Friday, June 4, 2010

Methodist - Episcopal Church

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


Jennifer said...

When the choir sang in the old church, the sound filled the whole building. As a small child going to services with my grandmother, my "whispered" words carried for all to hear. Some of the famous words whispered were - "Grandma when are they serving the drinks". Since I had been to communion at the Catholic Church the previous Sunday with the other Grandma.

Claudia East said...

I remember as a child between 5 and 7 attending services there, it seemed to me the interior was unique. Do you remember the pews sitting at an angle inside?

Unknown said...

In Redding, Ca., our local priest is inquiring about the beautiful stained glass window of the Good Shepard that was in the church that was torn down in 1970. Nobody seems to know what happened to it. Anyone on here have any info on it? It's be a shame if it was demolished along with the building. Knowing the company name who was in charge of the demolition might help. Any info I can get to help him would be fantastic. Thanks!

Claudia East said...

I do not know if anyone has the information on the window that once graced this building. Not long ago I wanted to do some research on the building and contacted the current Methodist Church (that was built to replace this one in another location) and no one there had any history on the building. I even contacted the head office (I believe it was in Sacramento?) and never even received a reply. I do know that the lot was sold to Girdner's Funeral Home, and they built the current building on the location. Perhaps they have information?

Unknown said...

Ok Claudia, thanks for the reply! Strange... I know it was a long time ago but there has to be someone who knows something about it. I know that a lot of times, the stained glass windows get carefully removed and sold before demolition. I can try calling Girdner's Funeral Home and inquire about it. Our priest loved that window and if we can locate it, I don't doubt he would even travel to visit it. I will ask Girdner's but if anyone knows the company in charge of the demolition, I think that could be the best lead. He (our priest) tasked us with finding info on the window as a fun thing to do and when he said that I took special interest in the idea. I love architecture and stained glass windows, so it would be remarkable to come through for him. Thanks!

Claudia East said...

Perhaps there would be a newspaper article printed in the Siskiyou Daily News that might mention the demolition and the company or persons involved? I don't know the date it was razed, however. Going through several years of microfilm might be a bit of work! I can ask around, but no idea if anyone would remember.