The women of the Guild of St. Catherine raised the money to purchase the land for St. Ambrose church. Appropriately, when the congregation decided to replace the original frame structure with a stone edifice, guild president Adele Deane turned the first shovelful of earth. The handsome fieldstone church, by a Chicago architect, is in fifteenth-century English Gothic style. Gothic Revival architecture found favor with Episcopalians in Wisconsin, where Bishop David Jackson Kemper and James DeKoven gained a large following in the mid-nineteenth century for their adherence to the Oxford Movement. That movement sought to revive the Anglican and Episcopal church by returning to certain pre-Reformation doctrines and rituals. A massive square tower with a crenellated belfry anchors the corner of the rock-faced granite church. The nave’s gabled roof extends almost to the ground, which makes the building appear to hug the earth. The church’s low profile, blocky tower, and heavy buttresses supporting the walls give an impression of mass to this small church. Spare yet graceful wooden ornament unifies the handsome interior. A Gothic arch defines the choir. Its king post depicting the crucifixion and flanked by images of Mary and Joseph is especially striking.
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St. Ambrose Episcopal Church
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