HOPEWELL MEETING HOUSE

HOPEWELL was the first Quaker meeting established in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It was originally known as Opeckan and was set off from the Concord Quarterly Meeting of Pennsylvania in 1734. The actual date of first settlement is thought to be around 1730. The meeting house is located about 6 miles north of Winchester, Frederick Co., Virginia.

A land grant of 100,000 acres was purchased on the Opeckan River. Many of the earliest settlers moved into the area from the Valley of the Monocacy in Maryland.



Fathers of the First Quaker Colony
in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia


ANDERSON, Thomas 542 acres on Mills' Creek.
BABB, Thomas 600 acres on Babb's Run, in Frederick Co., VA.
BALLENGER, Josiah 500 acres on Apple Pie Ridge north of Winchester.
BEALS, John On 9 Mar 1743/4 he purchased 165 acres from John Mills Jr. in what is now Berkeley Co., WV.
BEESON, Richard Purchased from George Robinson and John Peteate, 1,650 acres lying on Tuscarorror Branch in what is now Berkeley Co., WV 2 miles west of Martinsburg. On the property was the Providence Meeting House.
BORDEN, Benjamin 850 acres on the western slope of Apple Pie Ridge, many other large holdings.
BRANSON, Thomas 850 acres in Frederick Co. adjacent to Joist Hite's corner, at the head of a branch of Opeckan River. This land was near White Post, now in Warren Co.
BROWN, James 121 acres on the Potomac River.
BRYAN, Morgan 2,134 acres in 4 tracts, now in Berkeley Co., WV (northwest of Bunker Hill along Mills' Creek)
CALVERT, John 850 acres near Abraham Hollinsworth, east of Kernstown.
CHAPMAN, Giles 400 acres adjacent to John Littler near the head of Yorkshireman's Branch.
COCHRIN, Cornelius 172 acres in what is now Berkeley Co., WV near the Opeckan Creek.
CURTIS, Thomas 418 acres, probably in Berkeley Co., WV.
DAVIS, Edward 875 acres on Tullis' Run, now in Berkeley Co., WV.
DAVIS, James 1,175 acres on Tullis' Run, now in Berkeley Co., WV.
DAWSON, Thomas 295 acres near William Hogg's, near Kernstown on the southwestern edge of the village.
EMLEN, Luke 125 acres.
FROST, John 380 acres above path leading from John Littler's to Abraham Hollingsworth's.
HIATT, John Sr.
HIATT, John Jr. 300 acres.
HOBSON, George Jr.
HOBSON, George Sr. 937 acres on Middle Creek in what is now Berkeley Co., WV, adjacent to David Logan and John Mills.
HOGG, William 411 acres southwest of Kernstown and near Winchester.
HOLLINGSWORTH, Abraham
HOOD, John 1,175 acres at mouth of Back Creek on Potomac River.
LITTLER, John 1,332 acres five miles north of Winchester on Littler's Run. 438 acres on eastern slope of Apple Pie Ridge about 5 miles north of Winchester (partnership with James Wright)
LUNA, Robert (of Augusta Co., VA). 294 acres on the south bank of the Potomac River.
MILLS, John 1,315 acres, now in Berkeley Co., WV on a branch of Opeckan.
MILLS, John Jr. 408 acres now in Berkeley Co., WV. On 9 Mar 1743/4 he sold John Beals 165 of these acres.
MORGAN, Morgan 1,000 acres on Mills' Creek, now in Berkeley Co., WV.
PARRALL, Hugh 466 acres adjoining John Calvert, near Kernstown, Frederick Co., VA. Many other tracts of land.
PERKINS, Isaac 1,425 acre in 3 tracts in and around Winchester, VA.
PETEATE, John With George Robinson, purchased 1,650 acres lying on Tuscarorror Branch in what is now Berkeley Co., WV 2 miles west of Martinsburg. In 1737 this property was purchased by Richard Beeson, Sr. On this property was the Providence Meeting House.
PUSEY, Caleb (of Chester).
RICHARDS, John 500 acres located on the south side of Cedar Creek, adjacent to John Branson's property.
ROBINSON, George With John Peteate, purchased 1,650 acres lying on Tuscarorror Branch in what is now Berkeley Co., WV 2 miles west of Martinsburg. In 1737 this property was purchased by Richard Beeson, Sr. On this property was the Providence Meeting House.
ROSS, Alexander 2,373 acres 6 miles north of Winchester in Frederick Co., VA. On this tract stands the Hopewell Meeting House.
TAYLOR, Simeon
TENCHER, Francis 150 acres on Middle Creek, now in Berkeley Co., WV.
THOMAS, Evan 1,014 acres. Adjacent to Alexander Ross (to the northeast)
THOMAS, Nathaniel 850 acres. At the head of the South Branch of Opeckan, along eastern foot of Little North Mountain.
WILLSON, John 286 acres, now in Berkeley Co., WV.
WRIGHT, James 1,332 acres five miles north of Winchester on Littler's Run. 438 acres on eastern slope of Apple Pie Ridge about 5 miles north of Winchester (partnership with John Littler)

From Samuel Smith's History of Pennsylvania, a part of which was printed in the Register of Pennsylvania, Vol. VII, p. 134, edited by Samuel Hazard, is quoted here from Hopewell Friends History (1936). (Smith's History of Pennsylvania was compiled at the direction of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in 1752.)

About the year 1725, Henry Ballinger and Josiah Ballinger, from near Salem, in West Jersey; and soon after them James Wright, William Beals, and others from Nottingham, settled in the upper parts of Prince George's Co., Maryland, near a large creek called Monoquesey (Monocacy). About the year 1796, they applied to New Garden Monthly Meeting for liberty to hold a meeting for worship on first days, which was granted, and held at the house of Josiah Ballenger, and others till the year 1736, when a piece of ground was purchased and a meetinghouse built, which is called Cold Spring meetinghouse, where meetings are still kept.

About the year 1732, Alexander Ross and Company obtained a grant from the Governor and Council at Williamsburgh in Virginia, for 100,000 acres of land near a large creek called Opeckan in the said colony, which about that time was settled by the said Alexander Ross, Josiah Ballenger, James Wright, Evan Thomas, and diverse other Friends from Pennsylvania and Elk River, in Maryland, who soon after obtained leave from the quarterly meeting of Chester, held at Concord, to hold a meeting for worship, soon after which land was purchased and a meetinghouse built, called Hopewell, where meetings are still held twice a week.

About the year 1733, Amos Janney from Bucks County, and soon after diverse other Friends settled about forty miles lower in Virginia than Opeckan, who obtained leave to hold a meeting for worship on first days, which was held at the said Amos Janney's and other Friends houses till the year 1741, when a piece of land was purchased, and a meetinghouse built thereon, called Fairfax, where meetings are since held twice a week.

About the year 1736, Friends in these back settlements applied to Chester quarterly meeting for liberty to hold a monthly meeting, which was granted, and was held twice at Hopewell, and once at Cold Spring, alias Monoquesy, and so continued till the year 1744, when the number of Friends being such increased, they applied to the said quarterly meeting to have the monthly meeting divided, which was granted, so that since the year 1744, Hopewell and Providence make one monthly meeting, which is held by turns at Hopewell and Cold Spring, and the meeting at Fairfax makes another.


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