tennessee, and his wife Sarah, settled this area, which was on the border of the Creek and Cherokee nations. The York [and Philpot] family was associated with the notorious “Pony Club” which stole horses and operated out of the reach of local law enforcement, which was nearly nonexistent at the time. York served as Justice of the Peace on several occasions between the 1830s and 1870s. He also served as Yorkville postmaster for a time. The land for both churches, the Baptist and Methodist, were donated by Josiah York’s son, Abraham “Hud” York.