Jacobsville Finnish Lutheran Church, photo submitted 1977
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Jacobsville Finnish Lutheran Church
West of Jacobsville, Jacobsville vicinity - Houghton County
Property Type church
Historic Use RELIGION/religious facility
Current Use RELIGION/religious facility
Style Other
Architect/Builder Leander Sinko
Narrative Description The Jacobsville Finnish Lutheran Church is a simple rectangular plan one-story, three-bay, frame structure facing north and featuring a projecting square, belltower that contains the main entrance. Wooden siding covers the walls and the gable roof, which includes a flat box cornice and returns, is topped by cedar shingles. The building sits on a stone foundation that was replaced in 1891. Interior decoration is simple with many original elements.
Statement of Significance Built by Leander Sinko in 1888, the Jacobsville Finnish Lutheran Church represents a long tradition of Finnish Lutheran culture in northern Michigan. The church was the first and most important structure in Jacobsville. The church is also significant for its simple and elegant design. Kerosene lamps light the interior and the building is heated with the original wood stove. Outhouses are located at one end of the building and no other modernizations have been made. Local carpenters did, however, reinforce the foundation and replace the roof with new cedar shingles in 1975. In 1952 the church was deeded to the Gloria Dei Finnish Lutheran congregation in Hancock, which has maintained the building and uses it to hold summer vesper services.
Marker Name Finnish Lutheran Church / Jacobsville
Marker Text FINNISH LUTHERAN CHURCH In 1886 a group of Finnish immigrants banded together to organize the Jacobsville Finnish Lutheran congregation. Early worship services were held in various locations until 1888, when this simple frame structure was built. In 1890 the congregation helped organize the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church-Suomi Synod. In 1891 the church was placed atop its stone foundation, and in 1892 its tower and bell were added. The well-preserved church, one of the oldest remaining structures in the community, retains its original furnishings, kerosene lamps and wood stove. It has neither electricity nor plumbing. In 1952 the congregation and church property became part of the Gloria Dei Lutheran congregation of Hancock. In the 1980s the church continued to be used for summer vesper services. JACOBSVILLE The first settler in this area was George Craig, Sr., who arrived in the mid-nineteenth century. However, the unincorporated community of Jacobsville did not spring into being until 1884, when John H. Jacobs of Marquette opened his sandstone quarries in the vicinity. The quarries provided high quality red stone for buildings throughout North America and abroad from 1884 to 1919. During this time, some 800,000 tons of stone were shipped for such projects as the first Waldorf-Astoria in New York. The community, populated mostly by Finns, reached its peak about 1897, when it had eight hundred inhabitants. The Finnish Lutheran congregation, founded in 1886, was a major factor in preserving the Finnish culture and ethnic solidarity that was still present a century later.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1888, 1952
Registry Type(s) 09/23/1987 Marker erected
10/08/1976 National Register listed
06/06/1977 State Register listed
Site ID# P23283