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Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Lisbon, Dakota Territory

July 12, 2016


From 1882 into the late 1890s, the Episcopal church in Dakota Territory — statehood come about in November 1889 — was given a corporate make-over through the efforts of three people: High Church clergyman Rev B. F. Cooley, emigrant English architect George Hancock, and another emigrant, Scottish stonemason Nathaniel Maconachie. What resulted, even before the arrival of the first resident bishop in the winter of 1883-1884, was a remarkable series of split fieldstone Gothic Revival designs in the eastern third of the territory. Lisbon, Casselton, Mayville, New Buffalo, Pembina, Jamestown, Lakota, Devils Lake and other hamlets boasted sophisticated picturesque churches that the new Bishop William David Walker called “a prairie devotion” and a practical solution to the danger of range fires.

I post this example from Lisbon, about fifty miles southwest of Fargo, as the crow flies. Deconsecrated and missing its tower but still standing at Sixth Avenue and Elm Street, the church is now an adjunct to the nearby public school.

How does this relate to William Halsey Wood? High Churchmanship takes many forms, evidenced by architects like Hancock and Halsey Wood. Coincidentally, they were just six years apart in age.


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