Marietta, Pennsylvania – Where Episcopalians Once Rafted to Church

I found an unusual postcard image of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Marietta.

The image is not an hand-colored photograph, but an artist’s drawing.

The drawing depicts the church as it stood before 1927 when the parish hall was added.

The postcard was never mailed, so I could not find any clues to the date of its origin.

St. John’s website offers remarkable details of the congregation’s history.

The parish was admitted to the Diocese of Pennsylvania in 1849.  Some years later, the small parish could no longer share the services of a priest, and the parishioners worshiped with St. Paul’s in Columbia.

The congregation traveled to and from Columbia on rafts!

I wish to see the practice restored – might attract interest (and Sunday adventurers) to the Church!

St. John’s Church History (from the website of St. John’s)

“Between the years 1810 and 1840, services for Episcopalians in Marietta were held in the Old Zion’s Church, now known as the Union Meeting House. Many denominations in Marietta worshiped here before building their own churches.

In 1849, the “little congregation in Marietta” was admitted into the Diocese of Pennsylvania as an organized parish and received its charter as such from the Lancaster County Court. For the first six years, St. John’s shared a minister, The Rev. Dwight E. Lyman, with the neighboring Columbia congregation of St. Paul’s. The congregation in Marietta met “in a room over a paint shop up an alley, fitted up as a beautiful chapel” by The Rev. Lyman.When the two congregations became too much for The Rev. Lyman, members of the Marietta Church worshiped in Columbia, making the journey back and forth by raft on the Susquehanna River.”


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