From the mid-1840s until 1890, Wisconsin was a major destination for Dutch immigrants and a stronghold of Dutch Calvinist Protestantism. Among the state’s earliest Dutch settlements was the area that became Cedar Grove, where settlers arrived in 1847. Seven years later, they founded the Eerste Gereformeerde Kerk. In 1905, the congregation built this picturesque clapboard-and-shingle church. The focal point is a square tower with a pyramidal steeple. Gabled dormers, filled with wheel windows and louvers, project from the steeple’s second stage, which is clad with wooden shingles. But it is the skillful incorporation of homelike elements that gives this church its charm. The variety of gabled roofs, the rows of small square windows, and the prominent knee braces all evoke the domestic Arts and Crafts movement, as does the ribbon of stained glass windows framed by a shallow pointed arch that lights the sanctuary. More traditional Gothic Revival references include pointed windows at the vestibules and arched entrances with heavy plank doors.
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First Reformed Church (Eerste Gereformeerde Kerk)
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