Paul Baker Touart
Quindocqua United Methodist Church
Quindocqua & Whittington Roads, Pauls Corner, Somerset County
Quindocqua United Methodist Church, erected in 1913, is a single-story, roughly cruciform frame building resting on a raised foundation of common bond brick. It is sheathed with vinyl siding over narrow weatherboards, and the steeply pitched gable roofs are covered with asphalt shingles. The three principal gabled elevations of the church, facing south, east, and west, are marked by pointed-arch colored glass windows and fishscale shingles in the gables. The southwest corner is marked by a three-story tower topped by a pyramidal roof with kicked eaves. The open bell room at the top of the tower is trimmed with a spindled balustrade and sawn corner brackets. The principal elevation of the church faces south, with the ridgeline running east-west. Slightly lower gable-roofed projections face north and south. Corbeled interior chimneys rise from the east slope of the south projection, the west end of the south slope of the main roof, and the east end of the north slope of the main roof. All roof eaves overhang, with sawn brackets at the lower corners. All windows of the church are pointed-arched apart from those in the north projecting wing. This wing holds pairs of rectangular 1/1 sash stained glass windows in the side bays and the west bay of the north side. The interior of the church is distinguished by a well-preserved pressed metal vaulted ceiling, and the pulpit and choir are recessed behind Gothic arched openings. Pews are arranged in a semicircular pattern oriented towards the north. Also on the property is a single-story, concrete block church hall.
Quindocqua United Methodist Church is one of thirteen rural white Methodist churches in Somerset County listed on the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties. Six churches in this group have been listed on the National Register individually or as contributing resources in historic districts. Quindocqua Church is distinguished among the churches in this group by its high degree of integrity; it has undergone exceptionally few exterior or interior modifications since it was originally constructed. The sanctuary is an especially well preserved example of early-20th century church design with its ramped floor, semicircular seating, pressed metal ceiling, and period lighting fixtures. Due to the dwindling nature of the congregation and a general respect for the historic church by the remaining members, Quindocqua Church has not suffered modern alterations in the form of large additions or false ceilings experienced by other structures. The Quindocqua United Methodist Church also reflects the change in taste for church design that occurred across the country during the late 19th century. Until the mid 19th century, most Methodist congregations worshipped in modest rectangular frame meetinghouse-like buildings. However, by the fourth quarter of the 19th century, the national Methodist leadership sponsored the dissemination of professionally prepared plans and specifications that could be ordered through the Board of Church Extension of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Although the exact plans for Quindocqua Church have not been identified, the cross-shaped plan, the ramped floor and semicircular seating, and the pressed metal ceiling point to a professional source of design and guidance. The 1913 Quindocqua Church represents a historical pattern of building replacement which characterized many congregations in the lower Eastern Shore region. The 1913 church, the third structure to house the congregation, was built in order to accommodate an enlarged membership which had grown along with the general population of southern Somerset County during the period from 1870 to 1910.