Finnish Lutheran Church / Jacobsville
Finnish Lutheran Church
In 1886 a group of Finnish immigrants banded together to organize the Jacobsville Finnish Lutheran congregation. Early worship services were held in various locations until 1888, when this simple frame structure was built. In 1890 the congregation helped organize the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church - Suomi Synod. In 1891 the church was placed atop its stone foundation, and in 1892 its tower and bell were added. The well-preserved church, one of the oldest remaining structures in the community, retains its original furnishings, kerosene lamps and wood stove. It has neither electricity nor plumbing. In 1952 the congregation and church property became part of the Gloria Dei Lutheran congregation of Hancock. In the 1980s the church continued to be used for summer vesper services.
The first settler in this area was George Craig, Sr., who arrived in the mid-nineteenth century. However, the unincorporated community of Jacobsville did not spring into being until 1884, when John H. Jacobs of Marquette opened his sandstone quarries in the vicinity. The quarries provided high quality red stone for buildings throughout North America and abroad from 1884 to 1919. During this time, some 800,000 tons of stone were shipped for such projects as the first Waldorf-Astoria in New York. The community, populated mostly by Finns, reached its peak about 1897, when it had eight hundred inhabitants. The Finnish Lutheran congregation, founded in 1886, was a major factor in preserving the Finnish culture and ethnic solidarity that was still present a century later.