>> Sunday, January 12, 2020 – meet the family
Open Door Congregational Church "The original Settlers' Church"- Deer Park, Washington
My Great-Grandfather, William Hodges Short, Sr., was an original settler of Deer Park, Washington. He and his family built and ran a boarding house and worked in the timber industry. He also donated the land for the town church and personally selected the wood in the sanctuary. This picture of him hangs in the church office. He donated the land for the cemetery too.
The church fronted Railway Ave- and the train tracks, and the name 'Open Door' reflected the policy of leaving the doors unlocked so people "riding the rails" could take shelter.
Sometimes Idaho feels so far from my upbringing in New England, but visiting the church, the town my family was so invested in, and the spirit of love, faith, community, and really, community in the widest sense possible- that made me realize that I am not as far from "home" as I might be feeling.
In 1909 the original structure was deemed too small and the changes were made. The original founders were involved in the expansion. The church as remained as it since then.
The sanctuary is heavily trimmed in Larch which was personally selected by my great-grandfather. A church brochure says, "One will look in vain for a knot or a pitch-pocket and will be struck by the craftsmanship required to install the trim."
The pews were hand-built as were the communion table and the platform chairs