Ebenezer Lutheran Church
The Ebenezer Lutheran Church was established and built between Poskin and Almena on the Rabbit Trail Road in 1908 as the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Ebenezer Congregation of Poskin. The frame building, including the altar, altar rail, pulpit, and pews, was built by the congregation.
When the church closed, the congregation donated it to the Barron County Historical Society. Moving the building was no small feat, and the entire process took almost a year. A fund drive was organized by Betty Christianson to begin raising money for the move. Donations came from private individuals, Jaycees, Lions, Kiwanis, American Legion, VFW, Lodges, and other organizations including banks, business, churches and church organizations, and dance proceeds throughout the county. This monumental effort raised $5000 (~$30,500 in 2018 dollars) for the church move.
In the fall of 1971, the concrete footing was poured at the Barron County Historical Society’s museum for the Ebenezer Church. Mel Jensen and Art Knutson, of Barron, Alfred Koser of Almena, Bob Adkins and Roy Brusen of Chetek, Jess Everson of Cameron, and Orville Eliason of Ridgeland did the work.
The church was moved to the museum on March 10th, 1972. Barron County saw a lot of snow that winter, and the county plows were called to the museum to clear the area of snow. Telephone, telegraph, and electrical wires had to be cut to allow the building to pass from its founding site to its new home at the museum. When it arrived, it was temporarily shored up on wooden cribbing until early summer, when Ray Arnevik and Arnevik Moving Services of Rice Lake came back and moved it over the footing area. Ray Feidt was hired to lay the cement block foundation; his volunteer assistants were Alfred Koser of Almena, Bob Adkins and Roy Brusen of Chetek, and Mel Jensen of Barron.
During placement of the building, workers discovered a red squirrel had gotten into the church and damaged the ceiling, making it necessary to replace some tile and give new paint to the ceiling. The building was fumigated in May to dispose of the varmint.
There were outdoor toilets at the Ebenezer site north of Poskin and these were also donated to the society. Two pews, a hymn board, communion service pieces, and two velveteen collection pouches on long poles from the original church’s furnishings remain in the church; a hole in the floor by the altar is said to be where the church mouse lives. Today, only Ebenezer Cemetery remains at the original site of the church.
The first museum wedding performed in Ebenezer Lutheran Church was when Diane Benson and Steve Williams were married in 1975. Weddings and renewal of vow ceremonies are still held in the church. If you are interested in holding a wedding in the Chapel, please contact the museum office at 715.458.2080.
Interested in more resources about the Ebenezer Lutheran Church? Check out:
Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota