History of Little Church debated | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

History of Little Church debated


    What started as a quick quip in Read All About It about the date of construction on the Little Church, the Drumheller landmark and attraction, has taken on a life of its own.

    The Drumheller Mail’s August 11 edition, tried to clear up some questions on when the Church was built. It stated that contrary to some claims it was completed in 1968, it was actually built in 1958, as the brainchild of Reverend E.C. O’Brien, and constructed by Tygve (Tig) Seland, the same man that built the dozens of dinosaurs spread throughout the community.
    Dorothy Bergos provided The Mail some more information, as she was the first general manager of the Drumheller Chamber of Commerce, which took on the responsibility to maintain the Church. She said inmates at the Drumheller Institution rebuilt the Church in 1984.
    “In about l984, Dale Gavel of the Drumheller Institution was president of the Chamber and arranged, unknown to the public, to have the Church completely re-built. The old Church was demolished in the night and the new one set up and no one was ever the wiser…until now,” she said in an e-mail.
    Since this tidbit of information was published in the August 25 edition of The Mail, the paper has heard more recollections on the history of the Church.
    Garry Nargang said Peter Boldt rebuilt the Little Church in 1980. From his recollections, he explained Boldt died before it was completed and his sons finished the project. He remembers that the Drumheller Co-op donated the paint, and either the Navy League or Sea Cadets played a role in painting the tiny, but well-known structure.   
    The Mail welcomes other recollections or musings about the origins and history of the Church. The one thing that remains true is that every year, visitors from all over duck through the door, take a seat on the pews and snap a photo of the little Church that could.
    Postscript: According to the website www.Bigthings.ca the sign at the church says the Church was built in 1968, and “was reconstructed by inmates of the Drumheller Institution in 1991.”

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