En­dur­ing, evolv­ing

St. Hu­bert’s in Kirtland Hills has moved — more than once in more than a century — and boasts a re­cent makeover

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Life - By Janet Podolak jpodolak@news-her­ald.com @JPodolakat­work on Twit­ter

At­ten­tion to de­tail has been a hall­mark of the months-long ren­o­va­tion at the 125-year-old St. Hu­bert’s Epis­co­pal Church in Kirtland Hills.

The old wooden pews, for in­stance, were raised up and inch-and-a-half with ex­tra inches added be­tween them.

“Peo­ple are taller now than they used to be, and this makes it more com­fort­able,” said Denise Miller, min­istry co­or­di­na­tor.

Orig­i­nally es­tab­lished in 1893 as the Church of the Trans­fig­u­ra­tion and built on top of Lit­tle Moun­tain, as its con­gre­ga­tion moved so did the church. It’s also been along the shore of Lake Erie and be­side the Cha­grin River, where it is to­day on Bald­win Road in Kirtland Hills. Each time it was moved it was dis­as­sem­bled, its pieces num­bered and moved be­fore be­ing re­assem­bled.

Fam­i­lies with deep Lake County roots and names such as Gale, Bolton, Hitch­cock, Bald­win and Garfield at­tended that church, and many of their de­scen­dants still do.

The most re­cent change for St. Hu­bert’s Epis­co­pal Church dou­bled its size with­out com­pro­mis­ing the char­ac­ter of the river­side build­ing in a set­ting so pretty it could be a Christ­mas card. That ren­o­va­tion, which is near­ing com­ple­tion, de­buted a few weeks ago in an open house for the com­mu­nity.

A church his­tory was com­piled to show its jour­neys and the peo­ple crit­i­cal to its place in Lake County.

Be­gun in 1893, the orig­i­nal church was de­signed by Wil­bur Hall and built by Wil­liam Reynolds to serve the sum­mer com­mu­nity on top of Lit­tle Moun­tain. Stained-glass win­dows, im­ported from Mu­nich, Ger­many, were given by con­gre­ga­tion mem­bers.

Ho­tels and cot­tages on the cool moun­tain­top were the sum­mer­time des­ti­na­tion for fam­i­lies of wealthy Cleve­landers es­cap­ing the smoky city dur­ing the warm-weather months, said Kathie Pur­mal, op­er­a­tions man­ager for the Lake County His­tory Cen­ter.

They would take the in­terur­ban rail­road from Cleve­land, get off at what is now Men­tor Av­enue and Lit­tle Moun­tain Road and be met by a horse-drawn car­riage to take them a few miles to the top of Lit­tle Moun­tain. There en­tire Cleve­land fam­i­lies would

set­tle in for the sum­mer. Men who needed to work in the city could re­turn there in just a few hours.

Soon they be­gan to buy land and es­tab­lish farms in the Kirtland coun­try­side and the ap­peal of a cot­tage on Lit­tle Moun­tain was di­min­ished, Pur­mal said.

After a fire lev­eled one of the Lit­tle Moun­tain ho­tels, peo­ple no longer were com­ing to the area. The lit­tle church stood va­cant, even in the sum­mer, so the found­ing Epis­co­pal bishop, the Right Rev. Wil­liam A. Leonard, de­cided in 1916 to move it to Sal­ida Beach in what is now Men­tor-on-the-Lake. That was a sum­mer recre­ational fa­cil­ity owned by Cleve­land’s Trin­ity Cathe­dral, ac­cord­ing to the church his­tory.

But it, too, was aban­doned in 1925, so the church was moved again. To do that, it was taken apart piece by piece, with each board num­bered so it could be re­assem­bled.

The church was moved to Bald­win Road on a de­light­ful spot on a curve of the East Branch of the Cha­grin River. Ar­chi­tect Ed­ward G. Reed de­signed the pan­el­ing on the walls, the steeple, en­trance porch, sac­risty, al­tar, rob­ing room and sanc­tu­ary rails. Leonard re-ded­i­cated the church in 1929 as St. Hu­bert’s Chapel, in honor of the pa­tron saint of hun­ters.

Stained-glass win­dows from the orig­i­nal glass­works in Mu­nich were added to the back of the chapel.

Although it had a new name, St. Hu­bert’s re­mained a sum­mer chapel, Church in Wil­loughby were in charge.

By 1971, many church go­ers had be­come full­time res­i­dents of the area and wanted a year-round church. The Rev. James John­ston re­signed from Grace and be­came the full­time priest for St. Hu­bert’s.

The church was last ren­o­vated in 1998 to add six pews in the sanc­tu­ary, en­large the rec­tor’s of­fice and the Sun­day School room, add a re­cep­tion room, busi­ness of­fice, small kitchen, and sac­risty and build a lovely river­side ter­race.

Rec­tor since 2001 has been the Rev. Daniel Holt Schoon­maker, af­fec­tion­ately known as Dan to the parish­ioners, which now num­ber 150 fam­i­lies.

The most re­cent cap­i­tal cam­paign raised enough to dou­ble the phys­i­cal size of the church. The ex­pan­sion, which be­gan in June, was planned by ar­chi­tect T. Michael Tom­sik and con­structed by Ny­man Con­struc­tion Co. SWB Land­scap­ing is now putting fin­ish­ing touches on the grounds, and a new or­gan is ex­pected to ar­rive any day.

The con­gre­ga­tion re­cently hosted an open house to show off its new spa­ces, which in­clude of­fices, a servery (kitchen) and the ex­pan­sion of other ar­eas, as well as a new roof and floor­ing. Win­dows, across the en­tire rear of the build­ing, over­look a pa­tio and seem to make the river a part of the church.

Orig­i­nally es­tab­lished in 1893 as the Church of the Trans­fig­u­ra­tion and built on top of Lit­tle Moun­tain, as its con­gre­ga­tion moved so did the church. It’s also been along the shore of Lake Erie and be­side the Cha­grin River, where it is to­day on Bald­win Road in Kirtland Hills. Each time it was moved it was dis­as­sem­bled, its pieces num­bered and moved be­fore be­ing re­assem­bled.

JANET PODOLAK — THE NEWS-HER­ALD

A hand-em­broi­dered pil­low long used at the com­mu­nion rail is shown off by Denise Miller, min­istry co­or­di­na­tor at St. Hu­bert’s Epis­co­pal Church in Kirtland Hills.

JANET PODOLAK — THE NEWS-HER­ALD

Many of the stained-glass win­dows at St. Hu­bert’s carry the names of con­gre­gants who do­nated them.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.