About Old Chapel


Old Chapel is situated at the intersection of US Route 340 and VA Route 255. Today known as "Old Chapel", it was originally referred to as the Chapel at Cunningham's, Cunningham's being the name of the tavern near the chapel, Old Chapel is the oldest Episcopal Church in continuous use west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We were about 60 years old when the chapel was built in 1792; it is the third structure we built on this site.

Burwell Cemetery,
A Place of history and Politics

What better way is there to revisit family history than to stroll through the Old Chapel Burwell Cemetery? The lovely, serene grounds make you feel like you've stepped back in time to the Revolutionary and Civil War eras.
Gray, moss covered headstones, worn by the elements over many generations, mark your path as you wander among some of theresting places of the Nelson, Page, and Randolph families, and other notable kin.
Edmund Jenings Randolph (1753-1813) and Robert Page (1765-1840)* are among the politicians buried here. Sallie Page Nelson, along with her husband, Hugh Nelson, Jr., both buried at Old Chapel, can count as their ancestors a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Nelson, Jr., of Yorktown. A pew at Old Chapel still marks Sallie's name.
Edmund Jenings Randolph was an American attorney, governor of Virginia (elected in 1786), secretary of state under George Washington, and the first United States attorney general. He was selected as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1779 and served there until 1782. During this period he also remained in private law practice, handling various legal issues.
Robert Page served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He was an attorney, planter, member of the Virginia State House of Delegates in 1795, and later a U.S. representative from Virginia.
Whether you have relatives buried there or not, Old Chapel Cemetery is a fascinating outing for those seeking an adventure into the past in a setting that has not changed since the 1700s.
If you need information concerning Old Chapel or Burwell Cemetery,
please contact Robert C. Randolph

A History of "Old Chapel"Clarke County, Virginia

Click on the book cover to your right to view an online edition of  Historical Sketch of the Old Chapel: Decoration Day Address, "A Gentleman of Verona" -- The Cemetery Record, printed by The Blue Ridge Press, Berryville, Virginia, 1906, courtesy of the Internet Archive.
"A Gentleman of Verona" was authored by Capt. William N. Nelson, and delivered by him as an address at the anniversary celebration of Old Chapel on September 7, 1890. It was first published on October 9, 1890 in The Clarke Courier, a publication launched by William N. Nelson on February 19, 1869. A former captain of the Nelson Guards, Company C of the 2nd Regiment, Virginia Volunteers, who had been wounded at First Manassas, Nelson purchased the printing plant of the defunct The Clarke Journal. The four-page weekly opposed Reconstruction and the agenda of the Radical Republicans.
Details available at the Library of Congress, Chronicling America., Historic American Newspapers.
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