Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Congregational United Church, Wauseon, Ohio

One delightful turn-of-the-century midwestern church is the Congregational United Church of Christ in Wauseon, Ohio (135 West Elm St.)  The corner stone for the present edifice reads, "First Congregational Church 1904".  The faithful of this parish trace their origins in Wauseon from 1860, one year before the outbreak of the Civil War.  

The village was laid out in March of 1854, when 15 people provided the entire population  A mere six years later, Wauseon had a population of about 350.  This population explosion, typical of many other villages of that time and area, encouraged the energized citizens to erect numerous churches, including those for Methodists (1855), Disciples (1863-4), Congregationalists (1864), Baptists (1868) and Catholics (1875, enlarged). 

Our visit on August 17, 2012 (in the midst of one of the most severe droughts in memory) was most pleasant.  The cool turn-of-the-century church was open and utterly quiet, inviting the visitor to explore respectfully at will.  Its perfectly curved pews remind one of the level of workmanship that used to be assumed necessary, even by small congregations.