Saturday, September 18, 2021

Mud Church sidewalk gets TLC ahead of celebration

PHILIPSBURG — The Philipsburg Borough is busy doing what it does best: taking care of the town’s cherished public places.

The borough crew’s current undertaking is extra significant, as the men, led by Borough Manager Joel Watson, completely re-do the sidewalk that surrounds Philipsburg’s cherished Union “Mud” Church ahead of the landmark’s 200th birthday celebration.

The crew has ripped up the old sidewalk and poured concrete ahead of re-laying the original bricks, which will be flush with the curb. The old wall surrounding the church has also been pressure-washed, revealing bright stones that look like new.

The Philipsburg Historical Foundation (PHF) is excited to showcase the “new” sidewalk and fresh wall at an event slated for Sept. 18 this year to honor the church and pioneers buried in its cemetery.

Philipsburg’s original founders took out a subscription to build the church in 1820, and the PHF had been planning a 200th birthday party for 2020, though, of course, COVID-19 led to the event’s cancellation.

Things are back on track for this year, though, and the PHF events committee is in planning mode and looking for crafters, vendors and volunteers who’d like to take part in the day.

At the last Philipsburg Borough Council meeting, the council voted in favor of closing East Laurel Street between North Sixth and North Seventh streets, so vendors can set up booths for the event. Philipsburg Mayor John Streno also declared the day to be a recurring “Union Church Founders’ Day.”

“The Mud Church is one of Philipsburg’s oldest and most beloved buildings,” said PHF board member Eric Rusnak. “The founders of this town built it as a meeting place, school and place of worship for all denominations. Today, it stands in remarkable shape in the heart of Philipsburg. On its 200th birthday, the Mud Church is deserving of the most special recognition. We look forward to a day of celebration, which will include music, food and craft vendors and tours of the church and surrounding burial ground.”

For more information on the event and to participate, visit www.phf1797.com.