Douglas Church centennial celebration coming Sept. 19

The Historic Douglas Church in 2013. (Empire Press photo/Linda Barta )

The Historic Douglas Church in 2013. (Empire Press photo/Linda Barta)

 

By Walt Gearhart
Douglas Community Historical Association

The Douglas Community Historical Association (DCHA) invites the community to join us for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the St. Paul Lutheran Church. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Douglas Church. The dedication was on Sept. 19, 1915.

Throughout the day, there will be a variety of music performed on a pump organ, piano, flute and guitar. Musical performers include Myrna Regan, Meredith Mittelstaedt, Tom Petersen, Kenny Willms, Valerie Loebsack, Suzanne Robinson, Heidi Tonseth and Kieth Finkbeiner. A complimentary lunch will be available. There will be a display of pictures related to the church and its history, and vintage cars will be on display.

The Douglas Community Historical Association was originally known as the Douglas Community Association and was overseen by Lee and Sandra Nelson, owners of the Douglas Store. Thanks to Sandra Nelson’s efforts, the Douglas Community Association was designated by the State of Washington as a new nonprofit entity as of Oct. 4, 2004. The association recognized its new designation by inserting the word “historical” in its name.

At this time, the church was owned by John and Richard Westerman, who had inherited it from their uncle Henry Westerman several years earlier. Shortly after DCHA became a nonprofit corporation, the brothers generously gifted the church to the association. They also sold the church parsonage to DCHA.

DCHA was able to support a major restoration of the building with the help of the community and it was approved for occupancy on Sept. 19, 2006. There have been numerous weddings, baptisms and reunions held in the church since then.

The current board of directors includes Walt Gearhart, president; Bob Regan, vice-president; Marla Madson, secretary/treasurer; Susan Mittelstaedt, director; Glenn Ludeman, director; and Linda Daling, director.

Once again, please join us on Sept. 19 for the centennial celebration. If you have any questions or comments, call our centennial chair Linda Daling at 669-1661.

Walt Gearhart moved to Douglas in 1994 and has been a longtime member of the Douglas Community Historical Association. He is currently president of the board of directors. 

 

St. Paul Lutheran Church was organized in the fall of 1888 and built in the fall of 1889, at right. It was replaced with the new church in 1915, under construction at left. The church was dedicated on Sept. 19. (Provided photo)

St. Paul Lutheran Church was organized in the fall of 1888 and built in the fall of 1889, at right. It was replaced with the new church in 1915, under construction at left. The church was dedicated on Sept. 19. (Provided photo)