Historic Old St. Luke’s Church 8-17-19

Nestled away in Scott Township is a hidden gem of a church called Old St. Luke’s Church.    If you were not looking for it, you would not know that this is a beautiful, restored church, that is still periodically used today.

Travel in time with me to a long ago era…….Close your eyes & just imagine………

Old St Luke’s was a Frontier Church, dating from prior to the Revolutionary War days.  According to literature available, Old St. Luke’s was one of the oldest frontier churches of any denomination west of the Allegheny Mountains.  Colonial militiamen who accompanied General John Forbes on his mission to capture Ft. Duquesne in 1758 returned later to settle & become landowners along the Chartiers Creek Valley.  Many of the streets in this section of Scott Twp. are named after the men who were part of General Forbes’ military mission, and are also buried in the graveyard surrounding the church today.

Major William Lea was a member of the Forbes expedition & received a King’s Grant of 335 acres of land in 1770 from King George of England.  He set aside 10 rods square for the Church & Burial Ground.  Title to the land was duly recorded in West Augusta County, Virginia.  (Pennsylvania did not exist yet.  We were still considered to be part of Virginia).

Major Lea married the love of his life, Dorothy Nelson, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   They returned to the Chartiers Valley area to build their house, and the log church that superseded Old St. Luke’s Church.  Their daughter, Jane, was born & baptized in Old St. Luke’s Church in December, 1774.  She was the first settler’s child born in Chartiers Valley, west of the Allegheny Mountains.  (Jane died in 1859, at age 85, and is buried in the cemetery that surrounds the church).

About 1790, the log stockade church was replaced by a frame building.  And in 1852, the present stone church was erected.  During the Whiskey Rebellion,  when England imposed unreasonable excise taxes on locally produced products, the church became a gathering point for many — while many were driven away from the church.   (The Whiskey Rebellion was one of the many skirmishes  leading up to the Revolutionary War).

This church, still small by today’s standards, seats roughly 90 to 100 people.

The pipe organ, still played today, was purchased in England by Trinity Episcopal Church of Pittsburgh, and was brought over the mountains by mule.  This organ was given to Old St Luke’s Church in 1852, when Trinity acquired a new organ.  This organ is the oldest pipe organ west of the Allegheny mountains, and is still played today for all weddings and ceremonies held in the church.

By many accounts, the cemetery surrounding the church contains the graves of over 200 or more individuals.  Some of the graves are marked.  Some are not.   Some headstones have disappeared over the years due to weather, time and in some cases vandalism.  Archaeological work by Dr. Ron Carlyle in 1991 and later work by a CMU computer group have identified where a number of graves are potentially located.

Old St Luke’s Church & Burial grounds & Garden is now a non-profit corporation, and is maintained by volunteers, and thru donations.   It does not hold regular church services, or have a regular congregation.   It is available for wedding ceremonies for a fee of $500. + separate fees for the organist and clergy.  (For wedding information — please call 724-745-8278).

Tours of the church & burial grounds are conducted each Sunday from Memorial Day thru Labor Day — Sundays — 1:30 to 4:00 pm.   Group tours are also available (Call ahead 412-531-9333).

More information about Old St. Luke’s Church can be found at: www.oldsaintlukes.org. This gem is close by the city, yet hidden from most views.  We invite you to take a ride on a Sunday, and enjoy  a journey back in time!

 

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7-27-2019 – A Grand Debut for Our New Square Arch

On Saturday, 7/27/2019, Chelsea and J.R. said ‘I do!’ It was a beautiful sunny evening, perfect for a wedding ceremony in the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott’s Courtyard Garden.

Chelsea carried a bouquet (#1016) of pink and white lisianthus, vendela and playa blanca roses, light pink astilbe, white hydrangea, Queen Anne’s lace, black cherry Sweet Williams, silver dollar eucalyptus and dusty miller.

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Her bridesmaids carried bouquets (#1017) of blush garden spirit roses, veronica, Queen Anne’s lace, and gunny eucalyptus.

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The couple exchanged vows in front of our square wooden arch, draped with white fabric, and adorned with many many flowers.  White lilies, white lisianthus, pink snapdragons, white stock flower, silver dollar eucalyptus, and many more flowers added a little extra beauty to the already stunning surroundings.

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We sprinkled rose petals down the aisle and lined the aisle with white lanterns topped with artificial pink hydrangea.

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It was a pleasure working with Chelsea and J.R., thank you both for allowing us to play a part in your special day!  We absolutely love this photo of the newlyweds with Chelsea’s parents in front of the arch – it came out lovely.  We wish the happy couple much love and happiness!

7_27 Marriott Bride Arch

6-22-2019 – Hot Pink Flowers, Hot Summer Day

Brittany and Corey said “I do” on June 22nd, 2019!  They said their vows in the picturesque Courtyard Garden of the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott. Their photographer was Chase Images, and they took this gorgeous photo of the newlyweds in the courtyard!

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Brittany carried a bouquet (#993) of bright stargazer lilies and hot pink roses.  Her bridesmaids carried similar bouquets (#994) of stargazer lilies, hot pink roses, and white waxflower.

The ceremony took place between two bright altarpieces on top of our pillars, featuring white hydrangea, white stock flowers, pink Gerber daisies, stargazer lilies, pink snapdragon, and pink larkspur.  You can see them pictured below, with the bride!

bride and mom

The reception took place inside the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott in their Grand Ballroom.  On the placecard table, we provided a vase (#117) of white hydrangea, Stargazer lilies, pink larkspur, light pink roses, and gunny eucalyptus.

