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Crownover Chapel, believed to be county’s oldest church, getting new floor

Crownover Chapel

The old oak floor of Crownover Chapel in Fairland near Marble Falls is unsafe for foot traffic. The Burnet County Historical Commission approved $7,000 to replace the floor so the building can reopen for community events. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell

Crownover Chapel in Backbone Valley near Marble Falls is getting a new floor, which means the Fairland Community will get its meeting venue back. The Burnet County Historical Commission approved a $7,000 gift to replace the buckled, rotting wood floor in what is believed to be the first church built in the county. 

The commission also approved a $5,000 donation to The Falls on the Colorado Museum in Marble Falls to replace one of the second-floor windows during its current renovation. The windows are not original to the building and are leaking. The new windows will be built to match the first-floor originals. 

Both the church and the museum, once a schoolhouse, have historical markers. 

Crownover Chapel
Crownover Chapel in Fairland just north of Marble Falls is believed to be the first church built in Burnet County. Construction began during the Civil War but was not completed until after the war in 1870. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell

“We are a county historical commission for the whole county, and I think we should do this,” said Lela Goar, who chairs Burnet County’s Certified Local Government program. The CLG is a Texas Historical Commission program that helps preserve local history.

Commission members voted to take the $7,000 for Crownover Chapel out of the Darrell Debo Estate Donation fund. Debo was a long-time member of the commission and authored the two-volume Burnet County History. In his will, he bequeathed part of his estate to the historical commission. 

The $5,000 for the museum window will come from a similar donation fund, this one from Ina Cooper, also a long-time commission member.

Although more work is needed on Crownover Chapel, repairing the floor will open it once again for a variety of community events. 

“We haven’t been able to let anyone have funeral services there for several years,” said Danielle Meredith, vice chairman of the Friends of the Crownover Chapel. The chapel is next to Fairland Cemetery on FM 1855, northwest of Marble Falls. 

The Friends group is applying for other grants to restore the historic building, which has been used for reunions, cemetery meetings, funerals, and other community gatherings. 

The Falls on the Colorado Museum, 2001 Broadway in Marble Falls, will open its second floor to the public for the first time since moving into the Old Granite School building in 2010. The building is owned by the Marble Falls Independent School District, which recently approved $250,000 to make the second floor safe. The museum is raising another $250,000 for new windows and other improvements. 

CORRECTION: The Falls on the Colorado Museum is raising $250,000 to replace the windows on its historic building on Broadway in Marble Falls, not $25,000 as originally reported in this story. regrets the error.