CHURCH OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Source:The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947 : a history of the Diocese of Milwaukee by Harold Ezra Wagner; 1947.
In the late 40's of the last century, while James Lloyd Breck was President of Nashotah House, William Markoe came from the East to the House to be trained for the Priesthood. There soon developed between Breck and the young student a warm and confidential frienship, and they held an informal understanding that upon his ordination Markoe was to be placed in charge of St. Sylvanus' Church. This little red building which still sands on the seminary grounds was not only the chapel of the school, but was also the parish church for the farmers thereabouts, and had been constructed primarily for parish use. In addition to the duties as President of the House, Dr. Breck also held the cure of St. Sylvanus. In due course Markoe assumed charge of the little church, but when Dr. Cole succeeded Breck as head of the Mission, considerable friction developed between him and the young priest which made the latter's position as Rector of St. Sylvanus' trying and unsatisfactory. Markoe had built a home on Upper Nemahbin Lake, and his brother-in-law, Ralston Cox, resided with him. Cox, a Philadelphian by birth, was apparently possessed of considerable means, for he decided to build a church for Markoe, and the site chosen for it was in the village of Delafield. Among the records of Waukesha County, there is a paper dated 1850 which promises the people of Delafield that a church would be built there if a parish should be organized within a year; and under the date of May 25, 1852, the minutes of the Vestry of St. John Chrysostom's record the following:
"Resolved that we adopt and accede to the Constitution, Canons, Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in these United States and of the Diocese of Wisconsin. Resolved that we appoint two delegates to represent the Parish in the Diocesan Convention, to be holden in Milwaukee in June next."
While the above resolution appears to constitute the formal organization of the parish of St. John Chrysostom, it is likely that it had been previously established informally, for the erection of the church building had been begun in the previous year, 1851. Altar hangings in the five liturgical colors were imported from England as was also a handsome set of Communion silver. This set of altar hangings was the first complete set in the proper liturgical colors in the State of Wisconsin.
During the summer of 1851, Mr. Cox went to Philadelphia on business, and while on the return trip disappeared from an Ohio River steamboat. He was presumably drowned, though the manner or cause of his disappearance was never discovered, and the construction of the Chuch was halted for lack of funds. However, the work had progressed sufficiently for the building to be used for worship; and a short time later Ralston's sister, Miss Sarah Cox, supplied the means for completion of the building and personally supervised the work. Except for such moder imprvements as electric lights and furnace heat, the Chuch is today pratically as it was originally erected and furnished. The Church was consecrated in 1856, and the rood screen and stone altar are said to be the first of their kind erected in America.
Fr. Markoe resigned in 1854, and later the same year the Rev. James de Koven became the rector. As he was still in Deacon's Orders, the Rev. Louis Ashurst Kemper assumed the priestly duties. Aided by Miss Cox, de Koven put up a small building to the west of the Church and opended a school for boys and girls. The land and building were deeded to the parish. This was the beginning of de Koven's famous educational work in the state and Diocese, and is considered to be the work which resulted in the later founding of St. John's Military Academy. In 1856, at the Rector's request, the Vestry called the Rev. J.S.B. Hodges as Associate Rector, who assisted de Koyen in running the school. It was called St. John's Hall.
In 1859 a depression caused much financial distress throughout the United States, and de Koven was asked to unite the school with that of Racine College and to join the latter's faculty. Thus this great man left the field of his first labors, Delafield, and since that time the parish has had a steady but comparatively uneventful existence, served by a long succession of devoted priests, several of whom where scholars of considerable note.
In 1884 Sidney T. Smythe, while still a student at Nashotah House, leased from the parish the school building with the land on which it was located for the purpose of establishing a Church School to be known as St. John's Hall, his announced purpose being to carry on the traditions begun by de Koven. He had been a pupil and close friend of de Koven and had received his inspriation to continue the school begun by his teacher form him. The school prospered and in 1886 the building and land were deeded by the parish to the now incorporated St. John's Military Academy. Dr. Smythe in addition to his duties as head of the ACademy was also rector of the Parish from 1886 to 1890.
