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St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church (St. Johannes Kirche)

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1871, Lampert and Beck. 670 County Rd. S

This church served immigrants from Pomerania, a region in present-day northern Germany and Poland. After King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia consolidated Lutheran and Reform churches into a state church in the early nineteenth century, many conservative Lutherans who opposed the union left Prussia. One dissident group founded this church in 1859. In 1871, the congregation replaced the initial log church with this Gothic Revival expression of religious faith.

Situated in a picturesque valley on the edge of Kettle Moraine State Forest, overlooking the East Branch of the Milwaukee River, the church looks like it was transported from the German countryside, thanks to its split fieldstone walls. Stonemason Florian Lampert laid the stones so that they decrease in size as the walls rise to the top of the truncated gable. Stones in rich hues of deep green, gray, pink, tan, olive, red, and black create a polychromatic mosaic, while buttresses of dressed blue-gray limestone and randomly laid fieldstone angle out from the corners. Brick trims the Gothic-arched windows and doorway. The stained glass in the round window above the door depicts an orb within a triangle, a symbol for God’s all-seeing eye. A small wooden bell tower with a pyramidal roof replaced the original tower, which lightning struck in the 1920s. The original forty-eight-inch copper-alloy bell, hung in 1899, remains intact. Within, the elliptical, pressed-metal ceiling was installed in 1902.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Marsha Weisiger et al.
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Citation

Marsha Weisiger et al., "St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church (St. Johannes Kirche)", [Kewaskum, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WI-01-FD8.

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 237-238.

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