On Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, Our Lady of the Pines and The Hope, Love and Charity Foundation will be hosting an open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for our newest building, a Welcome Center with facilities, from 1 – 3 p.m. There will be light refreshments provided. Come and celebrate this day with us.
West Virginia has many special and beautiful chapels. The state’s most unique chapel, however, is Our Lady of the Pines located in Silver Lake. But perhaps not many Catholics know that the state is home to what is considered “the smallest church in 48 states.” At the time of its construction in 1958 by Lithuanian immigrant, Peter Milkint Alaska nor Hawaii had joined the Union, lending sensibility to the church’s claim at the time. Even though it might no longer be the smallest, this church in Eglon, WV is still very beautiful. Today it is known to locals as The Smallest Church.
The church may be tiny but it is no less divine. Mr. and Mrs. Milkint built the tiny chapel as a memorial to their departed parents. Measuring 12×24 feet, The Lady of the Pines Catholic Church is found in Silver Lake, an unincorporated community in Preston County, WV. During the end of the 1930’s, Silver Lake began to attract vacationers looking to rent out cabins on the nearby man-made lake. A park and a campground were also built in the 1930’s, hosting activities like boating, swimming and picnicking. That is when “the smallest church in 48 states” was born. The church was built as a family church, it hosts one tiny alter and six pews so the chapel can seat 12.
Today, the church has become a cultural landmark, featured on road signs and appearing on local postcards that can be sent through the Silver Lake mail office, appropriately considered, “the smallest post office in the world.” You can drop your mail off here, hence its title as a mailing office. The church has postcards so come equipped with stamps or drop your money with the card and you can send one of those postcards during your visit.
When you stop by to visit Our Lady of the Pines Chapel, please sign your name to the registry then cherish the memories. The church is well marked and is located just off US219 at 101 Breedlove Road, Eglon WV 26716.