Source:The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947 : a history of the Diocese of Milwaukee by Harold Ezra Wagner; 1947.
The church in Hartland is one of those in communities near Nashotah House which owes its beginnings to the missionary labors of the men who began that famous institution. Mrs. N. Warren Weed records in a history of Hartland that "in the fall of 1841, the Revs. James Breck and William Adams, who came to Nashotah to commence the work which resulted in Nashotah Mission being established, held services once in two weeks at the poplar log school house. One Sunday as the people were assembling, the stick chimney took fire and burned to the ground. Stephan Warren invited the young rectors, with their congregation to his house, 14x18 feet, and there they held service every alternate Sunday during the winter. From then on services were held in different places."
The first record in the Diocesan Journal of work being done in Hartland appears in 1858, when it is reported that Fr. Wm. Christian had been conducting services there every other week since the previous fall of 1857. His efforts met with considerable opposition, but by the following year he was able to report that interest was increasing.
During its early years the congregation gathered in various buildings, including a cider mill. In 1862, when the congregation was served by a Rev. Mr. Bennett, an effort was made to raise money for the erection of a building. Six years later construction was started on a lot purchased in 1865 from Mr. and Mrs. D.W. Warner. Bishop Kemper laid the cornerstone and reports the occasion as follows: "On Monday the 14th (1869) I had the pleasure, with the assistance of several of the clergy, to lay the cornerstone of Grace Chapel at Hartland. The present lay leader, William Toll, is a student at Nashotah House." Two years later, on May 20, 1871, the Bishop (now Bishop Armitage) wrote: "I confirmed twenty-two, a class, which like the church building, is the result of the unwearied labor of Mr. Wm. Toll, a graduate of Nashotah this year, who has now gone to his own diocese of Illinois." In 1911 the same William Toll was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Chicago. Bishop Toll always remembered with sincere affection the little church in Hartland and the fact that in it he had begun his work for the church. As a consequence, his family have given many memorials in the memory to the mission.
In 1878, the congregation was formally admitted into union with the then "Diocese of Wisconsin" as an Organized Mission. In his Journal of 1882, under the date of April 28, Bishop Welles writes: "In Grace Chapel, Hartland, after services read by Rev. Dr. Cole, I preached and confirmed with an address, a class of six, prepared by Mr. G.L. Starkweather of Nashotah Seminary, who under the missionary in charge, has care of the services. The presence of some of the students from Nashotah, of members of the congregation from Pine Lake, (today the village of Nashotah) the procession of Sunday School children, and their hearty singing, and the large attendance from Hartland, made the service on lone to be remembered."
In 1917 a bell tower was erected through a bequest by Mrs. Mary Wood in memory of her father H.C. Anstey. The bell was given by Kingston and Clayson Swallow. The rectory was built in 1928.
The mission was served by the Dean and professors and students of the Nashotah House until 1900 when a resident priest was placed in charge. Except for a few instances, there has been a resident man their ever since.
HOLY INNOCENTS' CHURCH
Nashotah (formerly Pine Lake)
Source:The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947 : a history of the Diocese of Milwaukee by Harold Ezra Wagner; 1947.
When the First Diocesan Council of Wisconsin met in Milwaukee in 1847, among the churches listed as being in union with that body is a certain "Scandinavian Parish, Pine Lake" with the Rev. G. Unonius as pastor and the date of its organization as March 3, 1844. Unonius also had charge of a St. Olof's Church, "Ashpen," organized Dec. 8, 1844, and later became the first rector of St. Paul's, Ashippun, which he helped organize the following year.
