I Finally Went to church...
Yeah I admit that its been a long time...too long...but interestingly enough this post is not about what was said inside the church, but more about the woodwork inside the church. The thing was it was not super ornate, or of the highest professional woodworking order, because it was completely Shaker Style with a flair for the Utilitarian. Still the woodwork was pretty cool to see.
This church was built in 1742.
Specifically the church was made by German settlers in 1742, then in 1795 torn down, hauled across the river on the ice to the other side, pulled into place and rebuilt. While the overall design was simplistic...hey these were German Settlers who were trying their best to carve out a spot in a harsh world, and who were trying to grow crops to feed themselves instead of building ornate woodwork...there was something truly amazing to see. And that was shaker style frame and panel construction throughout.
It was just simple straight but joints with only a few pieces of trim, but wide, wide panels, some up to three feet wide without so much as a glue line. These were flat panels, in place for 216 years and they were flat, unharmed and with hardly a knot in them. Now tell me where you can get a panel like that these days? Tell me where you can find floor boards that are 2 feet wide or better from one side of the church to the other? Tell me were you can find thick hand hewn beams.
And the wood. Pure pumpkin pine. Now I have seen plenty of pumpkin pine in my life (the name for virgin eastern white pine) but not an entire building made from it. The pews, the flooring, the walls and even the pulpit area which was wine glass shaped and elevated above the main floor...were all made from pumpkin pine. The wood had such straight grain and narrow, narrow growth rings that it almost looked like mahogany. The wood was just so different. Light, straight grained and worn from 216 years of use.
Now how in the world could I take this all in when I was supposed to be listening to what was being preached? Well the hour long service was in German and I could not understand one word of it. It was cool to see though. Here is a picture outside of the church. The inside was not allowed to be photographed because its considered sacred. Here is what it looks like from the outside though. Incidentally some of the headstones are in slate and written in German as well.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"