“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Imbler in Union County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)

Imbler Church

Pioneer Church

Imbler Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 29, 2017
1. Imbler Church Marker
Captions: (lower left) Sunday School was a tradition at Imbler Church until the 1960s.; (center right) The church bell could not be replaced in the belfry because the old roof could no longer support it. The replica belfry was built by La Grande Boy Scout Rovert Partridge in 2009.
Inscription.  Christmas programs, wood-warmed Sunday School lessons, and a tolling bell calling the faithful are all part of the legacy of this pioneer church building.
The Imbler Church was built in 1878. The little building was originally located two miles south of town. Sometime between 1902 and 1910, the church was moved to its present location; it was inched across the land with a cable, powered by a gear-driven drum that was turned by a single horse.
For the first 24 years, the Imbler Church served two separate congregations: the Southern Methodists and the Cambellites (later the Church of Christ). Services for the two groups were held on alternate Sundays.
After 1920, the church was used of visiting ministries and for the Methodist Sunday School. Each Sunday morning, the Sunday School superintendent arrived early to start the wood stove and ring the bell to call the congregation. After an opening hymn, curtains were pulled to separate the single room into four classrooms.
In 2003, the building was donated to the Union County Historical Society by Veytha Irene Ruckman Berry. Together with the community of Imbler, the
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Historical Society is working to restore this little piece of Imbler pioneer history.
The bell displayed here is the original, which once rang out from the Imbler Church to call worshippers to services. By the time the Union County Historical Society started restoration work on the church, the bell was gone. Fortunately, after a search, it was found at another site. A trade was made, and the bell returned to its home in Imbler.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. A significant historical year for this entry is 1878.
Location. 45° 27.413′ N, 117° 57.774′ W. Marker is in Imbler, Oregon, in Union County. Marker is on Ruckman Avenue (Wallowa Lake Highway) (Oregon Route 82) near Hull Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 120 Ruckman Avenue, Imbler OR 97841, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Nibley Settlement (approx. 9.6 miles away); Historic La Grande (approx. 10.9 miles away); The First L.D.S. Church (approx. 11.3 miles away).
More about this marker. The marker is on the Hull Street side of the church.
Imbler Church and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 29, 2017
2. Imbler Church and Marker
Imbler Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 29, 2017
3. Imbler Church
Bell in the foreground
Credits. This page was last revised on December 12, 2017. It was originally submitted on December 12, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 190 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 12, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Apr. 15, 2024