My most recent job reminds me of this old song:
If you go exploring in the mountains around Asheville, you will discover many little churches tucked into the curves of the road or nestled in the little hollows. Many of these churches have been here for many generations, and the old-timers tell of times when the little churches were so crowded that the women and children sat indoors while the men stood outside the windows in order to hear the sermon.
Times have moved on, and most of the congregations have dwindled to a little handful of people, but the churches still stand. I was recently hired to do a little maintenance on one of these churches, Price's Chapel:
The church is just a few feet from the road; it was built before paved roads and fast cars. Back then the traffic past this church was mostly on hoof or foot. If you look at the roof line, you can see that the central part was added first, and then the wings on each side were added as the congregation grew.
One of the first things the congregation wanted me to do was get the door cleaned up. It had been painted at one time and then later stripped to reveal the old wood. The refinish job was probably really beautiful at one time, but this door is on the side that catches the wind and weather (not to mention the road salt). After consulting with the congregation, it was decided that a simple paint job would probably be easier to maintain.
I did a few small repairs indoors as well. The most important one was fixing the ceiling fans. The original fans were cheap and tended to clank and wobble. Apparently the clanking was so bad that some of the church members couldn't hear the Sunday school lesson.
I made a point to match the old fans. The new fans are very similar, but of much better quality, so they won't be as likely to squeak and hum as they age. Aesthetically not much has changed, but now everyone can hear the service.
All in all, this was an enjoyable job, and I'm glad I got the chance to help maintain this historic little building.
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