Scenic USA - Washington

Elbe Kirche (Historic Elbe Church)

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Elbe Kirche (Historic Elbe Church) - Elbe, Washington

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Inset photos by Neal Rogers

     The Elbe Lutheran congregation began gathering in 1893, with town and church Farrand-Votey bellows organ - Elbe Church, WA founded by settlers from Germany. For the first 13 years, services were held in member's homes and the town hall.
     Pictured here is the Elbe Evangelische Lutherische Kirche, built in 1906. The building's footprint measures 18x24 feet, set off with a 46 foot high steeple and topped with a 4 foot iron cross that was forged by a local smithy. Elbe Kirche, accommodating up to 43 people, is one of the smallest churches in the nation. The church is well preserved, retaining its original altar, as well as one of the hand-carved pews. Interior - Elbe Church, WA The Farrand & Votey bellows organ still offers musical interludes for worship and wedding services. Following tradition, offerings are taken in a small red-velvet Hand-carved church pew - Elbe Church, WA bag called a Klingelbeutel.
     Elbe Kirche’s bishop, who conducts services every third Sunday of the month, arrives in a traditional manner riding a bicycle. Today Elbe Kirche is managed as a historic structure, but still holds monthly services from March until November. Here in this beautiful setting, the bright white church is nicely accentuated by a threatening Washington sky. Nearby the east entrance to Mount Rainier, this popular wedding site also offers a unique honeymoon opportunity in the national park.

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