Skip to main content

Watch: Historic Iron Range church gets trucked down Main Street

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A historic church that served as a gathering place in northern Minnesota for more than 100 years was trucked to its new home in downtown Tower, where it will be the cornerstone of the city's new cultural center.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church had been sitting just north of Main Street for 125 years.

But on Sunday morning it took a ride through town to the site of the Lake Vermilion Cultural Center on busy Main Street.

Residents gathered to watch as the truck carefully maneuvered the church through town, with many agreeing it was nice to see a historic building being saved, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

St. Mary's Church, made its way down Main Street today!

Posted by Ann Schuster Waugh on Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Victorian-style church, complete with 17 stained-glass windows, will help fill a void in the community. Currently there is no large gathering place that can host more than one event at a time, a GoFundMe page says.

When it's complete, the Lake Vermilion Cultural Center will be a showcase for arts, music, history and other activities, according to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board newsletter.

“It will be a cultural facility that will represent the heritage of northeastern Minnesota,” Tom Sersha, president of the cultural center's board, said in the newsletter. “Not only will it enhance the quality of life for people here, but for tourists who come here seasonally.”

The church has a long history serving parishioners, many of whom worked in the Soudan Mine, the GoFundMe page notes. It was built in the late 1880s – not long after the village of Tower was incorporated – and consecrated by Henry Benjamin Whipple, the state's first Episcopal bishop, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

By 2012, the church was de-consecrated, and instead of letting it fall into complete disrepair, it was deeded to the Lake Vermilion Cultural Center to be reused as part of a new community gathering place in town, the nonprofit's website says.

After a long process that included the community raising $300,000 for the move and renovation of the building, the newsletter says, crews broke ground on the cultural center over the summer, the Timberjay reported.

The hope is to have the cultural center open to the public in late summer 2016, after the church building is renovated and construction on the rest of the center is complete, the newsletter says.

Next Up

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, June 27

BA.5 is expected to become the dominant subvariant in Minnesota.

police lights squad car

60-year-old woman arrested after firing shots inside Spicer home

SWAT evacuated nearby residents during the incident.

Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line booked to play at the Minnesota State Fair

The band is the second country music act to be booked this year.

monkeypox

First case of monkeypox confirmed in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health says the risk to the public is "considered low" at this time.

lightning, storm

Isolated severe weather in Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday

Definitely not a slam dunk either day, but the chance is there.

ambulance

Driver ejected in fatal crash on Shepard Road in St. Paul

The driver of a Dodge Ram was ejected and died at the scene.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 10.02.59 AM

North Dakota's only abortion clinic relocating to Minnesota

A GoFundMe set up to help the clinic make the move to Minnesota has surpassed its $500,000 goal.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 12.37.03 PM

Deadly vehicle fire on Interstate 94 west of Fargo

The victim's age and name have not been released.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

Overturning Roe v. Wade won't do a 'damn thing' to prevent abortions, Walz says

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Saturday meant to protect abortion access in the state and people who come from out of state seeking one.

ambulance

Man crossing Highway 13 in Burnsville fatally struck by driver

The victim is a 31-year-old man from Prior Lake.

Related

Embattled Iron Range police chief steps down

The city of Virginia has finally reached an agreement with its police chief Dana Waldron, after a third negotiation the city had with him in an effort to get him to leave. Grievances were filed against him in late 2010 over his management of the department and relationships with city employees and administration.

After flood washes out tracks, Iron Range mines rely on trucks

Recent flooding has taken a toll not only on the Northland’s roads but also on its rail lines, complicating operations for Iron Range mines. Mining companies have pressed fleets of trucks into service. And it takes a lot of trucks to replace a train. One company is using up to 60.

Magnetation to expand in Iron Range

The Duluth News Tribune reports the $297 million deal could bring anywhere from 200 to 400 new jobs to northern Minnesota.