Methodist Episcopal Church, Three Forks

The Milwaukee Land Company, a subsidiary of the Milwaukee Road, established the town of Three Forks in 1908. Company land agent John Q. Adams chose this townsite and held a lot sale in 1908. Buyers came by the trainload, purchasing 250 lots. District Superintendent Reverend George King with Reverends Charles Crouch and Charles Rhodes purchased two lots for the First Methodist Episcopal Church. In a mess tent by the roundhouse eleven days later, Reverends Crouch and Rhodes held the first religious services in the new town. The church was chartered in 1909 with thirteen members. Reverend Fleet initiated a building program in 1911 and it progressed under Reverend McClure. The cornerstone was laid with great fanfare in 1913. Presiding Elder Jacob Mills of Bozeman donated $2,500 to assure the church a secure financial foundation, and pastors from across Montana attended the first service on Easter Sunday, 1914. Methodist and Presbyterian congregations combined between 1920 and 1953 as the Federated Church. In 1968, the Methodists merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to become the present United Methodist Church. Despite heavy earthquake damage in 1925, this landmark church remains a classic example of the Gothic Revival style. Impressive features include graceful pointed arches with tracery windows, a Norman style crenellated bell tower with corner buttresses, and a steeply pitched cross-gabled roof. The interior, restored in 1993, includes a soaring 30-foot wood beamed ceiling, original oak pews arranged in three tiers, and stained glass windows.

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116 Cedar Street, Three Forks, Montana ~ Private