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World's Smallest Church.

World's Smallest Church

Field review by the editors.

Oneida, New York

We first heard about Cross Island Chapel in 1990 or so, from a short newspaper story about a wedding conducted there. The chapel, on "an island," had room only to accommodate the minister, bride and groom. The rest of the wedding party had to anchor nearby in small boats, and the guests on shore could only imagine how the vows went....

For a Houselet of God to be pronounced fit for scrapping in the maddening Tiny Church Battle, we require, among other things, it must at least have hosted a semi-public religious service. A wedding qualifies.

View of tiny church on platform in pond.

Smash-cut to the new Millennium. The World's Smallest Church, Cross Island Chapel, still sits in the center of a pond on the northern edge of town. A small billboard near the road details everything you need to know: Built in 1989. Floor area 51"x81" (28.68 square feet) Seats 2 people (March 2021: a local wedding organizer assures us they can accommodate six inside if set up right). Non-denominational. "Dedicated as a witness to God."

Perhaps the local water table has risen, because in late summer there was no evidence of an "island." The church is built on wooden pilings and a low platform in the middle of a pond. It's open to the public on request, and accessible only by boat. Next to the the church, a wooden cross protrudes from a pile of rocks, surrounded by the pond -- Cross Island?

Next wedding, this is where we'd strand unmedicated toddlers.

Also see: Tiny Churches

World's Smallest Church

Cross Island Chapel

Sconondoa Rd, Oneida, NY
Cross Island Chapel. I-90 exit 33. West on Rte 365. Turn right on Sconondoa Rd., at the "Town of Vernon" sign. The church is in the middle of a pond to the right of a fork in the road.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

International Boxing Hall Of FameInternational Boxing Hall Of Fame, Canastota, NY - 6 mi.
Historic Sylvan Beach Amusement ParkHistoric Sylvan Beach Amusement Park, Sylvan Beach, NY - 8 mi.
Lighthouse Post OfficeLighthouse Post Office, Eaton, NY - 17 mi.
In the region:
Waiting for the "A" Train, Syracuse, NY - 26 mi.

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