“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oakes in Dickey County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

1891 Church - Oakes Historical Park

1891 Church - Oakes Historical Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, May 2, 2017
1. 1891 Church - Oakes Historical Park Marker
Built in 1891 by Oakes Methodists, this building was a block south of Main on Highway 1. When a larger church was needed in 1908, the Methodists built the present structure at 6th and Juniper and sold the original church to the Norwegian & Hague Lutherans, who used it until 1940, when they joined with the Swedish Lutherans, moving to that property, now known as Grace Lutheran Church. Another denomination, Assembly of God worshiped there briefly, before the Church of the Nazarene congregation settled in for the next 30 years. In 1976 they built their present church at 11th and Ivy.

As we pause here, can you imagine, within these walls … the babies baptized or dedicated, the confirmations, weddings, Bible preaching, classes, and yes, the funerals of God's special people in all of these years?

The Nazarene Congregation donated this building to the Dickey County Historical Society, with the provision that it be moved off and ground filled in. Moved to this Historical Site, it was left sitting on the ground for several years. A foundation was built by the National Guard, who had already built the oval road, but measurements
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were incorrect and the terrible storm of August, 1977 left the old church tilted off the foundation with structural damage and its beautiful windows blown out. This storm caused two million dollars of damage in Oakes with its 80 mile winds and baseball size hail and deluge of rain.

The present foundation was then put in by David Larson, Historical Society President at the time, and minimal repairs were made. The bell tower, having been removed in transit to the Historical Site, sat on the ground until 1966 when the tall rig from Harris Construction finally moved it into place atop the church. The bell, itself, was retained by Church of the Nazarene.

For the Oakes Centennial, a worship service was held here on July 3, 1986, after most of the town churches had rallied tot the need for furnishings. Lutherans, Presbyterians, Catholics, Nazarenes, and the original Methodists donated, or lent, pews, chairs, hymnals, and other items in an ecumenical spirit. The old church was filled to overflowing with worshipers from near and far…14 states and 2 foreign countries. An old fashioned hymn sing was led by Rev. Ron Geougtt of the United Methodist Church. Letters from former members of congregations were read, and there were remembrances from the ones assembled.

In each passing year, the goal has been to restore this church completely. The goal was realized
1891 Church - Oakes Historical Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, May 2, 2017
2. 1891 Church - Oakes Historical Park Marker
by the time of the North Dakota Centennial in 1989. Adding to the seven pews donated by Grace Lutheran, 18 more were purchased from a closed South Dakota church, paid by donations, with plaques put on the pews, windows, and doors in memory of relatives or friends. Window restoration was done by Kenny Cotton, with colored panels replacing the lost stained glass. The large cross at the front was also made by Mr. Cotton and dedicated by donors.

So though the leadership of President Alvin Larson, Oscar Krigne, Vice Presiden6t, and the work of Earl Shearer and other. It was once again a real church instead of an empty building.

For the 1989 North Dakota Centennial, a service of celebration took place here on July 15 at 11:00 AM. The printed program instead the names of generous donors and the order of worship featuring pastors of all the churches…Pastors Johnson, Becker, Hassey, Melin, Maharry and Rev. Lyle Miller who gave the re-dedication message. Mayor Christianson welcomed the full crowd. Certificates were given to 1 Sons and Daughters of Pioneers by the ND Centennial Commission, handed out by Margaret Featherstone, President of the Senior Citizens.

The 100th Anniversary of this historic church was observed on Sunday afternoon, August 4 1991 with an Open House. 144 visitors came, including strangers from Michigan who happened to see the invitation
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in a café. They donated $25.00 to the $100.14 amount of the afternoon!

As of this 107th year of the church here in the Historical Park, five weddings have taken place here;

July 3, 1992 Michelle Moore & Jeff Burgess
October 14, 1994 Cathy Johnson and Lloyd Frojen
November 19, 1994 Carol Hafert & LeRoy Johnson
August 31, 1996 Chandra Hoikkala & John Fiala
May 30, 1998 Casey Ann Hendrickson & Aaron Nelson
April12, 1999 JoDi Harris & Michael Toth

Our 1891 Church is available for services and for tour groups or individuals, with the same warmth of earlier congregations who left their mark on the Saviour's love.

Drawing by Paul Klinger & Story by Margaret Klinger
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion.
Location. 46° 8.005′ N, 98° 5.899′ W. Marker is in Oakes, North Dakota, in Dickey County. Marker can be reached from 2nd Street South south of Maple Ave. The church is located at the Hickey County Historical Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oakes ND 58474, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hudson Townsite (approx. 3 miles away); Stagecoach Relay Station (approx. 3.4 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on January 16, 2018. It was originally submitted on January 13, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 141 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 13, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 5, 2023