St. Mary’s Chapel (La Capilla de Santa Maria Episcopal Church) and Seagle/Drake Family Cemetery

Today’s La Capilla de Santa Maria Episcopal Church is known to local people in the county as St. Mary’s Chapel.
The chapel is on property that belonged to the Drake family in the early 1800s. Brothers Nathan and Hezekiah Drake, and their mother Winifred Massey Drake, were living in the area by 1810.
Shortly prior to and about the time of the Civil War some of the Drake descendants moved to the Crab Creek section of the county, but many Drake descendants remained in the Clear Creek community.
After the Civil War, Philip Seagle of Rutherford County married Mary Serepta Drake. The family lived on this section of the old Drake property.
The couple had eight children. Sons Nathan and John were Episcopal clergymen in New York. Two other sons, Richard and Charles, were doctors. Son Thomas Seagle lived on the family property. A daughter, Catherine, married a Cody.
Rev. John Seagle (1871-1947) began construction of St. Mary’s chapel in honor of his mother, Mary. Construction was finished by the Rev. Nathan Seagle (1868-1957), rector of St. Stephen’s Church in New York City. Construction on the chapel began in the 1930s.
In the latter half of the 20th century, the chapel was leased to a local Lutheran church for services.
In 2002, trustees of the Seagle family leased the chapel to St. James Episcopal Church for services in Spanish. It is now used as a Hispanic mission church and named La Capilla de Santa Maria.
The oldest graves in the family cemetery located near the church are those of Hezekiah Leander Drake (1826-1857), Eleanor Osborne Drake (1858), Winnie M. Drake (1830-1858), and Nathan N. Drake (1840-1858).
Members of the Seagle family also have grave sites in the cemetery.