Ebenezer Lutheran Church
Originally Built: 1908
Arrived at Pioneer Village Museum: 1972
Take the Tour
The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Poskin
The Work of a Community
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.
Planning the Move
They Needed More Than a U-Haul for This One
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 (~$33,040 in 2020 dollars) for the church move.
Moving a Church
It's Not Quite a Mountain, but It's Taller Than Power Lines
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.
See More Photos of the Move
View Photos Here, or Visit Them in Person!
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.
A New Life
The Ebenezer Church Today Functions Both as a Museum and a Special Occasion Church
The first museum wedding performed in Ebenezer Lutheran Church was when Diane Benson and Steve Williams were married in 1975, and anyone can still contact the museum to reserve the church for weddings or renewal of vow services. The church has also hosted Sunday church services during Heritage Days and Rendezvous events.
Dave and Carol Wozniak - 30 Years of Pioneer Village Memories
This COULD be written, but this would also be a great place for video/audio and more photos/photo gallery. I'd love to have more photos of the Wozniaks volunteering here, even if it wasn't necessarily at the Church, but with the Church in the picture would be optimal. This type of story shows how a building/display/connection to the museum can become a committment to community and vice versa.
Looking Beyond the Pioneer Village Museum
Interested in more resources about the Ebenezer Lutheran Church? Check out:
Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota