McGaha Chapel (Little River Methodist Episcopal Church)

The McGaha Chapel was built ca. 1872. It is a reminder of a time long gone; when people walked, rode horseback or came in wagons to their house of worship and listened outside its open windows, if all the pews were filled.

Plans for a church started mid-1800s. But, before they could build it, the Civil War intervened and put their plans on hold.

When the Civil War ended and life had returned somewhat to normal, plans for the church were reactivated. Building the church was a good vehicle to re-unite the community and families that were divided during the War. Being strong, industrious people, they never questioned the fact that they would build it themselves.

A. J. Loftis donated the land for the church. Using popular logs from the forest, as well as hand-made nails and glass, the hard working mountain men of the area took direction from J. C. McGaha and erected the small, study structure. A. J. Loftis built the pews and mourners bench. The original Trustees of the Little River Methodist Episcopal Church were Jackson Gillespie, A. J. Loftis, J. C. McGaha and R. W. Raxter.

It remained a thriving congregation for about 50 years, then stood vacant for much of the 1900s. Only a few services were held there each year. Hidden from the sight of passers-by, it was almost forgotten. A group of Cedar Mountain folk, Friends of McGaha Chapel, stepped forward and began restoration efforts, completing the exterior in 2007. TCHS now has responsibility for completing the restoration.

It is located in Cedar Mountain, NC on Halley Cove Road off US 276, across from Sherwood Forest Golf Course.

Submitted by Transylvania County Historical Society, P O Box 2061, Brevard, NC 28712

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