A Short History of the Church at the Heritage Center
The Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church was built in 1891 in the "South End of Superior" and was donated to the Heritage Center by Maxine Thompson. It was relocated the first time in 1898 to a lot just a few blocks down the road from its original site. Services were held in both the German and English language in the early days as the prosperous industrial center of Superior had a large German immigrant population.
A few years before the Great Depression many of the factories in the area had already closed their doors. With families leaving the area in search of jobs, the Church membership dwindled. Each of the pastors, after that time, shared their ministry with Christ Lutheran Church whose membership had also fallen off. More research is needed but it is thought that the Church closed it doors in the 1970's.
The property was eventually purchased by the Thompsons for their family business, Thompson Rentals. Not wanting the building to fall to ruin, the Thompsons carefully boarded up the stained glass windows and watched for signs of serious deterioration while looking for a way to preserve this wonderful structure. Fore more than 15 years the New Richmond Preservation Society had been looking for a small church to add to the growing collection at the Heritage Center. It was important that this church be small in scale and of a typical style and denomination for the New Richmond area.
Jim Gretz, of our Board of Directors, happened to see the church while driving through the Superior area. Maxine Thompson and the New Richmond Preservation Society Board came to an agreement that more than pleased everyone involved. Maxine would donate the building and the Church would be moved to the Heritage Center for restoration and preservation.
---Amy Kavaloski-Lansing, New Richmond Heritage Center