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Little Denmark Evangelical Lutheran Church

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1877–1879, Nels Christensen, Carl Jensen, Christian J. Nielsen, and Matias Bossen, builders; 1958 parish house and narthex. 1031 S. Johnson Rd., 1.8 miles north of Gowen

Many Danish immigrants settled in Gowen in the late 1850s. Originally from Soby, Denmark, most were attracted to Michigan by reports from friends of good wages, an abundance of jobs, and cheap land. Danish-born local men, Christensen, Jensen, Nielsen, and Bossen built a clapboarded church with a steeply pitched gable roof and round-headed windows. Early interior fittings, including the white oak Gothic-styled altarpiece, with its painting Ascension of Christ (1909) by Christian Rydahl of nearby Sidney, remain intact. Pressed-metal wall paneling, fabricated by the Berger Manufacturing Company of Canton, Ohio, and installed in 1905, also remains in place. The narthex and parish house were added in 1958.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert



Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Little Denmark Evangelical Lutheran Church", [Gowen, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 372-372.

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