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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rural Services grant used to maintain historical church in Mammoth Spring

Thursday, June 16, 2005

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The city of Mammoth Spring received a grant this spring from the Arkansas Department of Rural Services to re-roof the historic St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.

Mammoth Spring Mayor Jean Pace said the grant is for $3,250 and covered half of the total cost of the project. West Plains Roofing did the work on the building.

Pace said the building had not received the attention it has needed since the early 1980s when a new roof was put on the building with leftover centennial funds.

"The building is very unique. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986," the mayor said.

The church was built in 1888. It is simple in design but it possess the characteristics of an ecclesiastical Gothic building. Pace said the building is modest in design, scale and materials.

"St Andrew's possesses vertical board and batten siding, a steep gable roof and pointed arch windows, all of which are fundamental features of the Gothic Revival.

St. Andrew's was admitted into the Diocese April 14, 1888, the same year the services began on June 10. Rev. R.S. James of Dardenelle, Ark., was hired as the congregation's priest.

Pace said sometime around 1920 St. Andrew's was moved one block south from Sixth and Cochran Street to Sixth and Main Street. The building faced north until it was moved and now faces south on Main Street.

"Besides the addition of a basement when it was moved, the building has not undergone any architectural changes and its integrity is intact," the mayor said.

Pace said St. Andrew's ceased to function as a church during the early 1940s. "It was purchased by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in 1949 to be used for meetings and other VFW activities. The Mammoth Spring Jaycees purchased the structure in 1977 and donated it to the city in 1984," Pace said.

A committee of representatives from civic/service clubs make up a committee in charge of any restoration done to the building. Pace has served as chairman of that committee since 1984.

Several organizations have used the building over the years, including the Mammoth Spring First Baptist Church which used the building for vacation Bible school.

"This building is truly one of our treasures. It has the original church pews still in the building. We have had architectural students from the University of Arkansas visit the building as well as students from ASU at Jonesboro," the mayor said.

She said it is an honor to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. "This is our nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation," Pace said.

The National Register of Historic Places was authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The National Register of Historic Places is part of the national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic and archaeological resources.

Besides St. Andrew's, Fulton County has five other sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are: Camp Methodist Church; County Line School and Lodge; Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railroad Depot; T.H. Morris House; and Saddle Store.



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