In these simple facts we have one of the most interesting historical side-lights in the history of the Episcopal Church in Wisconsin. Unonius was himself a Sweden and thus was able to work successfully among those of Scandinavian descent in southeastern Wisconsin. St. Paul's, Ashippun, and St. Olof's were for many years near neighbors. The founding families of both are largely of Scandinavian blood. St. Olof's eventually united with the Lutherans and as time went on has disappeared from sight. St. Paul's is still in existence and the only rural parish in the Diocese. Scandinavian Parish, Pine Lake became the ancestor of Holy Innocent's, Nashotah when the Lutheran group at Pine Lake divided in the 1850's. One group took with them the records and register of the church and founded St. John's English Lutheran Church, Stone Bank. The other retained the material possessions, namely the log church and cemetery, and became, in the course of time, Holy Innocent's Episcopal Church, Nashotah. At the time of the division there was no distinction made along doctrinal or theological lines, the families joined whichever of the newly founded congregations they thought the most convenient.
Unonius left for Chicago in 1853, and his departure caused the work he had begun in Pine Lake, as Nashotah village was then called, to lapse. A few years passed before anything further was done to revive the work he had begun in the community. In 1858 or 1859, John N. Christensen, who had been a pupil of De Kovan at Delafield and later taught languages at Nashotah House, was principal of the district school at Pine Lake and saw the possibilities for a Sunday School in the Settlement. After consultation with Dr. DeKoven and the authorities at Nashotah, and obtaining the necessary assistance and support, the school was established. The opening service was held at the "Mission," as the seminary was and still is known in the neighborhood; but the Sunday following and for many years, even after the church building was completed, the Sunday School sessions were held in the public school, which stood on the site of the present Nashotah school. Mr. Young, a student at Nashotah House, was in charge and had as his assistants, in addition to Mr. Christensen, two and sometimes three fellow students. After the Church was erected and in use, a foot bridge was constructed to span the gully that separated the public school from the Church; and after the Sunday School sessions the children would march in procession over the bridge to attend the church service.
During the early sixties, John L. G. Fryer, a student at Nashotah House, was in charge of the Sunday School,and it was largely due to his aspirations and labors that the church was built. The country was then in the throes of the Civil War, but the people of the neighborhood, despite their poverty and the hardships they were enduring, gave freely to the project, and Mr. Fryer received some financial help from friends in the East. The present site, an acre of land, was obtained and deeded to the Trustees of Funds and Properties of the Diocese, and the building erected. It was consecrated by Bishop Kemper June 21, 1866. The Rev. John L. G. Fryer was born in 1839, and in the spring of 1865 was graduated from Nashotah House, received Holy Orders and was appointed to the cure of Holy Innocents'. In August of the same year he was married in the little church he had been so largely instrumental in building. Only one month later, September 1865, he died and was buried in the Church Yard, to the east of the sanctuary. Thus in a sense, Holy Innocent's Church, stands today as a memorial to his brief but consecrated and fruitful labors in the Church of God.
Through the years thereafter, Holy Innocents' has pursued the life of a church in a rural community. She has been served faithfully and well by a long list of young men, students at Nashotah House, numbers of whom are now parish priests in large city churches. There has been nothing of the spectacular in her existence, to mark the passing of time, only years of continuous and effective service to the people of the community and the surrounding country. One of her children, baptized and confirmed in the little Church, is now the Bishop of Nebraska, the Rt. Rev. Howard Brinker, D. D.
St. Alban's was organized by Bishop Kemper on October 2, 1842, and its ministrations came under the charge of those pioneer missionaries who founded Nashotah House, Breck, Hobart and Adams. The first services were held in the barn of James Weaver, and the Rev. Mr. Hobart had walked over from Waukesha the day before to prepare the barn floor for services. A box covered with cloth was used as an altar, a reading desk was improvised and blocks of wood with planks' laid on them formed the seats. The choir sat on a platform above the haymow as in a gallery. Insecurely erected, during the service this platform broke and all the singers were thrown into the hay. Due to the soft landing, no one was hurt.
