In Northern Minnesota is a small Russian Orthodox Church and cemetery. The church was built in 1918 and a preservation project is underway to replace the front doors with replica wood panels of the originals, and to repair the dome and foundation. It’s not used often, but they were planning a centennial celebration a couple weeks after I stopped by. It’s located in a remote area in Koochiching County.
I was on my way to hike in a nearby state park one morning and saw this church in the middle of a lot of farmland in Rice County, Minnesota. The church was locked but I took a snapshot. Based on the cornerstone on the building, Prairieville Methodist was first built in 1902 as Ebenezer Church of the Evangelical Association.
A placard on the front wall of Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church tells a little of the story of this rural Minnesota church – “This Church, the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ham Lake, as it is called on the National Register of Historic Places, has a rich history. Founded in 1872, the building was constructed on land donated by Johan and Fredrika Magnuson shortly after their daughters Alida and Emilia died of typhoid fever and a need for a cemetery was realized. Originally laid to rest in their front yard, when the church was completed, the two coffins were moved and became the first graves in the cemetery. When the church was first built there were no local pastors, thus whenever the families in the church wanted to hold a service someone would have to travel to Anoka [Minnesota] to pick up the pastor and bring him back. Since that time, the church as expanded and required new buildings. But despite its now limited use, the old church remains an important part of the history of our saviours Lutheran church.”
Near Marietta, Minnesota, the simple Antelope Valley Reformed Church is off the main highway. The church looks to have some age to it, but I haven’t found anything on its history.
Christdala (“Christ Valley” translated) Evangelical Swedish Lutheran Church is in Forest Township, Minnesota. The church was formed in 1877 by Swedish immigrants and the Late Gothic Revival church was built in 1878 and a bell tower was added in 1895. A bell was bought for it a few years later. By the 1950’s the church was down to about 30 members as younger generations moved to the larger population centers and by 1966, the congregation disestablished. The church is still well preserved and is also now on the National Register of Historic Places.
St. Petri Lutheran was built circa 1880 a mile east of Gary, Minnesota. The welcome sign states that the final service was April 24th, but I couldn’t say whether it was this year (2018) or not. The church was unlocked, so I went in and found that the pews had been removed but a lot of the church’s decorations and records remained. There were old annual reports scattered about with dates of 2003 and 2004, so people have been looking around inside, but fortunately there wasn’t any obvious vandalism yet. There’s an accompanying cemetery with graves also dating to the 1880s.