First Congregational Church (Lake Linden, Michigan)

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First Congregational Church
First Congregational Church Lake Linden MI 2009.jpg
Location 53248 N Avenue (at 1st St.), Lake Linden, Michigan
Coordinates 47°11′19″N 88°24′39″W / 47.18861°N 88.41083°W / 47.18861; -88.41083Coordinates: 47°11′19″N 88°24′39″W / 47.18861°N 88.41083°W / 47.18861; -88.41083
Built 1886
Architect Holabird & Roche
Architectural style Stick/Eastlake
Part of Lake Linden Historic District (#09000522)
NRHP Reference # 80001863[1]
Added to NRHP November 17, 1980

The First Congregational Church (Lake Linden, Michigan) is a church located at 53248 N Avenue (on the corner of First Street) in the Linden Lake Historic District in Lake Linden, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980,[1] and is significant for its impeccable architectural integrity.[2]


Detail of side of church

The First Congregational Church is a spectacular example of Victorian stick architecture.[3] The church is arectangular asymmetrically-massed front gable structure atop a foundation of mine rock[3] with a square tower and belfry in the front.[2][3] The exterior features dramatic woodwork styling, with fishscale and flat-edged shingles[2] made of pine and separated into sections by stickwork.[3] The gable over the entrance and the tower sides are constructed with diagonal siding; focal points there and on the sides of the church are sided in herringbone and pinwheel shapes, fremed with more stickwork and carved floral rosettes.[3] The church has an open front porch with contrasting turned railings.[2]

The interior includes the pastor's office, kitchen, and meetinghall.[4] The meetinghall has wainscoated walls, a hardwood ceiling, and more intricate stickwork;[2] there are only minor alterations from the original construction.[4] A Garret House Pipe Organ, built in 1874 for the First Congregational Church of Calumet,[5] is also installed. The organ is believed to be the oldest tracker-style pipe organ in Michigan.


The First Congregational Church founded in 1882 by a small group of Scottish residents, headed by Allen McIntyre,[3] which included a number of prominent businessmen and employees of the local Calumet and Hecla Mining Company.[2] It soon became apparent that the congregation would need its own church, and a building committee was formed in 1886.[2] The Calumet and Hefcla Mining Company donated land,[5] and the committee procured architectural drawings from Holabird and Roche, using them to build the church for an original cost of $8325.[2] The building was dedicated in February 1887, three months before a devastating fire swept through Lake Linden; the church was one of the few frame buildings in the area to escape damage.[2][3]

The church continued to be in use until the 1980s, when the congregation dwindled to the point where they were not large enough to maintain the building.[2] The church was deeded to the Houghton County Historical Society, which has continued to use and maintain it[2] as the Houghton County Heritage Center.[5] Limited restoration has been ongoing since 1993; the restoration included repainting the church in the original colors.[5]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Stephanie K. Atwood (August 17, 2008). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Lake Linden Historic District" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved August 12, 2009.  (47 pages, with map and 12 photos)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g First Congregational Church of Lake Linden from the state of Michigan, retrieved 8/13/09
  4. ^ a b Copper Country Architects: First Congregational Church of Lake Linden, retrieves 8/17/09
  5. ^ a b c d The History of the First Congregational Church of Lake Linden, from the Houghton County Historical Society, retrieved 8/17/09