Doddridge Chapel and Cemetery in Centerville, Indiana is supremely old.
Once the site where Native Americans and pioneers worshiped together, this historic chapel is unbelievable well-kept for its age–and size!
Doddridge Chapel and Cemetery in Centerville, Indiana
There’s quite a history here. I caught up with Nancy Sartain from Visit Richmond/Wayne County for the historical details that seem to be common knowledge in these parts. You know how it is in a small town. There aren’t always big signs or brochures proclaiming some of the interesting historical features because the people that know them either don’t realize it’s something interesting to visitors or they don’t even think about visitors finding it interesting.
Way back in pioneer times, before Wayne County was Wayne County, on April 8, 1814, a group of five families made it to this area all the way from western Pennsylvania.
These nine adults and ten children (one of whom, Susan Spahr, age 6 weeks, had been born along the way), gave thanks to God around a campfire that evening and asked for blessings upon themselves and their new homes. Traveling by wagon would have been difficult enough. Can you imagine traveling by wagon when you are pregnant?
It wasn’t until 1816 that a log church was built in this spot. It wouldn’t be until 1832 when a brick church would take its place. Then, in 1876, the Italianate Doddridge Chapel was constructed, reusing materials from the previous chapel. I think that is a neat touch.
Centerville, Indiana Cemetery
Today, you can walk through this aged Indiana cemetery and hunt for the names of the old pioneers. The Native Americans are buried here as well, just head to the far West end of the cemetery.
Unfortunately, the stone slabs are unreadable. I was upset about that too.
When we pulled up to Doddridge Chapel we could hear the sounds of singing. Apparently, this church had a late afternoon service or something going on. We didn’t get to peek inside but at least we heard a few nice hymns whenever we tromped close enough to the church.
This is quite a cemetery. There are many unique headstones with very elegant engravings. It was also during the horrible drought so I’m sure it is usually a bit more lush than that. That’s why the grass looks so dry and crunchy.
If you like wandering around cemeteries like I do, you will really enjoy this Centerville cemetery. It is big, well-kept, and full of lovely old headstones. Add Centerville to your Indiana travel plans for a nice mix of history, attractions, and shopping.
On the National Register of Historic Places, it is certainly something to see.
Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.
Just don’t forget to tell them that Little Indiana sent you.
Doddridge Chapel and Cemetery
9465 Chapel Road
Centerville, IN 47330
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