Sunday, May 26, 2013

                                                                                                                   May 26, 2013
885 4th Street

United Church of Christ (Congregational)
Blaine, Washington

The congregation of the Congregational Church in Blaine, Washington has built three churches.  The first was a log cabin, the second a brick building, and the present church in the craftsman style faced with wooden shingles.

The first "Congregational Church was built in 1876 on California Creek, close to the corner of Loomis Trail Road near Blaine. This was the first church built in Whatcom County. (Washington) In his 80th year, the Reverend W.M. Stewart visited his son in Whatcom County and quickly decided to move here and build a church. He had led an active life. From 1914 to 1955, the Tom Snow family lived in the Church. It was moved to Pioneer Park in 1968 under the sponsorship of Elmer and Edna Pike. Meetings are still held in the church from spring to fall and it is growing as a popular location for small weddings." (Link 6.)  Each July during  "Old Settlers Week" the congregation  from today's United Church of Christ in Blaine holds their Sunday service at the log cabin.

The Church

    Congregation Church, Pioneer Village, Ferndale, Washington (Link 6.)

The second Congregational Church was built of brick in Blaine.  However, it was found that the bricks were faulty and after about 10 years the church was torn down.-Alma Wegener

The third and today's church was built at 885 4th Street in Blaine.
Sanctuary Entrance on 4th Street

       "Our church building, located on a corner property, was built in 
         1910 and still uses the bell from the original church of 1878. 
         The facility consists of the sanctuary, narthex, two offices, a 
         meeting room, and a music room upstairs. The downstairs (Dug
         after the church was built, possibly 1913, with access through 
         the door in the small addition on the Clark side of the 
          building.-Alma Wegener.)  includes a large fellowship hall,
         a kitchen, two classrooms, a nursery, and a playroom. 
         We also have a loft and additional room above the narthex. 
         We have an elevator providing handicap access to the main 
         level and downstairs. (In addition on Clark side of the 
         building-Alma Wegener.) The sanctuary is in a thrust stage 
         format (pews around three sides of the altar) and 
         the elevated,  formal altar is now the fourth wall 
         up two steps from the main floor." (Link 5.)

  Altar, 2014 (Link 1.)

The rectangular windows of the Sanctuary are of colored opaque glass in banks of two and three.  The banks of two feature center white bows. 
"Colorful ribbons and bows remind us of the bond of perfection which is love. They show us that all people are to be bound together in brotherhood and peace." (Link 2.) 

Sanctuary Stained Glass Windows

The two center banks of three windows each feature  the cross in the middle with a spray of lilies on each side window.   The cross and crown " is often interpreted as symbolizing the reward in heaven (the crown) coming after the trials in this life (the cross) (James 1:12)." (Link 3.) "The white lily symbolizes purity and innocence and is the traditional flower of Easter.  The three petaled lily is also representative of the Blessed Trinity." (Link 4.)  

Sanctuary Stained Glass Windows

The church has a square steeple. The entrance to left of the steeple leads to the narthex with the three windows. (See top photo.) The altar of the sanctuary is at the opposite  end, toward Steen Street. (The roof dormers are original to the 1910 church.) The exterior of the church is surfaced in wooden shake shingles. 
 1950's or 1960's Addition,  Facing Steen Street

The 1950's or 1960's  addition facing Steen Street was built for Sunday school rooms, meeting rooms, and the music library.

Modern  Crafted Cross in Window  1950's or 1960's Addition

The modern crafted cross at the top of the steps at the entrance to the 1950's or 1960's addition was made by an interim minister who was also a metal artist.  It was bought by a member of the congregation and donated to the church.

Thank you: To congregation members Sandy Wolf and Alma Wegener for
            information on the church history.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

                                                                                                                           May 19, 2013

604 H Street Road
(West side of church)

St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church
Blaine, Washington

"Blaine is a city in Whatcom County, WashingtonUnited States. The city's northern boundary is the Canadian border. Blaine is the shared home of the Peace Arch international monument. The population was 4,684 at the 2010 census.

Blaine, WA, USA

Blaine, WA USA (Link 1.)

"The area was first settled in the mid-19th century by pioneers who established the town as a seaport for the west coast logging and fishing industries, and as a jumping off point for prospectors heading to British Columbia's gold fields....The city has a "turn-of-the-century" theme, marked by remodeled buildings and signs resembling designs that existed during the late 19th century and early 20th century.

"The world's largest salmon cannery [6]was operated by the Alaska Packer's Association for decades in Blaine; the cannery site has been converted to a waterfront destination resort on Semiahmoo Spit.... Several saw mills once operated on Blaine's waterfront, and much of the lumber was transported from its wharves and docks to help rebuild San Francisco following the 1906 fire there." (See Link 1.)

