Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rosie And Mr. Hawthorne Visit St. Matthew's Episcopal Church In Hillsborough, North Carolina.

On Tuesday, September 15, Rosie and Mr. Hawthorne left Danville and hit the road for our home, the Outer Banks. I have always wanted to go to Montrose, the home of Nancy and Craufurd Goodwin (I wonder if Craufurd knows his name is spelled wrong), in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and tour the gardens. Tours are by appointment only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. And I'm on my way Tuesday. TEASE! More on the gardens forthcoming. So sorry. You'll have to wait for that post. But first ... We arrived a bit early for our appointment at Montrose so we just drove down the road a bit and found this beautiful old church and cemetery.
This is Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church on St. Mary's Road in Hillsborough, North Carolina. In 1752, the General Assembly of Colonial North Carolina originally constituted St. Matthew's Parish as the established church in Orange County.
In 1824, the parish was reorganized.
And on May 21, 1826, this building was consecrated and St. Matthew's has continued as the Episcopal parish in Hillsborough and northern Orange County ever since.
I found this lovely, wintry, black and gray photograph of St. Matthew's.
Mr. Hawthorne and I took the opportunity to stroll through the old cemetery churchyard. As always, he went his way and I went mine. We joined back with different experiences and understandings and a meshing of the whole.
We met the churchyard caretaker and he was kind enough to point out several of the graves and relate their history. This is the headstone for young Willie J. Hardee, a soldier in the Civil War. There are two mistakes on the small marker. First, Willie wasn't with Wheeler's Calvary. He was with the Texas Rangers. He'd always wanted to be a Texas Ranger and he finally was. For one day. Then he was killed. Second, the marker puts his age at 17. He was actually 16.
Inscribed: Graduated at Nassau Hall, Princeton, N.J. 1805, Admitted to the Bar in North Carolina, 1808; INTERMARRIED ( My emphasis with boldness and color.) with ANNE M. KIRKLAND December 7th, 1809 What does "intermarried with" mean?
The last inscription: A member of the State Legislature, a Speaker of the House of Commons, a Trustee of the University; twiced Judge of the Superior Court; in 1829 a Justice of the Supreme Court in which he presided for 19 years as its Chief Justice. "Labor ipse est voluptus." Shoot. I looked up the Latin, "Labor ipse est voluptus." which I could pretty much already figure out. Labor means hardship, distress, fatigue, toil. ipse means himself. est means is. voluptus means pleasurable, delightful, pleasure-seeking, luxurious. I gotta go back and find out who this hedonist was.
Another young man killed in the war. I wish we could have stayed here longer and talked to the caretaker and learned more of the history, but we needed to get to our appointment at Montrose and I still wanted to see the inside of Saint Matthew's before we had to leave.
THE BELL Hanging in this tower was given to St. Matthews Church, Hillboro, by Mrs. Mary Curtis; Rung for the first service on Easter 1878; and having on it the following inscription:- "To the glory of God, and in memoriam; JOHN HENRY CURTIS, and other Soldiers of the Orange Light Artillery N.C.T. who fell in the service of the Confederate States." "From death unto life"
I want to know who the people are in the photographs in the entryway. Some of the most beautiful stained glass windows I've ever seen were in this church. I would have used the word "exquisite" to describe the windows, but I ain't been around that much and don't know what's what. Let's just say, "They were exquisite to me." I would love to know the stories behind this glass.
I think Mr. Hawthorne and I definitely need to take another trip to Hillsborough and see if we can't take a guided tour of this lovely old church and churchyard, find out its history and learn the history of those young boys. Mr. Hawthorne said he found a marker for a 14 year old boy who served in the Civil War. (Of course, he waited to tell me this information after we got home and I started writing this post NOT when I was in the graveyard with my camera.) But WAIT, Dear Readers! I had found the grave site on my own. I just didn't know it until I was enlarging my photots. Here's the head stone for a 14-year old CHILD who fought in the Civil War: Inscription: A USEFUL CITIZEN A TRUE CONFEDERATE SOLDIER AT FOURTEEN DEVOTED TO AGRICULTURE AFFECTIONATE, GENEROUS AND BRAVE BY NATURE BELOVED BY HIS NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS WITH HEROIC FORTITUDE HE ENDURED THE SUFFERING WHICH FELL TO HIS LOT AND WITH A FIERY FAITH IN CHRIST PASSED INTO REST BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD I also want to know who did the stained glass, learn the history and story behind the panels, and know who the figures are.


