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Old Cliffy Church Near Bloomfield In Need Of Repairs
Updated April 19, 2016 7:04 AM
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(BLOOMFIELD) - The "Old Clifty Church," is in desperate need of repair, and David Washburn of The Old Clifty Memorial Association would like to raise public awareness of not only the repairs needed, but also of the history and beauty of the structure and surrounding area.

The historic structure, located 12 miles southeast of Bloomfield on County Road 225 South, west of State Road 45 and just south of Little Cincinnati, lies in a wooded area of Jackson Township.

Patti Danner of the Greene County Daily World reports that the Old Clifty Church began when the late Daniel and Irenna Dobson deeded one acre of land to be used for a church in 1858.

One of the state's oldest log churches, construction of the Clifty Church was begun in 1858 and construction was delayed at that time until men could return from fighting in the Civil War. Construction of the church was complete in 1867.

Ownership and stewardship of the church has changed hands through the years, and in 1942, the Old Clifty Memorial Association was established, and continues today to take care of the historic structure.
On the grounds is an outdoor amphitheatre, with Bedford stone benches, some bearing the names of early church supporters.

The church itself seats between 40 and 50 people, and was built using yellow poplar logs, cut from the surrounding hillsides.

"In the past few years local family members that donated their money and time to maintain the church have mostly passed away or moved. There are a few descendants of those that are still around and come to the annual Old Clifty Homecoming held each year on the second Sunday in August," said Washburn,

"There hasn't been enough donations to do any of the needed repairs to the church. The roof is in desperate need of repair before the leaking on to the rest of the underlying structure causes a collapse. Currently, the old poplar logs are soaked due to the leak and it is only a matter of time until the damage to the logs takes its toll," Washburn said.

The church, now an interdenominational one, is a favorite site for weddings, family reunions and a special Christmas Eve worship service.

Washburn recently applied for and was granted $1,000 from the UDWI REMC Community fund, and also plans to write to the Greene County Foundation for assistance. He also seeks to have the church placed on the national historic register, which would open doors that would allow the church to qualify for additional grants.

"That takes a very long time," notes Washburn, "But hopefully those in our area will donate and help in the meantime."

The church is currently holding a raffle for a handmade pen and pencil set crafted from a broken pew and crafted by Washburn. The set also includes a wooden case engraved with an image of the church, and it can be viewed by visiting their Facebook page.

Those wishing to donate to help the church with repairs may do so through their PayPal account, oldcliftychurch@outlook.com, or send donations to The Old Clifty Memorial Association 3044 South Old Clifty Road Bloomfield IN 47424.



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