A piece of the past:

A piece of the past: Smithtown Church near Lost Nation is the only building left of what was the original settlement known as Burgess or Smithtown. The Clinton County Preservation Commission has worked to restore much of the structure. 

The public is invited to celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas at Smithtown Church Sunday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m.

The church is located in northwest Sharon Township, about three miles northwest of Lost Nation just off Eden Valley Road.

The Clinton County Preservation Commission is planning this special event with a service telling the Christmas story through scripture and Christmas carols.

The service will be led by Pastor Dianne Prichard of DeWitt.

The original pump organ, which was restored in 2005, will be used to play favorite Christmas carols.

The church will be decorated with candles, wreaths and lighted trees. A time for refreshments and fellowship will follow the service.

In the past year, the front of the church and the steeple have been restored. The old, rotten boards on the front have been replaced, and insulation and Tyvek wrap — which helps reduce drafts and keeps energy costs down — were put in before the new boards. Two coats of finish paint also were applied. The steps were replaced and a new handrail was installed.

The church, also known as the Sharon Methodist Episcopal Church, is the only building left of what was the original settlement known as Burgess or Smithtown named after prominent resident, blacksmith and preacher David Smith.

The structure was completed in 1874 by the Methodists, and a year later they entered into a share agreement with the local German Reformed settlers, who also use the church for Sunday services.

All the original fixtures, including Bibles, song books, pews, the original pump organ, chandelier and communion servers still are in the church, which has not been used for Sunday services since 1920.