Sunday, August 26, 2012

St. Joseph's Catholic Church
313 North Chelan Avenue

St. Joseph's Catholic Church
Waterville, Washington

The Town of Waterville, a sunny oasis in North Central Washington State, lies on US Highway 2 about half way between Everett (north of Seattle) and Spokane.   The community is located in wheat country along the Ice Age Floods geological trail.  This small town has a population of 1,138 and 300 days of sunshine.

"Waterville was founded in 1885 and platted in 1886. The town was incorporated under the Territorial Charter in 1889 but after Washington gained statehood the town was officially incorporated on May 12, 1890.
"Since its founding in 1889, Waterville, along with the designation of being the seat of Douglas County, boasts a rich history filled with farming, recreation destinations, and diverse economic trends." (Link 1.)
"Fire wiped out many of the early wood frame commercial structures in Waterville.  The commercial street was moved one block as new buildings sprang up, this time of fire resistive masonry construction...     Today, the one hundred year old Waterville commercial district is listed on the National Register of Historic places..." (Link 2.)

In the center of the downtown area and  just past the 1903 Waterville Historic Hotel,  US Highway 2 turns the corner from East Poplar Street to North Chelan Avenue.  In 1916  St. Joseph's Catholic Church was built on the north east side of this corner. 

This beautiful and distinctive church was built in the Romanesque style by designers Bell and Haskens.  Concrete, brick, and metal were the materials used to build and accent the design.  The color red highlights the entrance doors, the square steeple arches, the outline of the front facade window, and the cross above the front door.  Cream colored brick trims the exterior with icicles hanging from the eaves, cross hatching on the steeple, and surrounding the front facade window.  An "empty cross"  tops the steeple and a "Celtic cross" tops the center of the front peaked roof.

Sanctuary with ceiling beams

Sanctuary with Stations of the Cross plaques
on side walls

In the interior or the church there is the sanctuary with a balcony and down a narrow curved stairway a functional social area basement.  The ceiling of the sanctuary is criss crossed by dark heavy beams.  On the center of the back wall of the the tall arched altar area is a statue of Christ.  Statues of Mary and Joseph flank the arch.  Plaques of the Stations of the Cross line the side walls.

Stations of the Cross Plaque

On the back wall of the narrow balcony is the round window that is seen on the exterior front wall of the church.  In front of the window are the decorative organ screen and organ pipes.

Balcony Organ Screen and Pipes

Painting of the Church

In the church entrance hall hangs a painting of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Waterville, Washington.  It is a portrait featuring the details of the steeple, the side wall  of the church, and its 1916 setting. (See above.)

Thank you: To Reverend Gary Norman, Church Administrator, for information regarding the church.
Photos: Exterior taken in September 2001 by SW.
           Interior taken in June 2012 by SW.

No comments:

Post a Comment