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St. Mary Ann's Parish Church

A Short History of St. Mary Anne's

In 1706, owing to the lack of the established church on the northern shore of the Elk River, the colonial legislature and governor of Maryland established the North Elk Parish. As was the custom in England, the Lord of the Manor on which the parish was to be located, in this case, Henry Harford, the illegitimate son of Frederick, Lord Baltimore, set aside four acres of land for the establishment of the church buildings. Early survey maps indicate that sometime between 1709 and 1715 a wooden church was built on this land, the site of the present church, but no details about this first building are known.

The Reverend Jonas Auren, a Swedish Lutheran clergyman, came to New Sweden late in the 1600's and stayed in America until his death in 1713. Most of this time he was in Cecil County (founded in 1674), preaching for a congregation of English, Swedes, and Finns. This congregation became the congregation of St. Mary Anne's, and the Rev. Mr. Auren its first Rector.

Upon her death in 1714, Queen Anne bequeathed a sum to be used to establish the Anglican Church in the colonies. St. Mary's received a large Bible, a Book of Common Prayer, and a silver chalice and Paten from this source which are still used on occasion today. It is thought that gratitude for these gifts brought about the addition of Anne to the church's name, resulting in the unique name, St. Mary Anne's.

In 1743, the Vestry contracted with Henry Baker for the building of a brick church, at a cost of 300 pounds, to replace the old wooden structure. A detailed description of this building can be found in the minutes of the Vestry dated March 1, 1743, and, except for the bell tower, which was added later, the church which was built is the church you see today.


Owner/SourceInternet photo
File nameSt. Mary Anns Church.jpg
File Size77.29k
Dimensions450 x 337
Linked toThomas PATTON

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