St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church is probably the closest United States church to the Canadian border in Washington state.  H Street is the first main intersection south of the Pacific Truck Crossing. At the south west corner is Blaine High School.  Six blocks west is St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church.  And  another six blocks west are the downtown streets of Blaine leading to the Pacific Ocean.

Front and east side of church
(Note 1960's Parish Hall addition)

St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church was built in Blaine in 1905, as the historic plaque attests.  "Saint Anne (also known as Ann or Anna, from Hebrew Hannah חַנָּה, meaning "favor" or "grace") of David's house and line, was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ..." (Link 2.)

File:Angelos Akotanos - Saint Anne with the Virgin - 15th century.jpg
"Greek icon of Saint Anne and Mary, by Angelos Akotantos"
(Link 2.)

The simple church has a small cupola style steeple topped by a cross.  The entrance is extended and has double doors.  Four Gothic pointed arched stained glass windows line each side of the sanctuary.

Sanctuary Window
(West side, exterior)

Sanctuary Window
(Exterior, west side)

Actually St. Anne's is one of two mission churches of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Ferndale, Washington.  The other mission church is St. Joachim of the Lummi Nation. As of 1996 these three churches have assumed the common name of The Northwest Corner Catholic Community.  The share a common pastor, staff, offices and in some areas, budget.  The members, as well as visitors from B.C., attend all three churches. The Northwest Corner Catholic Community is part of the Archdiocese of Seattle. (REF.)

"In 1860 Fr. Chirouse (from France) made his first visit to the Lummi Nation.... In 1861 Fr. Chirouse and the Lummis built a little log chapel near the mouth of the Nooksack River and dedicated it to St. Joachim-the father of the Virgin Mary and husband of St. Anne... the first Catholic inhabitants of ...Bellingham...sould cross the river in boats to attend mass at the Lummi church....a larger wooden frame church (was built) in 1869 (the present St. Joachim's)  It remains the 5th oldest standing church in Washington State...

"Fr. Chirouse also began to celebrate mass in homes of pioneer families in the Ferndale area, beginning in 1867.... In 1894 he (Fr. Boulet) and the Ferndale Catholics built the first St. Joseph's Church along the banks of the Nooksack.... in 1900, the St. Joseph's Church was moved to 3rd St. in Ferndale.

"Beginning in 1896, when Blaine was made a mission, Fr. Boulet took trips to Blaine by the train in order to celebrate mass in the Loomis Hall on Martin Street.  Our (St. Anne's) present site on 6th and H Streets was bought for $350 in September of 1905.  Fr. Boulet used money from his own savings to build the church between 1905-1907.... Fr. Boulet would come to Blaine once a month...  

"The 1920's brought many changes to our parishes.  In Blaine, St. Anne's underwent its first renovation... St. Anne's was enlarged in 1938 and the interior was covered with the present knotty pine paneling.  The parish hall was added in the 1960's, as was electric heat.  

Church Marque with Brass Historic Plaque Above 

"In, 1997, St. Anne's was named an official historic site in Blaine and a memorial plaque was affixed to the front of the church building." (REF.)

Photos: Taken in February 2013 by SW.
Reference: The Northwest Corner Catholic Community.  Thank you to Meg
               at the office at St. Joseph's for this publication.
Link 1:,_Washington
Link 2:


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

17553 58A Avenue (Bond Street)

Cloverdale United Church
Cloverdale, B.C. Canada

              5757 176th Street

"In 1891, the Cloverdale Presbyterian Church (5757 176th Street) was the tallest building in Cloverdale. In 1925, the United Church of Canada was formed with the combined congregations of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Services were held in the original Presbyterian Church for about 25 years. 

"At this time, a new Cloverdale United Church was opened in April 2, 1950, on Bond Street (17553 58A Avenue). The bell tower on the church had gothic windows, which have since been removed and replaced by a false front."
(Link 1.)

"The Cloverdale United Church is a stucco-clad Gothic Revival-inspired church with a later bell tower and spire at the southeast corner. Its height and massing, combined with its prominent location adjacent to the Cloverdale by-pass on a slight rise, make this a local landmark. (The church is the the directly to the west of the jog in the Pacific Highway that then heads directly to the Pacific Boarder Crossing.) The church is situated within a context of single-family residential housing, an asphalt parking lot and a playground, and there are several significant trees on the site.

*Rear extension of church

"Cloverdale United Church is significant as a demonstration of community spirit in Cloverdale, at a time when this was the administrative and commercial centre of Surrey. The local population was increasing rapidly after the Second World War. As the local United Church congregation grew, a larger church was required, and this building was constructed using volunteer labour. This church continues to have an active congregation, illustrating its ongoing role within the community as an important place of worship and kinship.

