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Open Door Congregational United Church of Christ Bell Tower - Deer Park, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 47° 57.390 W 117° 28.624
11T E 464383 N 5311575
Quick Description: A well maintained church that does not show its age, this is the oldest continually used church in Deer Park, having been built in 1896.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 1/13/2014 11:32:30 PM
Waymark Code: WMJXVW
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 3

Long Description:
This is a beautiful New England style church whose architectural style gives away its age, though its overall appearance certainly doesn't. Its comparatively large offset bell tower and the tall brick chimney are the real indicators of age on this church. Having experienced many renovations and restorations, the church is now clad in vinyl siding and roofed with steel tiles intended to appear as clay tiles. Unfortunately some of the changes over the years have caused the bell tower to lose a lot of the character its spire once exhibited. See the photo below.

In 1909 the Congregational Church had been remodeled so that the front of the church faced Main Avenue, resulting in a substantial change in its appearance.

The Congregational Church came to Deer Park in 1891 along with one of the town's founders, J.N. Short. Mr. Short owned the local sawmill. He soon saw to the building of a sanctuary that was trimmed in Tamarack from Chattaroy that had been processed at his mill. The building was New England style and was imposing by its size on the Main Street of a very small town. Over the years stained and painted glass windows have been installed, usually as a memorial to a friend or member of the church. The sound of the great church bell in the East tower of the building is a traditional sound in the city of Deer Park.

In the beginning the church fronted not on Main Street but on Railroad Avenue. The name 'Open Door' derived from knowledge that the doors of the church would remain unlocked. Men who were down on their luck and rode the rails from job to job knew that they could always escape the bitter weather of Deer Park's winter through the 'open door' of the big white church.

The church building houses the worship of the oldest continuing congregation in Deer Park. It has also served as an infirmary during the great flu epidemic of 1918. For a short time it housed the Deer Park Public Library and for more than fifteen years was the center for the preparation of hot meals on wheels.

In 1957 this local church agreed to participate in a union that incorporated several other denominations along with the traditional Congregational Churches and reflected that agreement by adding 'United Church of Christ' to its name. The Official name of the church is The Open Door Congregational United Church of Christ.

In 1998 the church obtained an Allen AP-9 organ that produces the equivalent of 40 stops and 40 ranks or sets of pipes sampled from the highest quality organ pipes. In 2003 a generous gift inspired the congregation to give toward the purchase of the Yamaha grand piano that graces the sanctuary. The Open Door is a preferred site for concerts and recitals.

Plans for a new church complex hang on the back wall of the Sanctuary. Without demolishing the present building a new sanctuary, office suite, fellowship hall, and Christian education wing will be erected on the present property.

Across three century marks and the change of a millennium the white church building stands with its name 'The Open Door' above the lintel of its entrance. The intention of the congregation is that even when a new building becomes available 'The Open Door' will characterize the future of the church just as it has its past.
From The Church

Below is a photo of the church, taken shortly after its completion in 1896. Note the beautiful cupola and spire.



Address of Tower:
205 North Main Street
Deer Park, WA USA
99006


Still Operational: yes

Number of bells in tower?: 1

Relevant website?: [Web Link]

Rate tower:

Tours or visits allowed in tower?: No

Visit Instructions:
Please post an original picture of the tower taken while you were there. Please also record how you came to be at this tower and any other interesting information you learned about it while there.
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BK-Hunters visited Open Door Congregational United Church of Christ Bell Tower - Deer Park, WA 4/14/2014 BK-Hunters visited it