Old Georgetown in Color: Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Church

This week on Old Georgetown in Color, GM is colorizing a mid nineteenth century photo of the old Presbyterian church which stood on the southeast corner of 30th and M St. from 1782 until 1878. This is what the fantastic Old Georgetown Remembered had to say about the church:

Just opposite on the southeast corner of Bridge (M) and Washington (30th) Streets stood, until 1878, the Presbyterian Church, whose founder, Dr. Stephen Bloomer Balch, was its pastor for fifty-two years. When it was first built in 1782, it was only about thirty feet square. In 1793 it was enlarged by extending the north front. In 1801-’02, it was further enlarged by extending it on the west side. For this purpose Thomas Jefferson helped by subscribing $75.00. In 1806 the trustees of the congregation were incorporated by Congress. They were: Stephen B. Balch, William Whann, James Melvin, John Maffitt, John Peter, Joshua Dawson, James Calder, George Thompson, Richard Elliott, David Wiley, and Andrew Ross. The first and only elder for some time was James Orme, son of Reverend John Orme, of Upper Marlborough. In 1821 a new building was erected. When Dr. Balch died in 1833, he was buried there, but when the congregation moved in 1878 and the church was torn down, his remains were taken to Oak Hill, where, with the original gravestone, they lie not far from the chapel and just north of the grave of John Howard Payne.

The church moved to its present location on P St. after constructing the new building. President Grant laid the cornerstone in 1871.

Judging by the style of the buildings currently on the site of the old church’s location, they must have been built shortly after the old church came down.

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