History of Five Mile Chapel
The property for this church and cemetery was donated in 1844 by Jacob Markley, the son of early Anderson Township settler John Markley. There are Markley family graves, which predate the church. This early United Brethren church appeared on the 1847, 1869 and 1884 maps as a United Brethren Church. It is one of three early Anderson Township churches.
It was the house of worship for the oldest Church of the United Brethren in Christ congregation in southeastern Hamilton County, which became the mother of other congregations: some of its members later left to found other United Brethren in Christ churches elsewhere in Hamilton County and in the surrounding community.
The church was built by its members using stones quarried from the small creek that flows past the church building. Its floor plan is that of a rectangle, modified by the 1896 addition of a bell tower to the front with an entrance in its base. Among the most distinctive elements of its architecture is a large Gothic window on the front facade. Except for the front, the church is surrounded by its cemetery, which is of a date approximately equal to the church building.
The property fell into disrepair until a dedicated group of volunteers adopted the church, repaired the structure and created the current Five Mile Chapel Society. We continue to be forever in their debt and we continue to maintain the property today.
Our wooden dateplate reads, "Five Mile Chapel United Brethren in Christ, 1844." For you history and architecture buffs, the foundation is limestone while the walls are constructed of imported sandstone, according to the National Register.
A SPECIAL NOTE OF THANKS
The Five Mile Chapel has been so fortunate to have generations of caring people devoted to its construction, operation and maintenance. This Chapel would not be here except for the vision of the founders and the legions of volunteers for over a century. In the past ten years, we have struggled to keep the mighty Five Mile Creek from trying to swell and damage our access and only through the dedication of the Society and the help of local entities have we been able to prevent any damage to the Chapel.
We would like to express our thanks to Anderson Township, Hamilton County Parks, Hamilton County Public Works, The Law Offices of Kevin Hopper and TP Young and Associates. With their help, the Five Mile Chapel Society collaborated on this project and repaired the damage and constructed a permanent wall that now protects the Chapel.