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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Whitefish in Flathead County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

First Presbyterian Church of Whitefish

 
 
First Presbyterian Church of Whitefish Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 21, 2020
1. First Presbyterian Church of Whitefish Marker
Inscription.  Not long after the Great Northern Railway announced its plans for a division point in Whitefish, Presbyterian missionary E. M. Ellis and Kalispell minister Alexander Pringle traveled by bicycle and rowboat to visit the site. Soon after, Reverend Pringle canvassed logging and railroad camps for donations of cash and labor to construct a sanctuary. By December 1903, Whitefish had its first church. The First Presbyterian Church moved several times in the early years. By 1919, it had once again outgrown its building; to accommodate congregants, the church held services in the Masonic Lodge while planning a new house of worship. Under direction of physician and active church member W. W. Taylor, the building committee devised detailed drawings, which the Spokane architectural firm Rigg and Vantyne modified only slightly. The building committee chose a Romanesque Revival style design, considered less ostentatious and more appropriate for a Protestant church than the competing Gothic tradition. Romanesque Revival churches featured masonry construction, heavily arched windows, bands of stylized decoration, and towers—in this case a Norman style
First Presbyterian Church of Whitefish Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 21, 2020
2. First Presbyterian Church of Whitefish Marker
The marker is above the First Presbyterian Church sign.
square tower that serves as the building’s main entrance. The one-story building featured a large daylight basement with a high ceiling, designed to provide clearance for a full-sized basketball court. Community members donated the large art glass windows ornamenting the sanctuary. Among them are two purchased by Japanese railroad workers for $700 in honor of churchwoman Elizabeth Peck, who taught the men English. A tribute to Peck, the windows also commemorate Whitefish’s once-thriving Japanese community and the church’s long history of community service.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureChurches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 48° 24.571′ N, 114° 20.193′ W. Marker is in Whitefish, Montana, in Flathead County. Marker is at the intersection of Central Avenue and East 3rd Street, on the right when traveling north on Central Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 301 Central Avenue, Whitefish MT 59937, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Orpheum Theatre Building (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Former Site of 1st National Bank Building (about 400 feet away); H.J. Hotel, Blacksmith
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(about 400 feet away); Robinson Building (about 500 feet away); Haines Drugs (about 500 feet away); Pastime Pool Hall (about 500 feet away); Hori Cafe Building (about 500 feet away); Palace Bar (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Whitefish.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 40 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 13, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 1, 2021