St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Near LA Highway 66, Weyanoke, West Feliciana Parish, LA
1991 Charles E. Peterson Prize, Third Place
Significance: St. Mary's Episcopal Church was built in 1857 to serve approximately 20 plantation families in the remote Tunica area north of St. Francisville, LA. The design is attributed to New York architect Frank Wills, a prominent 19th century proponent of the Gothic Revival. Wills' belief in the English Country church as the ideal model for American Episcopal congregations can be clearly seen in the design of St. Mary's. Two other churches by Wills are known in the region, Christ Church in Napoleonville, LA and the Chapel of the Cross near Madison, Mississippi. In 1858 the church was consecrated by Bishop (later Confederate General) Leonidas K. Polk, the "Fighting Bishop" of Civil War fame. The church was built on the Old East Tunica Road on 5 acres donated by Sarah Mulford, The title description is written "per aversionem" so that the boundaries cannot be identified exactly. In 1928 State Highway 66 was built about 1/2 mile west of the church and the old road was abandoned, leaving the church with no vehicular access, except by private farm roads. The church was deconsecrated in 1947, and today stands empty, gradually being overtaken by the surrounding forest, which has completely overgrown the graveyard north of the church and the old roadway. St. Mary's Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 29, 1980.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: FN-79
Survey number: HABS LA-1218
Building/structure dates: 1857 Initial Construction
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 80001774