Newly Formed Society Seeks to Preserve Historic Church in Watson
Please join in helping to preserve one of the Watson areas historic and architecturally significant landmarks, the Pine Grove Community Church. The Pine Grove Commmunity Church Preservation Society, Inc. is looking for people who have skills and materials that can help to refurbish the structure. One goal is a perpetual care fund so any donations are appreciated.
Membership to the newly formed organization is available by contacting any of the following interim trustees: John Kozik; Chuck Bunke, Town of Watson Historian;Clayton Bailey, or Lisa Becker, County Historian.
Some history: The little church at the crossroads, known as the Pine Grove Union Church was built by Lucian Rumble, a local caretaker. Rumble also acted as the architect for the church. The design of the interior was copied from a little theater Rumble had once seen. Building was started in 1896 at a cost of about $134.00.
The organ was purchased from the Baptists of Lowville who were acquiring a bigger one for their newly built church. The shop work was done by Frank Tisse of New Bremen. The chairs and lamps were donated by Rev. John Strong of Turin. The chairs and pulpit were given by Mrs. Wormwood, and Mrs. Hill. In 1900 Amasa Stoddard gave a used furnace. A bell was purchased in 1905 and new steps were added. Electric lights were installed in 1937.
Mrs. Charles Wetmore, church secretary, kept these records during the first 40 years.
The church is known for its unusual interior, seats are arranged on a sloping floor as in a theater, necessitating cutting off the rear legs a bit. Accordingly, to enter, one must walk to the front of the church to climb the slope up to one's seat. It has been pointed out that "everyone" would know if you were late for church.
Bowen's History of Lewis County indicates that, " in 1895 a Union Church was established in Pine Grove, after Mrs.Addie Wetmore and Mrs. Edna (Beach) Quinn had been instrumental in raising funds for it. According to its charter it was to be available for any religious group to use. Dedication services were to be held August 15, 1896."
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