Friday, June 4, 2010
Left: Three churches around Courthouse Square in Yreka, The Union Church, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, and the Catholic Church, circa 1889.
Right: The Methodist-Episcopal Church corner of Lane and Oregon Streets, 1898.
As early as 1852, only one year following the discovery of gold in Yreka, a Methodist Minister was holding services in Yreka. The first site of a Methodist Episcopal Church was on the southwest corner of Miner and Oregon Streets where the Ley Fire Station now stands. It was a humble log cabin. This little log church served the congregation until about 1854.
In early Yreka it was found that a more proper and larger church needed to be built. The various denominations, including Catholic, Methodist, and Presbyterian joined together to build a church at the corner of South Oregon and Lane Streets, this new church was called the "Union Church" and was dedicated in March of 1855. Later the Union Church was sold to the Methodist Conference for financial reasons. This first church building, made of whip-sawed timber and hand planed finishing lumber served Yreka until early in 1898. This original church, according to the Yreka Journal, was carefully taken down for the construction of a new church ~ the image viewed above. The corner stone for this new Methodist Episcopal Church was laid on June 11, 1898. Some of the contents laid within the corner stone were: A Holy Bible, a copy of the Yreka Journal, June 11, 1898, the names of the minister, trustees and others, and a dime found in the old church dated 1862. This new church building was completed and the formal dedication was in March of 1900.
In 1964 the current Methodist-Episcopal Church in Yreka held groundbreaking ceremony at the corner of Fairchild and Cedar Streets where the current services are held. The building in the image above was torn down in 1970. The Girdner Funeral Home currently occupies the site where a Methodist-Episcopal Church sat for 115 years.
For those of you that have our book, Yreka, Images of America Series by Arcadia Publishing will find another copy of this image as well as one on the Methodist parsonage on page 72.
Copyright: Claudia A. East
*Information gleaned from a 1980 Publication titled, Methodism in Yreka 1852 - 1980 The Yreka United Methodist Church, Authored, and compiled by Verna Bray Tyrer and Harland McDonald. Printed by Nolan Litho, Yreka, CA