MAPSICO EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Charles City vicinity, Charles City County
Built ca. 1830 (?); collapsed 1950s
Photograph: Virginia Historical Society
This board-and-batten Gothic Revival gem took its name from nearby Mapsico Creek, itself an Indian name. It was
built in 1856 to replace an 1834 frame church, St. Thomas's, destroyed by fire on Christmas day, 1854. The new structure
was a classic example of the many wooden country churches cast in a medieval mode. Such churches were expressions
of the romantic revivalism that swept the nation in the first half of the 19th century and was frequently referred to as
"Carpenter's Gothic." With its large window of intersecting tracery and flanking crenellated towers, Mapsico was
more sophisticated than most. Its general form referenced that of English collegiate chapels. The design itself was
probably adapted from a plate published in one of the many architectural pattern books produced in that period.
Mapsico's most distinguished parishioner was President John Tyler, who lived nearby at Sherwood Forest.