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

Sweatman Art Memorial / Finnish Lutheran Church

 
 
Sweatman Art Memorial / Finnish Lutheran Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 12, 2018
1. Sweatman Art Memorial / Finnish Lutheran Church Marker
Inscription.  
This former Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church was built in 1889 by John Neimi and John Saari, and was located on Lot 11 East Main Street. It is significant as the only remaining institutional building which marks the history of the Finns in Lead. In addition, the church retains an unusual altar painting done by one of its members in 1905-1907.

Upon dedication of a new Lutheran Church in 1962, the original church, seen here, was sold to the Lead Women's Club for an art memorial and was moved to a site in the old Sinking Gardens Park. It was named Sweatman Art Memorial in honor of Mrs. Ira B. Sweatman who had left a donation for an art center. It remained there until the expansion of the Open Cut necessitated its removal to its present location in the summer of 1994.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicChurches & ReligionWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1889.
 
Location. 44° 21.115′ N, 103° 45.853′ W. Marker is in Lead, South Dakota, in Lawrence County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street
Marker detail: The Finnish Lutheran Church (lower right) in its original location on lower Main Stre image. Click for full size.
July 24, 1928
2. Marker detail: The Finnish Lutheran Church (lower right) in its original location on lower Main Stre
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/ CanAm Highway (U.S. 85) and Julius Street, on the right when traveling south on West Main Street / CanAm Highway. Marker is located beside the sidewalk, directly in front of the subject building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 170 West Main Street, Lead SD 57754, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Homestake Gold Mine and Open Cut (within shouting distance of this marker); Homestake Gas-Powered Locomotive (within shouting distance of this marker); Homestake Open Cut Mine (within shouting distance of this marker); Ray Davis and the Homestake Experiment (within shouting distance of this marker); The Open Cut (within shouting distance of this marker); Pneumatic Rock Drill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The First National (Norwest) Bank (about 400 feet away); Homestake One Ton, End Dump Ore Car (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lead.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large composite plaque, mounted horizontally on a waist-high post.
 
Regarding Sweatman Art Memorial / Finnish Lutheran Church. This church was one of three Finnish Lutheran congregations in Lead and is the only one to have survived. The congregation worships across the street in the new First Lutheran Church building, erected in 1963 when several different Lutheran ethnic groups merged into the Lutheran Church in America. Although this congregation is long-lived, it suffered from strife, splinter groups and even total inactivity for several years.
Old Finnish Lutheran Church image. Click for more information.
via NPS, unknown
3. Old Finnish Lutheran Church
NPGallery Digital Asset Management System website entry
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For, unlike the rural areas, the Finns in Lead tended to be young, single and highly mobile. The institutional permanence of the church was not as important as it was in areas of permanent, long-term, family settlement. The building is in excellent condition and currently houses an art gallery and gift shop.
 
Also see . . .
1. Aspire Boutique moves into Old Finnish Church in Lead. Black Hills Pioneer website entry:
Sarah Larson and her aunt Linda Rowe first opened the doors to Aspire Boutique, of Lead, in January 2016, and in early May, the store was relocated to the Old Finnish Lutheran Church at 170 W. Main St. (Submitted on July 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Finnish Lutheran Church Building. Lead Historic Walking Tour:
The members of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Black Hills purchased a lot on East Main Street in Lead in July, 1889 and began construction of this church building, which was completed in 1891 at a cost of $911. It served the First Lutheran Church congregation from 1891 to 1962 when a new church was constructed. The Women’s Club of Lead purchased the old church for an art memorial and had the building moved to a location near the Open Cut. It was moved to its present site in 1993 where it is now a gift shop. (Submitted on July 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Finnish Lutheran Church Marker (<i>wide view; church building in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 12, 2018
4. Finnish Lutheran Church Marker (wide view; church building in background)
Sweatman Art Memorial / Finnish Lutheran Church (<i>wide view; marker top visible at far right</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 12, 2018
5. Sweatman Art Memorial / Finnish Lutheran Church (wide view; marker top visible at far right)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 133 times since then and 15 times this year. Last updated on August 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   3. submitted on December 14, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   4, 5. submitted on July 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 4, 2022