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Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of features profiling collections at the Tell City Historical Society Museum.
The heart and soul of many communities is seated in their churches. Tell City is no exception. Aside from the numerous publications and formal papers located in the Tell City Historical Society’s museum files describing Tell City’s worship history, an entire section is dedicated to artifacts pertaining to early religious practices of Tell City’s settlers.
Here the visitor will find early hymnals, parish dishes, religious garments, printed histories, commemorative items, photos of early churches both interior and exterior, photos of pastors, photos of groups, as well as items used in worship services throughout the years.
Though some of the worship communities have dwindled and some have prospered, two of the oldest continue to serve Tell City today. St. Paul Catholic Church became the first church community in Tell City, being established in 1859, only one year after the city’s founding. Among the many items on display in the church section are the hands of the city clock, which was once located on the South tower of St. Paul’s second church building.
This twin-towered edifice dominated Tell City’s skyline from 1877 until 1953.
In January 1866, the forefathers of what we know today as the Evangelical United Church of Christ organized Die Evangelische Kirche. This, Tell City’s second religious community, and its first Protestant one, grew so rapidly that their first brick Church, located on the site of today’s religious campus soon became too small. It was replaced in 1907 with the current sanctuary. The Tell City Historical Society is fortunate to have photos depicting the evolution of this facility.
Following rapidly, many other churches took root in the hearts and souls of Tell City’s early settlers. By the centennial year of 1958, there were 11 churches in Tell City. Today, more than 14 active religious communities serve Tell City. The importance of worship to Tell City’s early settlers comes to life when viewing this engaging display in the Historical Society’s Museum. The museum is open Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m. and most Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free.
Membership is $10 for adults and $5 for those under 18 years of age.
For more information call 547-8903.