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The Four

Old Kirke Museum In Manistee Celebrating Sesquicentennial

“Well the church was started here in 1868,” explained Ken Cooper, the president of Our Savior Historical Society.

Meaning this year it’s celebrating its 150th birthday.

“It’s the oldest church of its kind in the country but the thing is when you sit in that church and you’re sitting in the sanctuary and you sit in one of the pews which are all original, you have a feeling of what it was 1870,1880 when you come interested church and sit down,” Cooper said.

Our Savior Historical Society owns and operates this designated state historic site that’s been around for a century and a half.

“To walk into something like this 150 years and walk into it just like you did 150 years ago,” Cooper said.

The alter was hand carved in Milwaukee and shipped across Lake Michigan way back when.

“This church was built for the fellows that worked in the shingle mills and worked in the woods,” Cooper said.

And he tells us the Danes and the Swedes ran the church.

It is one of the few building to withstand the Manistee fire.

“There’s not much around that’s 150 years in this town,” Cooper said.

With history already dousing the church in every corner, it was turned into a museum in 1970.

150 years down — and at least another 150 to go.

“We want it to be here another 150 years, it’s a testament of the past, really a living memory,” he said.