Laura Goff said...

Those are very exquisite windows. They were made by several different artists.

Stained glass is story telling. When ever you see a figure that has a cross in his halo, you know that is Christ.

The first window has the Alpha and Omega on each side of Christ. This style window was popular in the 1960s. All the glass in this window has been painted and fired in a kiln. Stained glass paint is traditionally black or brown paint on colored glass. It is done to give more details that otherwise could not be shown. Each layer of paint is fired in a kiln. The paint itself is made of ground up glass and lead. Once fired it is permanently fused into the surface of the glass.

The second window is Christ with the Children. At the bottom Jesus is raising the daughter of Lazarus. The first two windows is more in the lines of Neo Gothic style. The fingers are elongated. The artist is not trying to be anatomically correct. All the glass in this window has been painted and fired in a kiln.

The third window is much older (early 1900s) that the first two. It shows Mary with the Christ child. All the glass in this window has been painted and fired in a kiln. Notice the colors are not as vibrant as the first two. Newer technology has allowed scientists to create a larger pallet of colors. When you see windows that are more monochromatic, you automatically think they are older.

The fourth window show Jesus the Good Shepherd. The rendition is much more like a Pilgrim. At the top are the keys to the kingdom and a shepherd's crook. All the glass in this window has been painted and fired in a kiln. Notice that in this window that the painted blue glass behind Christ has some faded parts. This window they need to be careful when cleaning it. Older painted glass was not always fired hot enough and or long enough to make the paint permanently fused into the glass. The old artists did not have the technology that we do -- like digital pyrometers.

The fifth window (the triptych) has the symbols for Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Luke is shown by the ox on the top left, John is shown by the eagle on the bottom left, Matthew is shown by the angel on the top right, and Mark is shown by the lion on the bottom right. In the center window is the dove, the cross and the lamb of God. The descending dove represents Baptism. At the very top of the center window, ... (it is hard to see for sure), it looks like there is a compass. If that is a compass, then this windows was probably donated by the Masons or given in honor of a Mason. Again, all the glass in this window has been painted. They need to be careful when cleaning it because there are some areas where the paint has faded.

Laura Goff said...

The sixth window is St. Matthew writing the Gospel. Most but not all of this window has been painted.

The seventh window is a real gem! This window has been done in the Tiffany style. The only areas of this windows that have been painted are the body parts, lettering and music. This painted body parts look more like cold painting. That means that this painting has NOT been fired in a kiln. The paint is NOT permanently fused into the glass. I have seen churches where well meaning members have cleaned their windows and wiped off the faces. This window should only be touched by professionals. Another interesting thing about this window is the use of drapery glass. Drapery glass is thick glass that actually has folds in the glass. It is used to represent the folds in the clothes. It is very typical when using drapery glass to have another layer of glass behind it. This type of window usually has a lot of dirt build up between the glass.

The eighth window is again Jesus. At the bottom is Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary. Each piece of glass has been painted and fired.

The last window is a very nice rendition of the three wise men visiting the Christ child - the Nativity. Each piece has been painted and fired. The dove at the top has an olive branch in his beak which represents peace. Notice the halos on Mary and Joseph do not have the cross in it where as the halo on Jesus does have the cross.

Very nice windows. Thanks for posting the photos.

Laura Goff Parham