From the Library Archives: the Baptist Church by Nancy Watts

“Work will begin early next week on the new church to be erected by the Baptists at the corner of 6th and Washington street on the site of the present chapel. The plans were drawn by Link and Haire and call for a structure of the colonial bungalow style. It will cost about $20,000 and over half of this sum has already been pledged… it is proposed to complete the concrete easement this year and finish the edifice next season.” (“Fergus County Democrat,” September 16, 1913).

“At a meeting of the men of the Baptist church,…the contract was let to grade the property, which consists of a lot ninety by one hundred feet on the corner of Sixth avenue and Washington street.  The hill was cut twelve feet and work on the building proper began about October first.

“The excavation was done by N.J. Littlejohn; the masonwork by Jabez Cox; the carpenter work by Comer Ditty and Patrick Hope; the plumbing by A.A. Stapleton; the electrical work by the Palmer Electric company; the plastering by W.H. Hay; the heating apparatus by W.S. Smith Furniture Co.; and the painting by J. Fred Spicer.

“It was the purpose of the building committee to complete the basement story of the proposed building, put on this a temporary roof and then use the basement until such time as the superstructure could be added.  The basement is practically completed today and the first service in it will be on Wednesday evening, January 28, when prayer meeting and baptism will be held.  The dedication services will be held February 1-6, 1914.

“The proposed building was designed by the pastor and may be called mission-bungalow in style.  It stands facing Sixth avenue and overlooking the city.  It is forty by seventy feet for the main building, with a side porch and vestibule under main front steps.  The finished building (basement) is of dressed grey stone from local quarries and is thirteen feet four inches from foundation to top of wash.  All windows and doors are of the best pine and fir, glazed with Florentine glass, extra thick, and are permanent.  The interior is plastered, sand float finish, is a first in Golden Oak. The light is furnished by ceiling fixtures evenly distributed throughout the building with holophones shades and Mazda lamps of 60 and 100 Watt sizes.

“The basement contains a vestibule 9 by 12 feet, an auditorium 50 by 40 feet, a fuel room for 10 tons of coal, a kindergarten room 20 by 26 feet a cloakroom and toilet room 4 by 16 feet and a kitchen 10 by 20 with an alcove 4 by 4 feet. The seating is of folding maple settees in 6, 8 and 10 foot lengths. The main room will seat 300 people. It contains the pulpit platform on which the organ and choir will be placed. A new Lyon and Healy organ has just been placed in this room by Mr. Emil Saxl and a modern portable baptistry is being built by the Star Tin shop, to be placed in this week.

“The superstructure [was planned at this time but was not built until 1936]… will contain a porch of 40 by 12 feet across front, vestibule, nursery, auditorium to seat 330 in pew, pulpit, permanent baptistry, pipe organ loft for organ and choir and five private class in choir rooms. The superstructure with organ and furniture, $20,000, and the lot is valued at $5000. The lots are paid for and the basement nearly paid for.” (“Fergus County Democrat,” January 20, 1914).

The basement of the Baptist Church was built in 1913 at the corner of Washington and 6th Ave. North.
This photo shows the superstructure built on top of the original basement in 1936. It burned in 1959 and was replaced by the current building.
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