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Oregon Historic Sites Database

address: NE Arnold Ave historic name:North Palestine Baptist Church
Adair Village, Benton County current/other names:North Palestine Church
assoc addresses:5201 Palestine Ave NW
block/lot/tax lot:
location descr:Near 7300 NE Arnold Avenue twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:10S 4W 22
resource type: height (stories):1.0 total elig resources:1 total inelig resources:1
elig evaluation: eligible/significant NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:c.1882 second date: date indiv listed:09/30/2013
primary orig use: Religious Facility orig use comments:
second orig use:
primary style: Greek Revival prim style comments:
secondary style: Gothic Revival sec style comments:
primary siding: Horizontal Board siding comments:
secondary siding:
plan type: Rectangular Block architect:Design attributed to David Vanderpool, Drury Hodges & Lewis Williamson
builder:
comments/notes:
Moved from original location Spring 2012; Previously associated with Palestine Baptist Cemetery on Palestine Ave.
Survey/Grouping Included In: Type of Grouping Date Listed Date Compiled
   Benton County RLS Survey 2009 Survey & Inventory Project 2009
NR date listed: 09/30/2013
ILS survey date:
RLS survey date: 09/30/2009
106 Project(s): None
Special Assess Project(s): None
Federal Tax Project(s): None
(Includes expanded description of the building/property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings and alterations)
The 1883 North Palestine Baptist Church fronts east on a slightly sloping lot at the intersection of NE Arnold Avenue and NE Birch Lane in the community of Adair Village, Benton County, Oregon. (Figures 1-3) The 1,145-square-foot, wood-framed building was moved from its original location on Palestine Avenue NW, about three miles to the east, to its current site in 2010. (Figure 4) Today it is surrounded by an open expanse of grass with small groupings of oak trees to the north and south. The Church is a rural, vernacular example of the Gothic Revival, with characteristic features including the vertical emphasis, steeply-pitched gable roof, and four-over-four wood-sash windows. It also displays some subtle elements of the so-called Greek Revival (more commonly identified in Oregon as “Classical Revival”), primarily around the front entrance. There is a small non-contributing storage shed/utility building to the southeast of the church, at the southeastern corner of the nominated area. The building has been moved and therefore its integrity of location and setting has been somewhat compromised. In the area of association, the Church retains a fair degree of integrity as it is continuing its use as a community gathering point, although it no longer serves exclusively as a religious facility. It retains a high degree of integrity of materials, workmanship, design, and feeling, all of which allow the building to clearly convey its period of construction and its historic function.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
Written by Mary Weber & Kathy Schutt in 3/30/1985: The North Palestine Baptist Church is probably the oldest extant church building in Benton County. The building, with its intact location, setting, design, materials, and workmanship, is the only church building in Benton County with architectural elements from the Classical Revival style of architecture, albeit blended with the Gothic Revival style of architecture. The North Palestine Church is probably one of only two church buildings built in the northeastern portion of the county during the 19th Century. The other church, since, demolished, was at Wells. The North Palestine Church was organized in 1856 as a division of the Corvallis Baptist church. A committee recommended that the church be divided geographically with those north of the drawn line attending the Palestine Church. The church purchased the District schoolhouse (Drum, later Gingles) for a meeting house. In Feb. 1882, the matter of building a church was taken into consideration at a Sabbath meeting. the location decided upon was the former location of the schoolhouse at or near the corner of Tolbert Carter's farm. Members of the building committee were David Vanderpool, Lewis Williamson and Drury Hodges. Presumably, the church was built in the months that followed. The North Palestine Baptist Church was active until the end of World War II. At this time the property was deeded to the Palestine Cemetery Association giving them the authority to make needed building improvements. Today the church and grounds are used by various community groups such as the Willing Workers Club and the Boy Scouts. Reunions of old-timers from the Palestine area have been held annually in the grove next to the church. The North Palestine Baptist Church meets National Register under Criterion C in the area of Architecture as a locally rare and virtually intact example of a late-nineteenth century rural church building with both Classical Revival and Gothic Revival elements. The building is locally significant as one of the two oldest known extant church buildings in Benton County and “the only church building in Benton County with