Over the last several years as we have looked through old pictures of the church, we have found a mystery. In several of the old photographs, we can see what appears to be a window behind the altar. Until a few weeks ago, we were not sure just what this window was, but when we went back and looked at old pictures, we found some . Of several instances, the window appears most clearly in the 50th Anniversary picture.
Interior of Church; 50th Anniversary, 1902
In this view, behind the altar and the picture of the crucified Christ, a peaked window can be clearly seen. In other pictures it appears only as a glare – giving no detail as to its shape or construction. Originally we had thought that it might only have been a small round window that might just have been boarded over. If that had been the case, we considered removing it and preserving it – but when we saw its size – there was no possibility of any removal.
This window speaks to how grand the 1885 expansion of the church actually was. It was unusual for a rural church to have the ability to invest in real stained glass windows. The original configuration was thirteen windows, including the window behind the altar. We wonder today just why they put a window that could not be seen behind the altar. (Possibly it was just clear glass, not stained – we don’t know…).
As we progressed with the remodeling over the last week or so, the old vinyl siding and covering was removed from the north end of the church and there we could see the place where the window had been removed.
There. on the back wall of the church,is a clear outline where the window was removed and siding added over the hole. The siding matches the other siding on the north end of the sanctuary. We have no idea when this window was removed – our oldest members have no recollection of its presence.
As we think of its location a bit, a window on the north wall would have been exposed to the worst weather and could have developed rot and other issues. Being behind the altar was an unusual location. It is not hard to understand why it could have been removed. But, just to settle our curiosity, one of the Trustees pried a board loose from the siding and reached into the space behind the siding to see if, just possibly, the window was still there. Nope, nothing but blown-in insulation and spider webs. But, now we know; the lost window was a peaked window just like the other twelve and it’s not hiding in our wall as an architectural treasure.