Tag Archives: Religion

Westwood’s People’s Church

People's Church
People’s Church, circa 1919.

In the spring of 1917, Fletcher Walker brought up the topic that Westwood was in need of a house of worship with his father, T.B. and wrote: “We have come to a time when it seems inadvisable to put off further the building of a working church. The Sunday school had 255 last Sunday and the condition of the school in one of the old cook houses is such that the congestion prevents efficient work.” Continue reading Westwood’s People’s Church

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

LDS Church
The Church was located on the corner of Main and North McDow.

In 1911, two missionaries, Elders Harry Janson and L.R. Halverson arrived in Susanville, though it appears their stay was brief. It was not until 1922, that the members of this church organized in Susanville. The initial families included those of Frederick Johnson, W.K. Davis, William Mortimer, Afton White, James C. White, John Heath and Peter F. Olsen.

Initial services were held in member’s homes. By 1924, their numbers had grown and they the hall in the Knoch Building for $2.50 a week. From there they moved to the Orpheum Theater and later to the OddFellows Hall.

On November 13, 1927, discussions were held to build a chapel. The site chosen was the northeast corner of Main and McDow Streets. On November 10, 1929, the church was dedicated by Heber J. Grant, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Thirty years later the members had outgrown the church. They selected a new site on Richmond Road. On November 5, 1961, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the $300,000 chapel.

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St. Mary’s Chapel

Constantia Church
St. Mary’s Chapel as it appeared in 1971. Courtesy of Robert Williams

Five miles south of Doyle is a place known as Constantia, though not much remains today. In 1896, Henry Butters purchased the ranch and gave the place its name of Constantia. Butters transformed the place into a small village and next to his home had a small Catholic church built—St. Mary’s Chapel.

As a child, Roberta Turritin Weaver lived at Constantia from 1913 to 1923 and recalled: “The church was beautiful with stained glass windows and the pews were made from the oak trees in back of the ranch. As long as were in the big house Father Horgan came out several times a year. We were all very fond of him. My twin sister, Catherine, and I considered him a good sport since he put up with all our didedos.”

By the mid-1920s services were discontinued and the church abandoned. In 1994, the Doyle Historical Society moved the church to Doyle and restored the building.

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Easter Sunday

Methodist Church, 1905
Susanville’s Methodist Church, 1905

It being Easter Sunday, I thought it would only be appropriate to provide some of the history of religion in our region. The Methodist Church had a profound influence on the Honey Lake Valley. In 1860, this church held their first service in Susanville. By 1905, there were Methodist Churches in Janesville, Johnstonville, Standish and, of course, Susanville, more than any other denomination.  Continue reading Easter Sunday