Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 46-47 Creator
Smith, Kay, 1925- Institution
Bloomfield Township Public Library Subject
Bloomfield Township (Mich.) -- History Subject
Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) -- History. Item Number
part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith Type
text, image Format
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