First Methodist Episcopal Church of Chester

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510 Monroe Avenue,Chester 59522,Havre Area

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Historical Markers/Interpretive SignHistoric SitesMuseums
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Location: At Liberty County Museum

The first two decades of the twentieth century saw railroad promotion and homestead settling along Montana’s Hi-Line. Chester was one of the first communities to spring up along the new Great Northern Railway Line in the 1890s. The town incorporated in 1910 and the local newspaper noted, ‘...a progressive city like Chester is not taking the right course by neglecting the building of churches." At that time church services were held in several locations including the Grand Bar and Hotel. The community unanimously decided a proper church was an immediate necessity. The congregation of the First Episcopal Methodist Church bought the land and construction began in June of 1911. Furnished with items donated in memory of lost family and friends, the first service was held the following November 5. Because the church was built with community labor, it was fitting that the fruits be shared with Catholics, Lutherans, and Presbyterians who helped in the construction. Sundays were divided so that each congregation could use the church for services until each had its own place of worship. In the summer of 1946, the church was turned to face the east and a cry room and office added. Services were held until 1968 and in 1970, the Liberty County Museum Association purchased the building for one dollar. Students of Chester’s graduating high school class of 1997 researched and prepared the nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in conjunction with the Montana Heritage Project.

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