Filed Under Park City

United Methodist Episcopal Church

Settlers from Ripon, Wisconsin, established Park City in 1882, arriving just ahead of the railroad. The pious community organized a Christian club and Sabbath School within its first year. Originally, traveling ministers served Park City. Among those preaching here was Methodist circuit rider “Brother Van” William Wesley Van Orsdel. Reputedly, Brother Van delivered his first sermon in the saloon. To prepare, the bartender covered the bar and liquor display with a large canvas and built pews by placing planks across beer kegs. The Dunn & Babcock store and the school also served as venues for religious services. In 1897, residents organized a building committee to raise money for a permanent house of worship. Mrs. F. W. Lee and Miss Etha Peck took to the valley soliciting subscriptions; the Church Extension Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church also donated funds. Although the congregation initially envisioned a log church, local stonemason Manley Downs convinced the trustees that he could provide local stone as cheaply as they could cut logs. Masons pieced the irregularly shaped sandstone with the help of a gentle draft horse, who powered the hoist used to put each stone in place. The vernacular building’s stylistic elements the tall, narrow, pointed-arched windows, arched doorway, stone construction, and hipped-roof bell tower reference the ecclesiastical architecture of larger communities. Dedicated in June 1898, the simple yet stately sandstone church continues to serve the Park City community.

Images

United Methodist Episcopal Church
United Methodist Episcopal Church United Methodist Episcopal Church. Side/front view of the building, facing east on the corner of South Clark Street and 2nd Avenue South. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jim Jenks Date: Nov. 2009
United Methodist Episcopal Church
United Methodist Episcopal Church United Methodist Episcopal Church. Side/rear view of the building, facing northeast on South Clark Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jim Jenks Date: Nov. 2009
United Methodist Episcopal Church
United Methodist Episcopal Church United Methodist Episcopal Church. Front/side view of the building, facing southwest on 2nd Avenue South. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jim Jenks Date: Nov. 2009
United Methodist Episcopal Church
United Methodist Episcopal Church United Methodist Episcopal Church. Front view of the building, facing south on 2nd Avenue South. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jim Jenks Date: Nov. 2009

Location

Southeast corner of Clark Street and 2nd Avenue, Park City, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “United Methodist Episcopal Church,” Historic Montana, accessed April 19, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2113.