Canopy Placed Over Building Shields Old McKendree Chapel
This picture shows old McKendree Chapel in its new dress, or perhaps it would be better
to say it shows the ancient frame house under its new overcoat. The steel canopy rests
on heavy concrete piling firmly imbedded in the earth so a windstorm can do it no damage.
The canopy is considerably larger than the house, thus protecting the walls from the
elements and as the steel covering is something new for such purposes it not only has a
pleasant look but is guaranteed to last without end. The cost of the canopy was in excess
of $6000, the trustees reported.
Around the building is a heavy concrete strip, which has the appearance of a sidewalk, and
this is intended to protect the frame building from possible grass fires. As the chapel sets
in a beautiful grove of large native trees that are perhaps several hundred years old, and as
some show the effects of having been damaged by lightning, the building was lightning rodded
several years ago. The canopy now covers the rods but as soon as the weather permits they will
be taken down and placed on top of the new cover. Several of the adjacent trees were also rodded
and this equipment will also be extended and improved.
Houck's History of Missouri, the best authority on Missouri history, has this to say of old McKendree
Chapel: "The first Methodist Church west of the Mississippi river was organized in about 1806, at
McKendree, about three miles from the present town of Jackson, in Cape Girardeau county.... Soon
afterward a house of worship, McKendree Chapel, was built of great hewn poplar logs."