Let’s Make a Deal

The church building is simple but interesting. It was built soon after it was practicle to build with brick, the floor had an intentional slope from the entrance to the pulpit, making the back rows sit a little higher than the front.  8 beautiful 7′ high stained glass windows adorned the sanctuary. The windows were in fairly good shape, one needing attention soon as the lead was failing causing the window to buckle.  It still had most of the pews intact, save for 2 which had been removed from the front, likely for legroom. It had a large tower out front but we were cautioned not to go up as someone had already fallen.

Behind the platform, was a 6 sided room forming what Dreamgirl describes as 1/2 an octagon. Do we call this room an asp, vestibule, choir room? I’m going to have to learn church terminology. At the front of the platform was a large old wooden pulpit. Inside the pulpit was a wooden collection plate lined with felt. Left behind in one of the 2 siderooms was a stuffed Winney the Pooh and Eeyore. Dreamgirl took that as a sign that we should buy the church because our newly married daughter loves Winney the Pooh.  There was no graveyard attached to the property, and the church had a crawlspace for a basement. I only crawled 1/3 the way into it on that first day. It contained old pew ends, some stained glass, and was lined with sawmill ends to keep things dry. The church sits high on a hill overlooking a small river which can be viewed from the front, side and back of the church in the spring.

The property measures 1/4 acre, which I was told, means a very expensive Biofilter septic system would have to be installed. We would also require a well. I inspected the 2 hole privy (You can sit beside your honey while…) wondering how bad the run to it would be in January.

If we were going to put in an offer, I wanted an inspection done. I was buying a building that was older than anyone living and I knew there would be problems but I did not want to buy just a pile of bricks. Our real estate agent knew of a fellow who was well known, respected and feared by real estate agents.  He had great knowledge of historic buildings and had converted a few churches too.  He would tell me the good, the bad and the ugly.

We put in our offer, a few days later it was signed back with the pulpit and 2 chairs excluded. We reached an agreement. That is when I declared, half filled with fear: Honey, we bought a church.




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