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Oak Lawn Church State Historic Site

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At the junction of Highway 5 and Highway 32 in Pembina County, a peaceful cemetery rests in a grove of trees. Beside it, a fieldstone marker describes the log Presbyterian church that once stood near the cemetery, the Oak Lawn Church State Historic Site.

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The Reverend Ransom Waite, Presbyterian minister from Mankato, Minnesota, settled in Beaulieu Township in 1883 to serve the surrounding communities. Two years later, the local congregation built a log church. Although the building lacked a floor when the first services were held, Waite and the trustees were soon able to secure a $300 loan from the Home Missions Board to install a permanent roof and floor. Planks served as seats until chairs and a pulpit were purchased a short time later.

To expand the use of the church, the congregation passed a resolution to allow any Protestant denomination to worship in the building, and as a result, Baptists and Methodists also held services there. Sometime prior to 1910, services were discontinued, but the local community continued to maintain the building and cemetery. The property was deeded to the State Historical Society of North Dakota on November 18, 1933. A grass fire destroyed the church on November 6, 1954.

SHSND Address:
612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
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SHSND Hours:
Museum Store: 8am - 5pm M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10am - 5pm.
State Archives: 8am - 4:30pm., M-F, except state holidays, and 2nd Sat. of each month, 10am - 4:30 pm.
State Historical Society offices: 8am - 5pm M-F, except state holidays.

Contact SHSND:
phone: 701.328.2666