Appalachia Music

The Haven Of Rest

Henry Lake Gilmour (January 19, 1836 – May 20, 1920)

The rough and high waves of the mighty oceans are often used as a metaphor in gospel songs. The Bible itself uses waves to highlight safety offered by the Lord, as well as the destruction which can find us here on this Earth.

Henry Lake Gilmour was born in Londonderry, Ireland. At age 16 Gilmour took to the seas to study navigation and eventually settled in America.

Gilmour served in the 1st New Jersey Calvary during the Civil War. He was captured in VA and spent several months in a Confederate Prison. After the war was over, Gilmour studied dentistry and became a dentist. Along with working on people’s teeth, Gilmour directed choirs and wrote songs for over 40 years.

The Haven of Rest is Gilmour’s most popular song and it’s still alive and well today in my neck of the woods.

I hope you enjoyed the history and the song!


*Sources: Wordwise Hymns, The Cyber Hymnal 


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  • Reply
    Brad Byers
    August 1, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    Such a grand old hymn for anyone, especially one who is looking forward to a more peaceful day.

  • Reply
    Louise Baker
    March 31, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Today , after baking mountains of cut out cookies for Easter,I read your blog and heard the beautiful hymn, Haven of Rest. Loved the song and the wonderful harmony. Tried your rice pudding recipe and loved it. Are you making a cookbook? Your recipes are tried and true. And wonderful. Today we are having your peach cobbler.

  • Reply
    James Pease
    March 30, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you and may God bless all of you! You guys are a constant source of inspiration to me.
    The Steppingstones
    with love from your brother jim

  • Reply
    Lorraine A.
    March 29, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    The song How Beautiful Heaven Must Be is one that says”How beautiful heaven must be,fair haven of rest for the weary,how beautiful heaven must me. I really like that one.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    March 29, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    I enjoyed hearing Pap and Paul play and sing “The Haven of Rest,” and I enjoyed the information about the writer of the gospel song. I agree with Tim: Our new songs are repetitive and do not (for me at least) have the depth and meaning of those we heard “when we were young”–and yes, most of our lives. I am always glad when we sing the “old songs” at church. One Sunday night a quarter we have “congregational requests,” and you can imagine which ones are requested: the “old” ones! I know situations are different now than when Mr. Gilmour, John Newton (“Amazing Grace”), Fanny Crosby, Isaac Watts and others wrote words to their songs, but how we enjoy these songs “we grew up on” and how wee miss them!

  • Reply
    fred tarr
    March 29, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    yes,haven of rest, a greatsong and listened to a program from WOWO fort wayne for a long time or out iowa way at a 50,000watt station especially at nightback in the 60’s. host name was Bill and had a deep voice that went a long way to spell out the nature of Christian conviction. was a terrific experience for me.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I don’t quite remember that song.
    It reminds me of a song my brother and I use to sing in churches when we were little: Sign by the Side of the Road.
    Paul, with Pap’s harmony, is great. I enjoyed the background of the song too. Wish I had been there!…Ken

  • Reply
    Brenda S 'Okie in Colorado'
    March 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    So beautiful! I’m a fan of the old gospel. I could listen to them all day long. Not a big fan of the new modern. There are a few Casting Crowns sing that I like. Listening to these two sing reminds me of my early childhood.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    March 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    good Sunday song! You can tell when Pap really likes a song 🙂

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    March 29, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Very nice

  • Reply
    Janice Stout
    March 29, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I have sung this song many times in the church of my childhood. Good memories. Thanks for the background.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Great singing! Sorry to have missed what I read was a great show. God bless your day!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    March 29, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Great job last night. Your niece is beautiful and did a good job.That was the fist gospel singing I have been to
    in a long time and really enjoyed it.
    Very uplifting. I must get back to going more.
    Please keep us posted on upcoming dates
    and what the girls are doing.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2015 at 8:11 am

    I haven’t heard this old song in a long time,, worries me that most Churches are removing the old songs with the so called “modern songs” that have no feeling or connection to it, and most of them are so simple that you learn one verse you’ve learned the whole song, because it just says the same thing over and over and over again.. Good job,, I enjoyed it…

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 29, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Tip, you and the boys did a fine job last night. It’s nice to live close enough to the community center to walk there!

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