Two Buildings, Two Churches, Many Stories

Two Buildings, Two Churches, Many Stories

The building at 803 10th Ave. is quite important to Greeley’s religious history. Currently the home of Saint Patrick’s Presbyterian Church, the site underwent many changes throughout its history that can be traced back to the Union Colony.

Old Park Church was one of the original church sites of the Union Colony and where many of Greeley’s early pioneers worshiped. The first services were held in May 1870 in the then unfinished Union Colony building and by September 15, 1870, Greeley’s First Congregational Church was organized.

Two years later, by October 1872 services were held in an adobe building on 9th Avenue facing Lincoln Park that was known as Park House and was previously a hotel. The name of this building would stick and was referred to as the Park Church.

On July 18, 1880, ground was broken for a new building at 10th Avenue and 8th Street and the building was completed and dedicated on September 17, 1883.

Image 1970_02_0179 shows how the building looked in 1926.

The current building as we see it today that is located at 803 10th Ave., was built for the First Congregational Church from 1906-07, having outgrown the space as it was originally built in 1883. The new structure would envelope the original 1883 structure in such a way that it preserved the building’s original design.

The congregation continued to grow and built a second story addition over the south classroom in 1936 that was designed by T. Robert Wagner, an architect from Denver. In August 1937, the addition was completed as shown in image C1_1970.22.0022.499. The renovations included the installation of a $3,000 pipe organ and the capacity for up to 700 parishioners.

Once again the congregation outgrew the building. In 1955 they decided to build a larger church at 16th Street and 21st Avenue. Their new building was completed and dedicated in 1956 and the organ was relocated to the new building at 2102 10th St. Today the church in this building is known as the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.

In May 1955, the Swedish Covenant Church purchased the building located at 803 10th St., and occupied the building on March 1, 1956. They eventually changed their name to First Covenant Church.

First Covenant Church remained in the building until September 1984, when they closed the church due to low parish enrollment and financial difficulties.

This photo shows what the building looked like after the addition was complete.

In 1986, Foursquare Church purchased the building at 803 10th St., after having leased it in 1985. There’s a cement marker on the east side of the building with the name Fourquare.

In 2003, the City of Greeley Historic Preservation program added the building to the Greeley Historic Register and listed it as the “Old Park Church.”  The building has characteristics of Gothic Revival and Tudor Revival architectural styles, including a parapet with castellation topped by stone caps.

In 2004, Saint Patrick Presbyterian Church purchased the church building and remains at this location today.

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Written by Katalyn Lutkin, senior museum aide, and Kim Overholt, museum marketing

1920 City Improvement Plan

1920 City Improvement Plan

What did City of Greeley residents feel were important issues the city should focus on? Here’s a snapshot of issues from Greeley’s 1920 City Improvement Plan, a 10-year program endorsed by the Greeley Chamber of Commerce. Organize a campaign to do away with rats? Own a streetcar line? What else could there be? Greeley history sure is interesting!

10-Year Program Endorsed by the Greeley Chamber of Commerce
Outlined by H.D. Parker, Committee Chairman

  1. Enlarge sanitary sewer; developing a storm sewer.
  2. Improve Fourteenth avenue preparatory to taking care of flood waters; constructing several small reservoirs; set out trees, making undesirable property into parks.
  3. Organize a company with the idea in view of developing an addition to Greeley; anticipating general improvements; if possible, extending water mains and sewer; grading streets, building sidewalks and curb. See that the electric light line is extended, and possibly streetcar line, with the view of building houses for sale and rent, turning property with a minimum profit.
  4. City ownership of street car line.
  5. City developing own electric power in the mountains, possibly joining with Loveland.
  6. Improve present water plant.
  7. Pave streets, as well as see that all ungraded streets are graded and graveled.
  8. Improve Island Grove park by acquiring the land between Island Grove park and the Colorado & Southern tracks, developing this property, together with Island Grove park, into golf links, and look after the organizing of a golf club, with the idea of building a country club building at Island Grove park.
  9. Build a proper and attractive swimming pool.
  10. Organize a campaign to do away with rats.
  11. Construct appropriate comfort station in Lincoln park at corner of Eighth street and Ninth avenue, and erection of a new band stand.
  12. Build appropriate election booths in each precinct.
  13. Help develop municipal playground on property owned by School District No. 6.
  14. Provide an ordinance for disposing of garbage.
  15. Provide an ordinance for treating tuberculosis, both in meats and dairy products, unless there is an ordinance now on our books. If so, see that it is enforced.
  16. Investigate and secure, if possible, the city’s proportion of county road tax.
  17. Raise city water rates, both in city and along the line into and beyond Greeley.
  18. Make plans for developing to highest efficiency of present school system.
  19. Perfect a system for eliminating all cotton-bearing cottonwood trees.

Submitted by Peggy Ford-Waldo, Greeley Museums Development Coordinator

New Exhibit Features Local Refugee and Immigrant Experiences

FOR RELEASE: A refugee is defined as a person with a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, who is outside the country of their nationality and is unable to return to it. An immigrant is a person who chooses to leave their country of nationality for permanent residence in another county. Both topics are the focus of “One City, One Community,” a new exhibition opening Wednesday, January 10 at the Greeley History Museum, 714 8th Street. The exhibition is part of a collaboration between the City of Greeley Museums and the Immigrant and Refugee Center of Northern Colorado.

