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Congregational Church, Racine, WI

This classic “Roman Temple” imagery is often found in southern states, particularly Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Less common in the north, this congregational church formerly in Racine, Wisconsin may have enjoyed a Sunday school on the far right, hidden by trees in this postcard view.


Methodist Episcopal Church, Dickinson, ND

People far outside our region [I’m writing this blog from the relative comfort of Fargo, North Dakota] may know that the state has undergone an energy revolution due to the oil deposits in the western portion. Called the Bakken Reserves, they have been exploited before, during the 1950s, but its extraction is often too expensive, so the market goes up and down and the communities in the area go boom and bust. The recent boom period may have peaked, but not before several businesses and institutions bought into the new prosperity. History has shown that the unimagined growth of places like Williston and Dickinson is likely to reverse itself, leaving these communities with new schools and no children. Sorry to be Mr Gloom but this has happened here before.

I was sure that Dickinson’s distinguished Methodist Episcopal church was still with us. The church website, however, proudly announces a construction program for the new facility on the edge of the city along a heavily traveled highway bound to be clogged with tanker trucks much of the time. In fact, their “Gallery” page shows the old cornerstone being lifted from a demolished brick wall. Surely, surely, he said optimistically, there could have been an adaptive use for the building in such a boomtown environment.

I guess not.

Just a block away you’ll find the Dickinson Public Library, the original building and multiple additions, also in the same local pressed brick. The architect in this case was W. S. Russell. Is this what we call stewardship?

Methodist Episcopal Church, Ironwood, MI

First M.E. Church Ironwood, MI

OMG, it’s still standing and looks much, much better than in the postcard above [see below]. In fact, many of Ironwood’s buildings seem to be built of the same red-ish stone, perhaps granite. The “big room” concept, demarked by three (of what might be four) crenelated towers doesn’t seem big enough to have included a Sunday school, so this church is included on a probationary basis.

Baptist Church, McLeansboro, IL

First Baptist Church McLeansboro, IL

Everything is still there at Market and Locust streets, except for the three-arched entry, which has now become a single rectangular opening.

Congregational Church, Pacific Grove, CA

Mayflower Congregational Church Rare Original Layout Board Pacific Grove, CA

Now Mayflower Presbyterian, this structure endures at Central Avenue and Fourteenth Street in Pacific Grove, a community perhaps half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, on Monterey Bay—the high rent district, I suspect. Its stucco surfacing looks much better in real life than it does in the enthusiastic rendering.

Presbyterian Church, Ionia, MI

Presbyterian Church Ionia, MI

Still at the corner of Main and Church streets, Ionia’s Presbyterian church looks very much as it does in this card, with the addition (and obliteration) of the left wing. I would have bet then that this was an A-A; now I’m not so sure.

Evangelical United Brethren, Goshen, IN

The Evangelical United Brethren are one of several denominations that joined forces to form the United Methodist Church in the mid-20th century. I’ve not yet verified it existence but from this crisp RPPC image alone, it is a handsome, well tailored design.