For a number of years services could be kept up only by lay readers on those Sundays when the Nashotah missionaries were unable to be present. Under the guidance of the Rev. Mr. Hull, rector of St. Paul's, Milwaukee, the first church building was erected and opened for services on May 26, 1844, and the services conducted by Dr. James Lloyd Breck. William and James Weaver, the co-founders of St. Alban's, were born in Old Romley, Kent County, England, but later moved to Sussex County. The parish owes its existence to the loyalty of the Weaver family, and to their thorough training in the mother church of England. James Weaver donated an acre of land for church property to the parish in 1842. On this land the first church was built and opened in 1844. In 1857 this grant was enlarged to four acres, and in 1864 plans were begun for the present church edifice, a handsome Gothic style stone church, and the cornerstone was laid by Bishop Kemper on August 23, 1864. Work progressed on the building slowly, and it was not finished until the spring of 1866, and on May 16 of that year was consecrated by Kemper.
The stone for the structure was hauled from the James Weaver quarry, and many of the masons stayed at the William Weaver home. The tower was erected in 1875, the stone again coming from the Weaver quarry. The life of St. Alban's in the early years of its life is so typical of all churches in that time, that we wish to quote some interesting bits. The music at the services before 1849 was furnished by a band consisting of a violin, bass viola, flute and clarinet. In 1849 the parish was given a melodeon of four octaves, pumped by hand. The records of 1868 tell of the organist having been paid "$25 for her services with thanks." The Rector's salary in 1849 was $1.00 per week, and the parish's centennial history says, "it is hoped liberal donations were frequently given him." Early services were called by a steel bar which served the church as a bell for over twenty years. In 1892 when the parish celebrated its Golden Jubilee, services were held in the original Weaver barn with the 1842 service duplicated as nearly as possible. Two stoves stood in the rear of the church in those days, and it is said that those who sat in the backreported the temperature as comfortable. We wonder if the rector was warm? Just before the sermon, the sexton would put in a supply of wood and then hope it would last until the sermon was over. (Sermons were longer then than now!)
The original rectory of the parish was erected in 1860 and was replaced in 1885 by the present rectory. The Rev. S. S. Burleson, who also served Columbus and Beaver Dam, was the first to occupy the new home. His three daughters and five sons prompted one of vestrymen to remark, "It's a pity the rectory wasn't made of rubber so it could be pushed together when a small family occupied it, and pulled out when a larger one came." In 1903 plans were begun for the erection of a Guild Hall. It was hoped that it might be made of stone like the church, but apparently these hopes did not get much further than the foundation for the building is of frame construction. The hall was dedicated August 25, 1903. The village of Sussex is named after the county in England from which its founding families had come, and the church, in keeping with this English background, was named after England's first Christian Martyr. At least two of its rectors have come from Sussex, England. The parish celebrated its centennial in 1942 with a week long series of services and festivities.
ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S CHURCH
Adapted from notes by the Rev. Henry Willman The earliest mention of St. Bartholomew's Church in the CHURCH TIMES is an entry in the July 1894 issue under the heading "Bishop's Notes" when the Bishop wrote: "A new mission has been undertaken at Pewaukee under the care of the Rev. Frank E. Bissell of Nashotah." Later the mission was placed under the jurisdiction of the Rev. W. J. Lemon, Vicar at Hartland, and in April 1895 the first confirmation class of three was presented to the Bishop.
The Bishop's column in the spring of 1895 says this: "The services are now carried on in an upper room of a warehouse nicely fitted up for the purpose. ... A lot is in sight and funds gathering for the erection of a small church this coming summer." Apparently this is as far as the matter went, for when Henry Willman was appointed as a lay-reader in charge in 1897, the building was yet un-erected. During the summer of 1897, while Mr. Willman was in residence at Nashotah waiting entrance as a student in the class of 1900, he was asked by Bishop Nicholson to go to Pewaukee week-ends and hold services for the people there. He learned that a site had been purchased, and an effort made to raise some funds for a building. The subject of building was revived and new subscribers canvassed. The result was plans for the present building and its subsequent erection.
