North Grand

North Grand Church, near Hettinger, North Dakota (Adams County), 1909
North Grand Church, near Hettinger, North Dakota (Adams County)

North Grand Church,  near Hettinger, North Dakota looks more stable on the outside than it does inside. Serving the nearby Lutherans, the church was active between 1909 and 1969.  There’s a small cemetery in the back of the property and the isolated church sits surrounded by farmland for several miles.

 

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Harmony Friends

Harmony Friends Church, Wessington Springs, South Dakota (Jerauld County), 1913
Harmony Friends Church, Wessington Springs, South Dakota (Jerauld County), 1913

Harmony Friends Church is located in Wessington Springs, South Dakota.  On the afternoon I drove by there wasn’t anyone around, but the church was unlocked.  A simple church on the inside, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. The church building was constructed in 1913 and is the last church of the Society of Friends standing in its original location.

Sawyer Memorial Congregational

Sawyer Memorial Congregational Church, Jonesport, Maine
Sawyer Memorial Congregational Church, Jonesport, Maine (2008)

I haven’t found much information on the history of this church located in the small fishing village of Jonesport, Maine.  The Victorian (with Greek revival and Italianate architectural details) church was built in 1886 and today is non-denominational.

UPDATE (May 2018): I visited Jonesport at the end of May and was surprised to see the church no longer had a steeple.  A little research found that in 2016 a decision was made to remove the structurally unsound steeple that was a landmark of the area.  The community is raising funds now to hopefully restore it to its former glory in the near future.  Here’s the church as it looks at this edit-

Sawyer Memorial Congregational (2018)
Sawyer Memorial Congregational (2018)

 

 

Friedens United Church of Christ

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Friedens United Church of Christ, Sumneytown, Pennsylvania

This church is located in Sumneytown in eastern Pennsylvania.  Frieden is German for “peace” and the German speaking Lutherans in the area organized the church in 1857.  Its history shows that it served both the Lutheran and German Reformed congregations until 1957.  The Lutherans moved to a separate location (not sure if there’s a story there?) and the German Reformed side merged with the Congregational Church to form the UCC.  It’s still in use, but was locked up the couple of times I’ve stopped by, so I’ve not seen the inside.

The cemetery that surrounds the church is in good shape, though the oldest markers near the church lean precariously as you can see in the feature photo above.

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The Project

As projects go, this is a young one.  Back in 2013 I stumbled on some photos online of old and historic churches that caught my eye.  I occasionally photographed churches, but usually they were ornate cathedrals or other landmarks.  The photos I saw online were of older, mostly small rural churches, and would often be a little run down.  That sparked my curiosity and I’ve been able to track down hundreds of interesting old churches since then.  Generally I try to add these historic churches to the route when I’m traveling for vacation.  The blog is simply to share some photos and a little bit more detail (if available) on those I’ve found…

Below is a snapshot of the churches photographed by geographic areas in North America as of late 2018.

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North American churches photographed (October 2018)