Church members and Stained glass

From the Black Hills Pioneer: January 26, 2023

Members of Christ Church Episcopal in Lead recently met with representatives from the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission to acknowledge the Outside of Deadwood grants that have helped pay for key restorations in the church.

Since 2003, the church has received more than $63,000 in Outside of Deadwood grant funding to restore windows and an organ for the historical church that was built in the late 1800s. Most recently, a $5,000 grant was used to restore a stained glass window that had begun to shift. The money was used to transport the window to Iowa, where artist Mark Bogenreif fixed the window and transported it back to Lead.

Special features in the window include colored Austrian glass medallions, that were created by melting two different colors of glass together. Bogenreif told members of the church that the method of creating the medallions is rare and irreplaceable, said church member Trudy Regan.

“These are the original windows,” said Bob Thrall, historian for the church. “A long time ago it cost $700 to put them all in. There are tiny medallions that are unusual, and they come from Austria.”

In addition to restoring the window, the church has also received grants to restore an original pipe organ that was shipped to the church in the early 1900s. Bob Thrall, historian for the church, said historical rumor has it that when the organ arrived, it was much larger than what was originally ordered. But the cost of returning it would have been too high, and so the church was allowed to keep the larger purchase at no extra charge.

Deadwood Historic Preservation Officer Kevin Kuchenbecker said other Outside of Deadwood grants to the church have also been used to restore the other stained glass windows. It’s a good use of historic preservation funds, he said.

“Obviously Lead and Deadwood are sister cities, and so there is a strong Deadwood connection,” he said. “This is a beautiful historic building. We’ve done a lot of stained glass over the years in different religious buildings across the state. It’s a competitive program.”

Kuchenbecker said so far for 2023, Deadwood Historic Preservation has 11 applicants for Outside of Deadwood grants. There is $100,000 available that will be given in two different installments of $50,000 each. Successful applicants can receive up to $10,000 for their historical projects.