The corner-stone was laid on August 24, 1899 by Bishop Nicholson, and the church was opened and dedicated on January 12, 1900. Church folk in Pewaukee, Sussex, Waukesha and Milwaukee had helped in the raising of the necessary funds.
In 1924 Mr. and Mrs. George Burroughs completed the interior of the basement, donated a furnace and dedicated the entire new Guild Hall to the memory of a daughter, Mrs. Julia Clarkson.
St. Chad's, Okauchee, is supposed to be the only church in the United States bearing the name of this early British saint. Work in that place was begun in the last years of the 19th century, about 1878, and the present building was erected and dedicated March 2, 1898. The name of the Rev. Arthur Goodyear, then a student of Nashotah House, is associated with the founding and the early years of the mission. Since its founding it has been almost exclusively in charge of seminary students, and the frequent changes, often two a year, have not been good for the growth of the mission. In 1944 a priest resident at Nashotah House was made priest-in-charge and regular services are now being held. St. Chad's has excellent possibilities. It is the only non-Roman church in a busy lake resort town within easy reach of Milwaukee, and as such should experience growth in the years ahead.
Waterville (now Dousman)
St. Mary's Mission is located at the crossroads of U. S. Highway 18 and State Highway 67, a few miles southeast of Oconomowoc, one mile from the country community of Waterville and the same distance north of Dousman. The work here was started by Nashotah House men in 1878. For some years meetings were held in private homes. In 1899 the present land was acquired, and a small Gothic style church of stone erected which has become a landmark in that district. The Rev. Elton C. Healy, Curator at Nashotah House, was in charge of the work here from the building's erection until his death in 1920, and during these years the mission enjoyed a healthy growth. With the advent of the automobile and good roads, the death of Fr. Healy, the death or removal of many of the original families, the mission has experienced difficult times. To those without transportation, the church is not easily accessible, and those with cars often prefer driving into nearby Oconomowoc, Delafleld, Nashotah, or Waukesha where there are larger and more highly organized parishes. Added to this, the work has been under the charge of seminary students who, though they have done excellent work, have not been able to hold tenure long enough for the good of the parish. To correct this, the Mission has been placed with St. Chad's, Okauchee, under the charge of a resident priest of Nashotah House. The Missioner of St. Mary's also provides for the services at the Wisconsin Masonic Home, located just a few hundred feet down the road from the church. Here weekly evening services are held as the mission has no lights. Sunday services are held in the church.
ST. MATTHIAS CHURCH
Compiled by Edith W. Talmadge
The associations between St. Matthias Church and Nashotah House have always been close for it was in Prairieville, as Waukesha was then known, that the three young deacons, who established the Associate Mission which later became Nashotah House, first settled and from which they first carried on their missionary work in the surrounding territory. John Henry Hobart, Jr., arrived in Prairieville in August of 1841, with James Lloyd Breck, Williams Adams, and their Prior, the Rev. Richard Fish Cadle, arriving in September. There were a few church families residing in Prairieville at the time who immediately requested the three to conduct services. Accordingly first services were held in a barn which had been given for the purpose by William A. Barstow, a prominent Wisconsin pioneer and later governor.
The church records state that on April 7, 1844, the Rev. J. L. Breck, by now first president of Nashotah House, called a meeting for the purpose of organizing a parish in Prairieville. The group met the following day, a parish organization was formed, and the name of St. Matthias chosen. A vestry was elected consisting of Caleb Nanscawen, Dr. William M. Chamberlain, Robert Murray, Charles R. Dakin, Samuel H. Barstow, John Nanscawen, William A. Barstow, Robert A. Stewart and Peter Chesley. Two years passed before the little mission felt itself strong enough to call a rector, when in 1846 they called the Rev. S. K. Miller, who came in May and stayed two years. He was followed by the Rev. James Abercrombie of Virginia. Abercrombie solicited funds in Milwaukee and in the East in 1850 and '51, and the congregation drew up plans for a church building and purchased some lots on which to erect it. The cornerstone was laid on June 15, 1851, by Bishop Kemper and the outside walls completed that year. Two more years elapsed before the structure was finished, and first services were conducted by Bishop Kemper in the completed edifice in 1853. The building cost about $10,000 and is constructed of Waukesha limestone.
