149-year-old ‘historic piece’ from Pine Island is on sale for $199,900

January 15 – PINE ISLAND – The blue doors of the Good News Evangelical Free Church are open for a new venture on Pine Island.

The doors first opened at Christmas 1874 with the Christian celebration of communion and the first church service in February 1875. As the first church structure built in town, “it is in very good condition for the era,” said real estate agent Karl Rogers of Dwell Realty Group. From Grace Episcopal Church in its first 119 years to Good News Evangelical Free Church now, the structure is on sale for $199,900.

“At just over 3,000 square feet, there’s plenty of space to utilize for a wide range of potential future uses,” Rogers said of the property at 208 Main Street. “It will be interesting to see what the next owner does with it.”

One of those options could be a “really, really interesting” house, Rogers said, with the addition of a shower. The lower level bathroom also connects to the kitchen, library and office. Rogers said the property is zoned R2, which is used for multi-family units and churches and can extend to residential properties as well. The property cannot be zoned commercial.

So far, the interested parties are considering a daycare, a community center for young people and, yes, a residence. Rogers said his idea was an Airbnb based on a converted chapel he stayed in in England.

“I’ve been in real estate for 10 years, I’ve never listed a church. It’s cool, and it’s an honor and a pleasure to help the group through the process,” Rogers said.

The neighborhood church is across the road from the Pine Island Cheese Factory and adjacent to Pine Island United Methodist Church. With exterior steps on the building, Good News pastor Eric Johnson said they needed to move the buildings to “make (it) easier” and “more enjoyable” for the congregation.

Johnson said the building with more than 20 years of their memories will remain “lovingly”. The congregation will also miss their stops for donuts and coffee at the Kwik Trip across the street.

“The vaulted ceiling of the main sanctuary was a bit of that old style… Episcopalian type building,” Johnson said. “It was a very beautiful, reverent building and so it will be missed.”

The upper level shares the open sanctuary, which can accommodate approximately 80 people. Vaulted ceilings feature wooden beams, which encompass doors and arched windows throughout the space. While the original stained glass added “more character,” Rogers said, the windows were shared with family members of Grace Episcopal Church.

Grace Episcopal Church was a “small congregation”. While Pine Island’s first episcopal service was held in January 1861, the structure was built in 1874 for $2,800, according to the book “Pine Island Settlement and Growth 1854-1915” by Patricia Mapel.

In ‘the heyday of rural Minnesota Episcopal churches’ until 1880, structures showcased people’s ‘frontier carpentry skills’, according to one

Minnesota Historical Society magazine article

by Joan R. Gundersen. Churches were often built following

by architect Richard Upjohn

style “rural gothic church”.

“While reflecting the latest trends in Eastern architecture and the lofty position of the church, the buildings were plain, with little ornamentation except for the vertical lines of the plank and batten exterior, windows and arched doorways and a simple three-story tower,” the article states.

Early Episcopal church structures were also built in Rochester, Mantorville, Owatonna, Red Wing, and Cannon Falls.

Renovation projects for the church over the years ranged from adding the basement, parish hall and social hall, to foundation work, altar cladding, flooring and balustrade, according to the Pine Island Area Historical Society.

A 1941 “face lift” United Community Volunteers at Pine Island with 1,500 hours on various projects. The belfry of Saint-André de Mazeppa “took two days and twenty men to raise it above the old entrance”, according to the Historical Society. Rogers said the church is a “solid structure,” featuring a new roof and vinyl siding.

Grace Episcopal Church services ended on April 21, 1993. Good News began holding services in the building between 1996 and 1998.

While planning renovations at their new location, Johnson said he was excited to have them move about a quarter mile north and see who would own the “historic piece” of Pine Island.

“We are grateful for our current building and location since we have been there. And our attitude has been that if the Lord did not open more doors…we would be happy to serve in the same place. he had us (there),” Johnson said. “We look forward to the fact that this new location, this new building will give us the opportunity … (to be) more visible in the community and to be able to hopefully do more in and around the city for different ministries. .”

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