Tour of Prince George’s Chapel offered on Saturday

On Saturday, Nov. 2, from 1 to 4 p.m., Sandie Gerken, an active “friend of Prince George’s Chapel” and local historian, will give a tour of the church and cemetery in Dagsboro. The cost will be $20 for members of the Ocean View Historical Society and $25 for non-members, part of which will be donated to the chapel.

Those wishing to take the tour should call Barbara at (302) 593-8814 to reserve a space, as space is limited.

Prince George’s Chapel was received by the Worcester Parish of the Church of England on June 30, 1757, when the Dagsboro area was still a part of Maryland. The chapel, on two acres of land purchased from Walter Evans, was named for Prince George, who later became King George III of England, presided over the loss of the American colonies, and suffered from several bouts of insanity that eventually became permanent.

Less than 100 years after its construction, the chapel’s condition had deteriorated to a point that services were discontinued. Services were held annually for some time, but the building was largely maintained as an historic site by the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware.

The Sussex County Laymen’s League funded a complete restoration in 1928, and the church was rededicated on June 30, 1929. The State of Delaware bought the property in 1967. After major renovations, the chapel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. The cemetery is the site of the grave of Gen. John Dagworthy, a Revolutionary War officer who settled in the area, supported the church, and for whom Dagsboro is named.

The church has a barrel-vaulted ceiling of natural, unadorned heart-of-pine planks. The nave section remains as the original 18th century portion, while the east transept end, with its great window and octagonal high pulpit, has been reconstructed.

The State of Delaware, the Town of Dagsboro and the Friends of Prince George’s Chapel have a lease agreement for the site, and the Friends group operates and administers the chapel.