Within two years the congregation had liquidated its indebtedness on the property, and Bishop Kemper consecrated the church on June 29, 1855. In 1858 the parish abandoned the system of pew rentals, a move far in advance of the times, and one of which the Church can be justly proud. In 1863 an "Organ Society" was organized to raise money for a pipe organ, and in 1865 the new instrument was installed, the first in Waukesha. This organ was one of those pumped by hand, and many a young Waukesha boy in those days earned his first money by working the bellows of this instrument. In the late '80s a fine boys choir was organized, and in 1919, the old organ was replaced by a new electric action instrument, which was further rebuilt and improved in 1930. In 1885, when Samuel H. Barstow, one of the first vestrymen died, he willed $500 to the parish toward the erection of a chapel, which he felt would take care of many services during the winter months. Almost twice that sum was raised by the parish and the chapel was built in 1887, while the Rev. Charles Lemon was rector. In the spring of 1889 a new bell was installed in the tower of the Church as a memorial to Bishop Kemper. The idea of this memorial was originated by Miss Mathilda Elderkin who enlisted the aid of the Sunday School children in raising small sums of money.
During the rectorate of the Rev. Clark L. Attridge, 1918-23, a long needed rectory was purchased. The longest rectorate in the history of the parish was that of the Rev. Thomas R. Harris, 1923-45, some twenty-three years.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
The history of St. Peter's, North Lake, is unique among the missions which lie close to Nashotah House in that it came into being through the efforts of local church people, whereas most of the other nearby churches were started through the efforts of men from the seminary. On August 13, 1866, a meeting was held at the residence of Col. Shears to consider the erection of a church building. A building committee was appointed and $500 subscribed at the meeting. Mr. Nils E. Peterson donated the land on which the church was later erected. "During the following winter the timber for the building and the stone for the basement wall was procured and in the spring the cellar was dug when for prudential reasons work on the building was suspended 'til after the harvest." The contract for the erection of the church was let to Mr. Nils Spillman with the understanding that it would be ready by April 1, 1868. "The house however owing to various delays was not ready for occupation 'til July 19th following, being the 6th Sunday after Trinity, when the Bishop of the Diocese (the Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper) and a large congregation were present for the opening service."
Bishop Kemper provided a lay reader, Mr. D. A. Bonnar, a student at Nashotah House, who held services every other Sunday in a vacant store beginning July 14, 1867. On September 30th of that year, the Rt. Rev. W. E. Armitage laid the cornerstone and on the following Sunday Bishop Kemper visited the Mission and baptized fourteen persons. Beginning October 20, 1867, services were held every other Sunday by the Rev. Erastus Spaulding, later to become the first Dean of a Cathedral in the United States when he became the first Dean of All Saints Cathedral, Milwaukee. Father Spaulding continued in charge for several years with the assistance ofMessrs. Byron Kilbourn, the individual who figures so prominently in the early history of the city of Milwaukee, and H. B. Shears of North Lake as lay readers. Strenuous effort was made to clear the mission of debt despite "the great pecuniary pressure" of the time, and eventually this was accomplished. The property was conveyed to the Trustees of Funds and Properties in the spring of 1870 and consecrated by the Bishop on June 30, 1870. During the following thirty years St. Peter's was served by priests from Sussex, Hartland, and Nashotah House.
In 1899 and 1900 several major improvements were made. The lichgate was placed in front of the church in the fall of 1899 by the Byron H. Kilbourn family, and is one of two in the diocese. Common to churches in England they are comparatively rare in this country. They date from the 6th and 7th centuries of English Church History and get their name from lie, an Old English word for "corpse." Originally, they. were constructed for the purpose of providing shelter for the clergy and pall-bearers at funerals. Under the gate the clergy would meet the body and a portion of the service was read. The gate at North Lake is a splendid example of this type, and adds much to the unusual beauty of the church property there.