architectural elements from the Classical Revival style of architecture, albeit blended with the Gothic Revival...” Although a simple design, the church’s central entrance with pediment and paneled surrounds show clear reflection of classical antecedents, and its tall, four-over-four windows and steeply-pitched gable roof refer to the spare Gothic Revival tradition so often used on mid- to late-nineteenth century rural church buildings. According to church records, the North Palestine Baptist congregation had the building constructed sometime between April 1882 and March 1884, nearly twenty years after the 1856 division of the Corvallis Baptist church created the North Palestine Church. The building also meets Criteria Consideration A as a (former) religious institution, and Criteria Consideration B, as it has been relocated from its original location several miles distant. Locally significant under National Register Criterion C in the area of Architecture, the North Palestine Baptist Church is a virtually intact and interesting ecclesiastical example of what might be described as a hybrid style, effectively blending characteristics of the Gothic Revival and Classical Revival in a very modest building. The mixing and blending of architectural styles was not uncommon in Oregon, particularly in rural settings. Constructed in or around 1883, the date of the building’s construction falls squarely within the period typically occupied by the Gothic Revival, but the Classical Revival makes a clear statement on the building. Early church architecture in Oregon was simple. “The earliest churches built in the Oregon Territory were almost void of architectural pretentions; simple halls of box or frame construction, they had neither porches, narthex or bell tower. ...The basic geometry and proportions of all the churches of the 1850s are classic, as is the modest detailing....” Although the North Palestine Church was built a generation after the earliest church buildings appeared in Oregon, its construction method, detailing and overall character is not unlike its predecessors, and one might mistake it for a building of twenty years earlier.
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Bibliography:
Minutes of the North Palestine Church Meetings, Manuscript on file Benton County Historical Museum, Philomath, Oregon, 1856-1945. Wallis, Ed, Personal Communication, 1985. Benton County Museum. North Palestine Baptist Church minutes, 1856-1884, Museum file “Palestine Church,” 982-02-MS1. Brackney, William H. Historical Dictionary of the Baptists. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1999. Clark, Rosalind. Oregon Style: Architecture from 1840 to the 1950s. Portland, Oregon: Professional Book Center, Inc., 1983. Fagan, David D. History of Benton County… Published by David D. Fagan, Portland, Oregon: A.G. Walling, Printer, Lithographer, Etc., 1885. Genealogical Forum of Oregon. Genealogical Material in Oregon Donation Land Claims. Portland, Oregon: Genealogical Forum of Oregon, 1957. Hartwig, Paul. “West Union Baptist Church,” National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. Washington D.C.: National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, 1973. Huntington, Wallace Kay. “Victorian Architecture” and “Late Nineteenth Century Churches,” in Space Style and Structure: Building in Northwest America. Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society, 1974. Mattoon, Charles Hiram. Baptist Annals of Oregon, 1844-1900, Volume 1. McMinnville, Oregon: Telephone Register Publishing, Co., 1905. ----------. Baptist Annals of Oregon, 1844-1900, Volume 2. McMinnville, Oregon: Telephone Register Publishing, Co., 1913. McArthur, Lewis A. and Lewis L. McArthur. “Wells,” in Oregon Geographic Names, Seventh Edition. Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press, 2003. Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. Oregon Historic Sites Database, http://heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/. Accessed December 2012 and January 2013. Phinney, Mark. “WPA Historical Records Survey, Benton Co., Oregon. Interviews.” Accessed December 2012 via Ancestry.com at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~orbenton/WPAdocs.html. ----------. “WPA Historical Records Survey, Benton Co., Oregon. CHURCHES.” Accessed December 2012 via Ancestry.com at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~orbenton/wpa/ChurchesNew.doc. Republican State Central Committee. Republican League Register: A Record of the Republican Party in the State of Oregon. Portland, Oregon: The Register Publishing Company, 1896. Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collection. Accessed October 2012. United States General Land Office. Survey maps, T10S R4W, 1852 and 1860. Weber, Mary. “North Palestine Church,” Benton County Cultural Resources Survey II. Corvallis, Oregon: Benton County Development, 1985. Willing Workers files, held by Willing Workers President Peggy Hoecker. Zybach, Bob. Velma Carter Rawie: A History of the Carter Family and the Town of Wells, Benton County, Oregon, 1845-1941, Oral History Interviews. Corvallis, Oregon: OSU Research Forests, Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #10, 1994