(Modified Google photo)

"Built in 1949-50, Cloverdale United Church is valued as a good and late example of the persistence of the Gothic Revival style, and as a transitional example of the influence of Modern architecture. While the traditional influence is seen in the Gothic pointed-arched windows, steeply pitched gabled roof and bell tower with spire, the influence of modernism may be seen in the plain smooth walls and overall lack of applied ornamentation.
"Key elements that define the heritage character of Cloverdale United Church 
  include its:
- prominent location situated on a slight rise on a corner lot, with significant 
  mature trees
- continuous use as a church since the time of construction
- ecclesiastical form, scale and massing as expressed by its one-storey plus
   basement height and irregular, rectangular plan with transepts, prominent
   bell tower and *rear extension
- steeply pitched front gabled roof with side gabled extensions
- concrete foundation and wood-frame construction with stucco-clad  

Front Gothic pointed-arch window

- Gothic Revival style elements such as its steeply pitched roof, Gothic 
   pointed-arch windows, leaded windows, pegged wooden front doors with 
   original hardware and front entrance with pointed-arch opening
- additional exterior elements such as its partially inset bell tower with 
   pyramidal bellcast roof, rectangular nave with transepts and plain wooden 
   window surrounds

East side of church with leaded pointed-arch windows

- fenestration, including: stained glass panels; leaded pointed-arch windows
  containing  operable pivotal insets on the side elevations; pointed-arch 
  stained glass window with floral motif on the front elevation; and leaded, 
  multi-paned double-hung wooden-sash window
- original interior features, including: chamfered-profile nave ceiling with 
   applied acoustical tiles: cantilevered balcony; fir woodwork such as pews,
   wainscoting, and  door and window  trim; halfpace stair in narthex with fir 
   balustrade; hanging glass globe ceiling fixtures; chancel opening with
   impressed design and coved ceiling in chancel; and Gothic
   arched detailing used for the chancel niche, panelling, pulpit, 
   lectern and railing 
  - associated landscape features such as mature trees, (Link 2.)

Both Hazelmere United Church (See May 5, 2013 Blog Post.) and Cloverdale United Church are served by the same pastor.

Photos: Taken in February 2013 by SW.
Link 1:
Link 2:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

1614 184th Street

Hazelmere United Church,
Surrey, B.C. Canada

The closest British Columbia church to the US border is probably Hazelmere United Church.  It is about 2 miles north of the border and 1 miles east of the Pacific Highway that leads the the Pacific Border Truck Crossing.
"Hazlemere United Church is a simple pioneer church and an adjacent church hall, at the northeast corner of 184th Street and 16th Avenue in Surrey.
"Hazelmere United Church is significant for its association with the development of the Hazelmere area. Opened up for settlement in 1860, by 1879 Hall's Prairie was one of four small communities that had grown in Surrey. Until 1881, when a road was built through the area down to the American border, the only access was by the Nicomekl or Serpentine Rivers or by a rough trail. Henry Thrift settled in the area and called his farm Hazelmere after the hazel bushes that grew there. When the New Westminster Southern Railway was built through the area in 1891, the local stop was called Hazelmere. Over the years the agricultural focus shifted to dairy farming, due partly to the completion of the BC Electric Railway interurban line in 1910 which allowed greater access to markets.

Sign in front of the church

"As the first church built in Hazelmere, Hazelmere United Church is valued as an indication of the importance of religion in the lives of the early settlers. By 1905, Henry Thrift had donated the land for this church on the condition that it be non-denominational. This allowed members of different denominations, such as the Congregationalists, the Methodists and the Presbyterians to share a common space. The small population of the community meant that separate denominations could not afford to build individual churches, thereby necessitating the jointly built church. Following the union of the Congregationalist, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches into the United Church, it became the Hazelmere United Church in 1925.

Heritage Plaque

"An important part of the value of this site is its association with the local community and its efforts to work jointly to construct a place of worship for their community. A century later it continues to serve the spiritual and social needs of this rural community.

"The church is valued as a representation of a modest pioneer church, designed in a simple manner with vestiges of Gothic Revival influence. The adjacent hall, a former Hall's Prairie School built in 1923 and moved to the site in 1949, demonstrates the growth of the local population and the continuing need for public facilities in the area.
"Key elements that define the heritage character of Hazelmere United Church include its: 
- location of the church at a prominent corner of Hazelmere
- form, scale, and massing of the church and the hall on one property
- Gothic Revival inspired wooden-sash pointed arch windows of the church

North side church window

- front gabled steep pitch roof with gabled vestibule and shed roof vestry at rear
- drop siding
- groupings of mature coniferous trees on the property

Cement pathway to adjacent church hall

- the adjacent church hall, including its exterior elements such as wooden siding and original wooden-sash windows, and surviving interior features such as original woodwork." (Link.)

Photos: Taken in February by SW.