Hog Yard Heritage Days, Sept. 21-22

Submitted to Dorchester Banner
Hog Yard Heritage Days will celebrate the 235th anniversary of Wheatley Methodist Church.

RHODESDALE — Sept. 21 and Sept. 2, is Hog Yard Heritage Days two-day event commemorating the recent preservation and dedication of the Wheatley Community House, and the 235th Anniversary of Wheatley Methodist Church. Activities are planned outside in the tranquil “church grove” setting.

Some seating will be available under a tented area. Personal lawn chairs are welcomed and encouraged, for your comfort.

The Community House, originally a one room school (circa 1875 – 1936), has served as a “community house” since the church took ownership.

These historic buildings sit on a tract of land described, in Dorchester County land records, as “Hog Yard.” The property is located at 5802 Wheatley Church Road, Rhodesdale (just off MD 313 two miles south of Eldorado and two miles north of Sharptown).

Both buildings are listed on Fork District Map found in the 1877 Lake, Griffing, and Stevenson atlas as “School No. 4” and ME Church.”

The community house was sold to Wheatley church for five dollars, just prior to its closing in the spring of 1936 by the Dorchester County Board of Education. Serving as a “community house” since church took ownership, it has seen two structural changes (late 1930s and mid-1950s).

The church, currently under restoration was built 1784 for the purpose of being a Methodist church and has served continuously, as its original intent – to be a Methodist Church. Through its 235 years history, the only change of the structural shape has been the addition of a recessed pulpit (late 19th century).

Recently members set out to restore the mid-20th century features, in time for the upcoming 235th anniversary. The work was halted when serious deterioration of 18th century structures and the surprise of colonial style were found.

Saturday’s day long activities are scheduled to begin 8 a.m. featuring various fun activities, curator tours of both buildings and a dedication service at 11 a.m.
Sunday’s events will begin at 11 a.m. with a Homecoming service followed with a picnic lunch and Gospel sing.

8 a.m.– 2 p.m.:
• Exhibits of period related items: Antique cars, Vintage Handmade Shad Boat, Blacksmith, vintage washing machines and kitchen items, broom maker, engines/motors; the Jelly Lady

• Music featuring John Simpson of Equinox Productions, Joan Wheatley and other local talent will be featured throughout the day

• Home-baked goodies, soda, bottled water, various snack foods

• Fun activities: Pastor Don in a dunking booth, corn hole game, quill & ink calligraphy writing, tours of historic buildings, visitation within our tranquil setting
11 a.m.: Community House Dedication Service; Special selections are to be provided by the North Dorchester High School band. Lunch will be available following the service.

11 a.m.: Homecoming Service; lunch following the service
2 p.m.: Gospel Sing (Timmons Family); recognition of previous serving pastors, presentation of church history. This is planned as an informal ending of our special celebratory event; snacks and drinks will be available.

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford is confirmed to attend the morning service and remain for lunch to visit with attendees.

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