Susanville Congregational Church

The Congregational Church, 1911.
On June 1, 1873, twelve men formed the Susanville Congregational Church, the town’s second church. Initially, services were held in the Lassen County Courthouse until such time when they could construct their own house of worship.

In October 1875 it was announced that the D.H. Tucker was awarded to construct a church on the corner of Pine and Cottage Streets. The edifice would cost $2,200 with a $500 loan from the American Congregational Union of New York. At the same time the Methodist were constructing their own church two blocks away. An informal race ensued as to who would have the first church completed. It was the belief of some that the first church dedicated would receive the most support, since some were doubtful that the town could support two churches. The Methodist won.

On November 17, 1878 the congregational church was dedicated with the Rev. John Phillips presiding. Not only was there a large attendance, but two children—Beatrice Partridge and Grace Olive Lovell—were baptized.

By 1900 the church had disbanded. In the fall of 1903, the Lassen Advocate noted: The old congregational church on Pine and Cottage Streets is going to ruin. It is an eyesore and something should be done about it.” Three years later, something was started to take care of that problem. It turned out the American Congregational Union sued the Susanville Congregational Church Society for the $500 that it had loaned them to build the church. They won by default and Lucy Spencer purchased the church property for $1,150. In 1914, Lucy’s grandson-in-law, Charlie Emerson, moved the church down the street, next to the Methodist Church, where he converted into a warehouse for his nearby mercantile business. On August 5, 1915, a fire broke out in the converted church that would destroy most of the buildings on that block.

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