Picture this in a different era

Our story so far: Demolishing the interior of our 126-year-old Methodist church so we can remodel it into our home brings to light a number of revelations.

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Sometimes during demolition, we encountered remarkable reminders of the building’s age (besides the unremarkable dust). We spotted a couple of 1969 pennies apparently lost by a carpenter when constructing the altar area. Tyler found more than one square nail as he was taking things apart, and he discovered full two-by-fours (today’s uniform two-by-fours are actually 1.5-by-3.5-inches in size) and a piece of one-by-eight that was fifteen feet long without a single knot, not even pin knots. Even so, it was hard to remember our church had been built before Orville and Wilbur Wright flew their first airplane.

One Sunday morning about ten days after we closed on the church, we worshiped at the Methodist church in the nearby town into which our little congregation had merged some months before, leaving behind the empty building.

church in early 20th century
Here’s how our church looked at some point in the early 20th century.

Just inside the entryway in a place of honor, an old picture of what was now our church was hanging on the wall. It was fascinating. It was our church, all right, but in a different world. One could see a covered wagon and hitching posts outside the church. There were no trees, and a railroad ran behind where now was only a row of bushes. The picture revealed the original entryway of our church was just beneath the belfry. Scallop shakes decorated fluted details. This photo only encouraged Tyler’s desire to strip the current steel siding from the building.

Difficult to differentiate in the black-and-white photo, what looked like a stained glass window transom was perched over the entryway.

window inside belfry
This window inside the belfry on the second story of the church. The exterior is covered up now, but it can be seen in the image of the church above.

The window we could see from the inside of the belfry was showing on the outside in this picture. We hoped to return this window and more to the structure at some point in the belfry reconstruction process.

The church had an active historical society, and I asked if I could be invited to the next meeting. An answer came in the affirmative, and I hoped to determine the exact age of our beloved little church.

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Tomorrow: We find something else, only this discovery is on Craig’s List. Click here to read it.

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