A mix of photography, recipes, personal thoughts, faith, and lots of family stuff, but not necessarily in that order.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Historic Church returns to the ground...

The historic Henrytown Lutheran Church has returned to the ground on which it stood.
A fire destroyed the 138 year old church on April 16th, 2015
Henrytown Lutheran Church, Photo from "Google images"

Not just any church but the church my dad attended as a boy. 
Right behind the church is the cemetery were my paternal grandparents and 
Great-grandparents were laid to rest, along with a number of other distant relatives.

Sadly there is nothing but the foundation left of this building in which 187 folks attended on any given Sunday morning. According to news reports, the congregation plans to rebuild, but for now they will travel 11 miles down the road to attend their sister church, United Prairie Lutheran Church near Lanesboro MN. (The two churches share the same minister)

Erickson.... My paternal grandparents
The smoldering rubble of the church is in front of the pines in the center of the photo.
I have visited this church and cemetery many times to pay respect to the graves of my relatives.
 It saddened me to hear about the fire. I just had to go and see it for myself....

Rick and I traveled down to Henrytown, which is southeast of Preston MN, not far from the Minnesota/Iowa border to view what remained of my Dad's boyhood church...

 From the parking lot we notice a make-shift cross made from charred wood,
stones placed around it's base to hold it erect.

 Some walls of the stone foundation remain standing

 still smoldering

 a brick wall remains intact

The winds pushed the fire to the edge of the nearest grave sites.
 Only the grass was singed, luckily no damage to the head stones.

The Church Sign remains....awaiting it's building.

A "Go Fund me" page has been started to help fund a new church building,
just thought I would pass it along in case anyone feels so inclined to help this
small farm community rebuild their church.   :)
Rebuild Henrytown Lutheran Church


  1. A very nice chronicle of a sad moment, Jackie. I hope these people will find a new place that eventually has joyful memories for them, too.

  2. So sad to lose that history:(

  3. Something kept niggling in the back of my mind about Henrytown when I heard the news of the church burning. And now I know why. It's because of you and your connection to it. You've written about Henrytown previously, right?

    I hope sections of that brick wall are kept where they are or moved and reused. Perhaps as a planter.

    Now I'm going to check out the Go Fund Me page.

    1. I have done a few posts on Henrytown as part of my road trips to southern MN. I'm hearing that they will rebuild at the same site, I suppose as soon as they raise the funds. I wonder if most church's have fire insurance...that would be good!