Artifacts on loan from refugees and immigrants who resettled to Greeley will be displayed at the museum, along with items from early Union Colony settlers. Visitors will also be able to try the museum’s virtual reality headset to experience a 360-degree view of life as a refugee through the eyes of a 12-year old Syrian named Sidra. The video shows Sidra’s daily life as well as how her family lives in a refugee camp in Jordan.

Additionally, a few Greeley-Evans School District 6 students lent some of their art and local photographer Emily Nelson lent photos to the exhibit.

“Part of the experience is trying to put the visitor in the shoes of a refugee or immigrant,” says Curator of Exhibits Nicole Famiglietti. “It’s also an opportunity for newcomers to share their history and their stories with the community.”

To reach a broader audience, facts and narrative in the exhibit are translated into Spanish as well.

Located in the Greeley History Museum’s west gallery, the exhibit runs through March 3, 2019. The Greeley History Museum’s hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children ages three to 17, and $15 for a group of five.

Current museum exhibits included with admission are “Well Dressed in Weld: Fine and Funky Florals” in the upper mezzanine; “Utopia: Adaption on the Plains” in the main gallery; the Smithsonian’s “H2O Today: A Global Water Story” in the east gallery; and “Curator’s Corner” on the lower level.

For more information about the history museum’s exhibits, visit


For more information, contact:
Nicole Famiglietti, Curator of Exhibits

The Attack on Pearl Harbor: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

The Attack on Pearl Harbor: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

We probably should have timed this post with the anniversary of the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor which was December 7.  But truly, it’s never too late to write about an important topic, or to revisit its importance in American history. And you know that saying, “I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall?” Well, reading through a collection of letters elicits this sentiment. 

Our Assistant Registrar Darcy was reading through a collection of letters and clippings from the Busch family to arrange them chronologically. What’s interesting about the collection is that 5 of 8 siblings served in different military branches. They had 5 sons and 3 daughters and 4 sons and a daughter served our country. One son, 1st Lieutenant Solomon A. Busch, did not return home alive. His brothers Captain William Busch, Lieutenant Rueben Busch, and Yeoman Benjamin Busch, and Second Class Martha Busch were more fortunate.

What is most interesting is that one of the brothers, Private Reuben Busch was stationed in Hawaii just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred. He wasn’t stationed on Oahu or in Pearl Harbor, but he was on a neighboring island. In letters written to his family, he discusses the majestic beauty of Pearl Harbor and his life in Hawaii. In fact, Reuben wrote a letter to his brother Sam and Nadine Busch on December 1, 1941 discussing his Thanksgiving on the island and the fact that he didn’t believe America would go to war with Japan. He tells his family that war was unlikely. The tone of the letter is light and almost carefree for a service member–just days before December 7, 1941–the day that would lead President Franklin S. Roosevelt to call it “a date which will live in infamy” in an address to Congress.

Reuben’s next letter was written on December 26, 1941, and his tone becomes completely different. He dares Japan to try again and there is hostility that can be felt reading his letter. Reuben discusses what it’s like in Hawaii since the Pearl Harbor event and urges his family not to worry. He also discusses censorship, writing his grandfather in German and hoping the letters wouldn’t be confiscated, and being under a blackout during Christmas. The tone, in less than a month, had completely changed.

The collection of letters read by our assistant registrar included those from another Busch brother named Solomon. Solomon wrote to Sam from the start of his military enlistment until his passing. Solomon also wrote to Reuben and back and forth, the brothers wrote about their hopes to see one another as they were both stationed in the Pacific. Ultimately Solomon, who was a paratrooper, was killed in the Philippines during the war.

There’s also letters from another brother, Ben Busch, and their sister Martha who also served in World War II. Together, the letters offer a keen insight into a family’s commitment to their country during the war.

The fact of the matter is this. Often times folks come across items that seem trite, or matter-of-fact. Heck, there were probably hundreds of letters written by individual service members during World War II. It was how people communicated back then. However, unless someone cared enough to preserve and protect them, these types of insights would be lost forever.

As World War II was the most widespread war in history, it’s important to preserve items that come from a local level and hopefully share them with future generations for the purpose of growth and learning.

Written in collaboration with Registrar JoAnna Luth Stull and Assistant Registrar Darcy Wallshein  

2017 Homesteader’s Holiday Scheduled at Centennial Village

2017 Homesteader’s Holiday Scheduled at Centennial Village

FOR RELEASE: ‘Tis the season to tour festively decorated historical homes and enjoy various activities during Homesteader’s Holiday at Centennial Village Museum, Saturday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit with Santa, dip an old-fashioned candle, make holiday crafts, and see historical spinning and weaving demonstrations during the event. There will be food concessions available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the Friends of the Greeley Museums and Selma’s Store will be open. The store features unique gifts, including holiday items, and local and regional history books.

There will also be musical entertainment inside the Weld Centennial Church that includes country guitar and vocals by Ray Delgado from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., pump organ music and carol singing with Dorothy Elder from 1 to 1:45 p.m., and the Rusty 44 bluegrass band from 2 to 4 p.m.

Admission to the event is free with each canned food item donated, made possible in part through the Community Foundation serving Greeley and Weld County’s Making Your Wish 20th Anniversary Community Grant Program. Without a canned food item, admission is $4 per adult, $2 per child or senior. Canned food donations will benefit the Weld Food Bank.

For more information about Homesteader’s Holiday, visit


For more information, contact:
Sarah Lester, Museum Educator