the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 46-47
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Bloomfield Township (Mich.) -- History

Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) -- History.

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part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

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THE KIRK IN THE HILLS Tocqueville's inquiries into the religious practices of our pioneer families were made in 1831, the very year the first Presbyterian church was chartered on the shores of Wing Lake, to be followed by Dr. Ezra Parke's Methodist meetings and Deacon Elijah Fish's Presbyterian meetings on the Saginaw Trail. It's entirely fitting that the aspirations of the first group of settlers, though their denominations differed, should today be expressed in a structure at once the best example of man's efforts to reach toward the Almighty in the building of a cathederal, and yet, in its vaulted ceilings and flying buttresses, a recreation of .'the arches of the forest" the pioneer spoke of. This edifice is the Kirk in the Hills. The Kirk, one of the largest Presbyterian churches in Michigan, is built on land donated by Colonel Edwin S. George. The 30-acre site was the Colonel's own estate, "Cedarholme," and the house is incorporated into the overall building. The Gothic structure, designed by architect Wirt C. Rowland, is a recreation of Scotland's Melrose Abbey, a masterpiece built in 1136 and destroyed in 1570. The Scottish abbey sent the Kirk a stone from the ruins which is embedded in the wall of the Lady Chapel and is marked 1246 A.D. The Presbytery dedicated the church in 1947, the first service was held in 1952, but before the complex was completed, a million dollar fire in 1957 set construction back for more than a year. During that period services were held in Bloomfield Hills' Andover High School. Returning to Tocqueville's memoir, it's interesting to note that in the ultra-modern St. Regis Church, in Bloomfield, the tabernacle, lectern and pulpit are reproductions of cut-off tree trunks, an echo of our first settlers forest cathedral.

Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 46-47 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 46-47 part 2

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