1/9

The Cornerstone and Entry

The cornerstone of today’s church building was laid in October 1917. Inside is a sealed metal box containing a Bible, prayer book, hymnal, church history, list of parishioners, copies of church publications, a copy of the Brookings Register for October 4th, 1917, and pictures of the old church building, pictures of Bishops Burleson, Hare and Biller, and a 1917 penny and dime.

 

It was said, “The whole community as well as members of St Paul’s Parish are grateful to Mr. Roberts and to the architects that two such unusual buildings as the church and the rectory are here to delight and to inspire.” The church was opened on Easter Day of 1918 (we presume that the Rectory was opened at the same time).

A recent photo of our current building shows changes in the north east corner. The brick steps were removed and the entry was remodeled in 2008-9 to include the leaded glass windows that were removed when the stained glass window was installed. Original interior doors can be opened to brighten the church with light from the amber leaded glass windows.

The downstairs entrance to the basement (far right) was blocked and filled in 2009. Andy Trump remembers shivering on these steps as Sunday School classes waited to enter the church when the sermon ended. The sign was built by Ralph Towne and dedicated to David Pierson in 1992. The grounds around this corner of the church are now a flower garden.

 

The cornerstone of today’s church building was laid in October 1917. Inside is a sealed metal box containing a Bible, prayer book, hymnal, church history, list of parishioners, copies of church publications, a copy of the Brookings Register for October 4th, 1917, and pictures of the old church building, pictures of Bishops Burleson, Hare and Biller, and a 1917 penny and dime.

It was said, “The whole community as well as members of St Paul’s Parish are grateful to Mr. Roberts and to the architects that two such unusual buildings as the church and the rectory are here to delight and to inspire.” The church was opened on Easter Day of 1918 (we presume that the Rectory was opened at the same time).

A recent photo of our current building shows changes in the north east corner. The brick steps were removed and the entry was remodeled in 2008-9 to include the leaded glass windows that were removed when the stained glass window was installed. Original interior doors can be opened to brighten the church with light from the amber leaded glass windows.

The downstairs entrance to the basement (far right) was blocked and filled in 2009. Andy Trump remembers shivering on these steps as Sunday School classes waited to enter the church when the sermon ended. The sign was built by Ralph Towne and dedicated to David Pierson in 1992. The grounds around this corner of the church are now a flower garden.

Adams Cram, a famous architect, produced many collegiate (e.g. US Military Academy, Princeton, MIT, University of the South, Rice, Sweet Briar) and ecclesiastical works in a neo-Gothic style (e.g. part of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NY; Church of John the Evangelist, St Paul, MN; St Mark’s Cathedral, Hastings and First Presbyterian Church, Lincoln, NB). When his picture was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1926, Cram was described as “the most influential Episcopal layman in the country.” Records at St Paul’s credit Rev. Paul Roberts, a Connecticut Priest who served St Paul’s from 1912 – 1919, with securing Cram’s services for perhaps his smallest ecclesiastical project – St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brookings South Dakota.

 

 

The picture shows St Paul’s church on the 20th Anniversary (1918 – 1938). The church is much taller than the trees surrounding it. In 2009 one of these elm trees was removed because of Dutch elm disease.

There Was a Church before a Church Building

Neva Harding’s history notes say that in the early 1890s a few Episcopalians put their heads together and said, “Let’s have a Church in Brookings.” We’ve been making this simple statement ever since.

Mrs. Lorrimer is given credit for writing a request to Bishop Hare. Hare sent Rev. McBride to look us over, and later the Bishop himself came, talked the matter over, and organized the Church.

Bishop Hare held the first service July 29, 1893 in the G. A. R. Hall (photo), where meetings were held that summer. He held morning and evening services with baptisms and confirmations. He arranged to have Rev. McBride add Brookings to his list of missions for occasional services. There were 40 men and women and children.

Neva Harding writes, “So great was their zeal of these early Episcopalians that by November of the same year, 1893, they were able to hold service in the new church building, at a cost of $1,100, all paid for.” The new church building measured 20 feet by 40 feet. It was built on 7th Street, but later moved to the corner of 5th Street and 5th Avenue to be closer to downtown. Neva wrote, “They all worked like beavers to get the church furnished, including paper on the windows that looked like stained glass. Matt Wimsey bought a carpet on wholesale, and picked up an old organ from some defunct lodge, an organ that had to be pumped twice for every reluctant note produced.”

The photo shows the GAR building (Grand Army of the Republic, Civil War Soldiers) on 5th Street between Main Street and 3rd Avenue. The hall was later moved to the intersection of the railroad tracks and Medery Avenue to become the Odd Fellows Hall.

HISTORY OF ST. PAUL'S

Vintage Postcard shows St. Paul's

A picture of the first St Paul’s church building was included on a vintage post postcard titled “Brookings SD, The City of Churches.” Our early church was really “on the move.” Yes, early St Paul’s did grow and did influence the community, but the church building was actually moved from the corner of 6th Street and 7th Avenue (just a block away from our current location) to 5th Street and 5th Avenue, a move of 2 blocks that put the church closer to Main Street.We take pride in the fact that the prestigious Boston firm named Cram and Ferguson designed our current church building and rectory. Ralph 

ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Follow

Contact

605-692-2617

Address

6th Street & 8th Avenue, Brookings, SD  57006

©2018 ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

PROUDLY CREATED BY