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Inside the ballroom, the tables were decorated with alternating low and high centerpieces.  Both the low (#628a) and high (#628b) centerpieces featured white hydrangea and pale pink roses.

We decorated their wedding cake (#159) from Bethel Bakery with light pink roses and spray roses.  The cake topper was just too cute!

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We had a wonderful time working with Brittany and Corey to help them prepare for their big day!  Thank you to the happy couple for allowing us to play a part in your special day!!!

6-15-2019 – Ohio, Here We Come!

Our adventures over the weekend took us to Saint Peters Church in Steubenville, Ohio for Carmela and Primo’s wedding.  This stunning church was a wonderful venue for our lovely couple.  The pews (#24) were decorated with tulle and gerber daisies, giving an extra pop of color.

The bride carried a full bouquet of champagne and white roses and Queen Anne’s lace (#987).bouquets 987

Her bridesmaids carried bright bouquets (#988) of light coral gerber daisies, light coral roses, green hypericum berries, and gunny eucalyptus.

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Their reception took place at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott here in Pennsylvania.  Guests were greeted by a vase of coral flowers on the placecard table (#115).

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Inside the Grand Ballroom, each table was adorned by low centerpieces (#626) similar to the bridesmaids’ bouquets: light coral roses, light coral gerber daisies, green hypericum berries, and silver dollar eucalyptus.

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We also decorated the newlyweds’ four tier cake from Bethel Bakery with light coral roses and pink spray roses.

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It was a pleasure working with Carmella and Primo on their big day!  We wish them luck and love in this new adventure!

6-8-2019 – Clear Skies and Bright Blooms

The weather shined for us!

On June 8th, 2019, it turned out to be another beautiful day in our Pittsburgh neighborhoods.  Our visit to Epiphany Catholic Church on Washington Place showcased just how many hidden gems our city contains.  This beautiful church was actually built in 1902!

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Our bride, Megan, carried a colorful, bright bouquet (#982) of blue hydrangea, ivory roses, cherry brandy roses and spray roses, and feathery astilbe.

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Her bridesmaids, dressed in light blue gowns, also carried bright bouquets (#983): white hydrangea and cherry brandy roses and spray roses.

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Their reception took place under the stars in the Rose Garden at the National Aviary.  Help from Nicole Brough (Your Big Day Wedding Planner) was greatly appreciated, as there were lots and lots of pieces and parts to get into place for the reception.  The centerpieces were wreaths of blue hydrangea and coral spray roses surrounding gorgeous golden vases holding flickering candles.

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We are sure that the guests enjoyed the stroll through the Aviary as well as the wonderful setting for socializing.

Thanks to the newlyweds for allowing us to assist you and congratulations again!!!

6-1-2019 – A Summer Garden Wedding

What a beautiful day for a wedding!

Sara & Anthony must have prayed really really hard for a beautiful day, because June 1st turned out to have the best weather so far this year in Pittsburgh!  Beautiful plexiglas signs welcomed and directed guests to the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott courtyard for a short, non-denominational service, conducted by Ronald Cambest.

Sara chose all white flowers for her bridal bouquet, accented with Picassa mini callas.  Her bridesmaids, dressed in dark plum, and carried white rose and waxflower bouquets.

Our pipe and drape, adorned with beautiful purple and lavender flowers,  provided an elegant backdrop for the ceremony and for pictures after the service.  Following the service & pictures, we moved the pieces from the pipe & drape  into the ballroom to adorn the head table.

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Inside the ballroom, the cake was trimmed with lavender roses and spray roses.

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The centerpieces were low on the tables and combined as many purple flowers in a variety of shades as we could find!

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Congratulations to Sara & Tony!  Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your special day.

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5-25-2019 – An Eclectic French Renaissance Wedding

Every once in a while, we have a bride that comes in full to the brim with ideas for her wedding.  One of our Saturday brides this weekend, Leeann, was one of those brides!  Ribbons, wildflowers, dream catchers, and so many more beautiful elements came together to make her vision a reality.

Leeann carried a dreamy bouquet (#974) of pink peonies, hot pink ranunculus, pink asters, pink lisianthus, Queen Anne’s lace, light blue delphinium, and lots of monte casino asters!

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Her bridesmaids carried bouquets (#975) of pink lisianthus, blue thistle, light blue delphinium, Queen Anne’s lace and lots of monte casino asters!  They truly looked like handfuls of wildflowers.

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The ceremony took place in the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott’s courtyard garden, and the bride and groom said their vows in front of our hexagon arch.  We decorated the arch with nearly a hundred opalescent ribbons to create a flowy, romantic contrast to the bold geometric shape of the arch.  A large spray of pastel flowers sat atop the arch.

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The aisle was decorated with bunches of flowers tied to chairs with opalescent ribbons.

Leeann and Chris’s reception took place in the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott’s Grand Ballroom.  The spray from the top of the arch was transported inside to sit on the King’s table in front of the newlyweds.

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The centerpieces (#621) were lush arrangements of peonies, ranunculus, light and dark blue delphinium, monte casino asters, stock, and light pink roses made up in whitewash wooden planter boxes.

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It was a picture perfect day, with beautiful weather to boot.  We hope you all enjoy the photos of the flowers as much as we do!  Leeann and Chris, we wish you all the best in your adventures to come, and we are thankful that you’ve allowed to be a part of your special day.