History

The Old Church Store is historically known as St. Matthew's Episcopal Church. It is located in the hamlet of Champlain in Essex County, Virginia in what was once St. Anne's Parish. St. Matthew's sits at the intersection of Routes 17 and 631 to 724. Construction on St. Matthew's began in 1861; however the Civil War halted work on the building until 1865. St. Matthew’s was consecrated in 1870 and served the residents for 100 years until its conversion to a general store in 1970 to 1990. In 2003 the church was registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources and in 2004 the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Its simple rectangular design, use of American and Flemish brick bonds, and unpretentious exterior mirror many of the Anglican churches built in Virginia. St. Matthew's remains an excellent example of colonial-style architecture built in the nineteenth century. Currently it is a place of business for 1440 square feet of vintage collectibles and antiques as well as a historical tourist attraction.