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Parish History Notes 30: The Renovations of 1913

In a letter dated June 2, 1913, Rosewell Page of Oakland expresses satisfaction with plans for changing the chancel area of Fork Church. “The present arrangement of the chancel is not colonial. The high back pews and all the change of interior went before the ‘demon of architecture’ many years ago. The present plan is very simple and will improve and in part be a restoration instead of a desecration. Indeed, while the present status was satisfactory to us, the change will be effected without trouble and be satisfactory to all concerned.”

The changes made later that year did restore the church to an arrangement closer to the original design. The pulpit was placed where it is today, only a few feet from its presumed original position. For practical and financial reasons no one seemed to propose the restoration of the high-back box pews, and the original position of the pulpit would have been inappropriate for the current configuration of the pews. It is the same pulpit, though, that has been used, slightly modified, at all three locations.

The rectangular communion rail was installed at this time, using the same wood platform flooring as was used in the prior circular rail. Still today, ghost shadows from random arcs of the earlier rail can be seen if the carpet is removed. We assume that the organ was moved at this time from the north wall to the east wall in the corner to the right of the altar.

The stove probably remained in the center of the aisle. A central heating system was not to be provided for Fork Church until 1957.