At this time the stone wall on the west side (the front) of the property was built. An entry dated August 27, 1900, reads: "The building committee appointed by the Bishop (the Rt. Rev. I. L. Nicholson)—the Reverend L. P. Holmes, Mr. Abbott Thorndike and Mrs. Frank D. Marsh accepted a proposal from Mrs. Harriett McBell to veneer the church in stone, add a tower and enlarge the chancel and vestry-room, she paying all expenses of the same." As a result, St. Peter's became, and still is, the most beautiful small church in the area, and in addition is by all odds the most beautiful mission church in the diocese.
In 1900 an exchange of property was made whereby the half acre burial plot lying some distance south of the church was deeded to Peter Nelson, and he in turn gave the church a half-acre L-shaped piece of land lying north and east of the church building. This with other land surrounding the church was made into a cemetery. "August 27, 1900, Bishop Nicholson with a goodly company of clergy and laity with a most beautiful service of consecration did today set apart the building and cemetery, going over the grounds in procession with hymns and prayers."
Numerous clergy and also students from Nashotah House ministered to the needs of the North Lake community from 1900 to the present day. During this time a marked shift in population occurred. Most of the English families died out or moved away and were replaced by Irish folk. The effect of this was the closing of St. Peter's during most of the 1930's. In 1941 under the leadership of Nashotah House students—particularly Douglas MacLaury and C. R. Johnson—the church was reopened. The pluck and devotion of a small group of church people in North Lake and the growing interest of Episcopalians and friends who have homes on nearby lakes has kept St. Peter's going and we hope and pray that it may grow. Editors note: The recorded history of St. Peter's is preserved in detail up to 1900 and all quotes were taken from this record by the Vicar. The value of such a record for posterity can only be ap- preciated by one who has spent some months searching for the early history of the diocese.
Zion's parish history begins in 1841 when the Rev. Lemuel B. Hull journeyed on foot from Milwaukee once a month to hold services in Oconomowoc. (Dr. Hull also started the first services in Racine in 1839). The first services were held in a little log school house located on a Mr. Foster's land. Mr. Thompson and others brought lumber from the sawmill to provide seats for the few church people at that time. The choir consisted of two members, Miss Rockwell and Mr. Collins. The music was furnished on a melodeon by Miss Mary Carpenter. In 1846 the parish was officially organized and admitted to the diocese and the name Zion, which means fortress, was chosen. The name of Zion Parish was suggested by Mrs. John S. Rockwell in memory of her former parish in Morris, N. Y. On October 27, 1946 Zion Church celebrated its one hundredth anniversary with a day of services and festivities, John S. Rockwell gave the land and was a generous contributor towards building the first Zion church in 1853. It was built during the rectorship of the Rev. Azel D. Cole, who was also President of near-by Nashotah House, he being the second rector of the parish. The Rev. William Adams, one of the founders of Nashotah House, was Zion's first rector from 1844-1849. The first sermon in this old edifice was reached by Bishop Jackson Kemper on Christmas Eve of 1853.
Near Zion Church on the present site of the Masonic Temple and Mrs. Edith Day's home was an Episcopal Seminary for young ladies. Known as Bordulac, also called Lakeside Seminary, and organized in 1855, it flourished until 1885 when it ceased operations and the property was sold. Many of Zion's present members are descendants of students who worshipped in the church while attending school in Bordulac.
The present rectory was built between 1851 and 1855, but was not purchased by the parish until 1884, it having been the private property of the Rev. Lathrop W. Davis, who acted as Rector of the parish twice and also was on the faculty of Bordulac. In 1889 when the original building began to show tructural weaknesses and was judged unsafe, it was razed, and the present handsome stone structure was begun. The cornerstone was laid that same year, and first services held in it on January 12, 1890. In three years all indebtedness on the building had been cleared, and Bishop Isaac L. Nicholson consecrated it on September 16, 1893. The Parish House was erected in 1910.