The little log schoolhouse was comfortably full on a spring evening in 1889 when the Reverend Charles Linley, an Episcopal minister from Billings, delivered the first formal sermon in Red Lodge. Father Linley continued to visit Red Lodge once a month, and a tiny congregation organized the Calvary Mission in late 1889. Early members may have been few, but their resolve was firm. By 1900, there were twenty communicants. The small congregation purchased the land on which to build this frame church in 1900. The vernacular, residential-scale building was one of six small distinctive carpenter-built churches constructed in Red Lodge between 1890 and 1900. All were important social institutions reflecting the early prosperity of this coal mining community. The Calvary Episcopal Church was the last of the six constructed. A steeply pitched gable roof, Gothic arched windows, patterned shinglework, and applied religious motifs reveal the skill and craftsmanship of its builders, E. S. Donnell and B. B. Baker. The beautiful European stained-glass windows demonstrate the meticulous planning that went into its construction. This quaintly picturesque house of worship is a physical expression of the early community and a symbol of the significance of spiritual guidance in the lives of Red Lodge pioneers.



9 Villard Avenue North, Red Lodge, Montana ~ Private