The relocation, restoration, and preservation of the historic Lummus Chapel to Linwood Cemetery here in Columbus, GA began as so many things do in our town: over scrambled dogs at Dinglewood Pharmacy. Ed Lummus had long been concerned with the safeguarding of the small church, recalling a quote his grandfather included in the last letter he wrote to his sons: “Don’t forget the little chapel when you’re beautifying your own houses. One of the great complaints of the prophets was that ‘while the people lived in sealed houses they permitted God’s house to go to waste.'” Ed resolved to heed his elder’s instructions, and so met with Pat Walters and Clason Kyle in 2004 about moving the chapel to Linwood Cemetery, and by late 2005, the house of worship was officially donated to the Historic Linwood Foundation.
Having served in the New York Militia during the Civil War, raising a cotton gin manufacturing company in Connecticut, and then selling it, Franklin Hadley Lummus moved his family to Columbus and bought the W.G. Clemons, Brown, and Co. gin manufacturer in 1869. Two years later, he moved the company to a 1,600 acres patch of land in Juniper, GA. This move was made to ensure that his workers would not be led astray by Columbus’ “rough element.” To make certain his men worked and lived with virtuous hearts, he then erected this chapel to provide non-denominational church services, its first pastor being a Methodist-Episcopal minister.
Relocated to Columbus from Juniper in April of 2007, the official ribbon cutting ceremony occurred on April 24, 2008. In its new life here at Linwood Cemetery, the chapel provides a number of novel services, including the capacity to be rented for weddings, funerals, meetings, and family reunions. At 24 by 48 feet, the building has ample space for your function. Included in Lummus’ gift of the small church was the pulpit, the pews, a table for church records, all of which were hewn from heart pine, the original floors, lovely stain glass windows, and a century old Edmond Cole upright grand piano. Fitted with a 38-feet bell tower which houses a bell said to have been cast in Philadelphia around the time of the chapel’s construction, this little building overflows with historic charm and offers a respite from these bustling times with memories of a quieter past.
There could be no more appropriate place for this historic chapel to finally come to rest, for though it has moved to a new home, it is back among family. Also at rest in Linwood Cemetery is a number of people who grew up within its walls. Buried here are Ezra Frank Lummus and his wife Julia I. Wendt, along with her mother Eliza Wendt; his brother Louis E. Lummus and his wife Josephine Wendt, and Lummus’ great-grandfather Franklin Edward Lummus and his wife Fannie Berry Lummus.
At over a hundred years of age, this small chapel has given much joy in times of celebration and offered much solace in times of pain. With its relocation and restoration here in Linwood Cemetery, it is poised to give of itself one hundred more. So come experience the simple pleasure of this small but wondrous building, and let its story become a chapter in yours.