The first and only church building for the Episcopal Church in Montesano was built in 1909, was first used on April 28th, and was dedicated to St. Mark at the urging of Myra K Bishop (mother of Edward K. Bishop, of Aberdeen), who came from St. Mark’s Episcopal church, Evanston, Illinois. On December 1, 1910, a $300 mortgage from the Jane Beaver fund of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Diocese of Olympia, for Lots 13, 14 and 15 in Block 5 in Blackburn’s and Westfall’s first addition to the city of Montesano was obtained. This was requested by Joseph E. Calder and through Edward K. Bishop, Trustee of St. Mark’s church, for a fee of $1. Money was pledged toward the payment of this mortgage: $50 each—Edward K. Bishop, Charles L. Springer, A. E. Graham, Joseph E. Calder, L. R. Moss, and George Everett. On December 14, 1918 the St. Mark’s mortgage was paid off.
The interior of the church was refinished in 1923 at the urging of Mrs. Carrie E. Fosnot, who for many years was the head of St. Mark’s Guild.
In 1927 Joseph Calder inquired about selling 40 ft on the east side of the church property to the Church of God, but was turned down. He also spoke about checking into buying the residence on the Church of God property to be used for a Guild Hall.
In 1930 a new floor was installed in the vestibule, the partition in the vestry room was removed, cupboards were fixed, and one wing of the church was re-shingled.
In 1938 26 squares of shingles were purchased to repair the church, and repairs to the foundation were planned. In 1941 the sanctuary was carpeted for $18, and the building south side shingles were repaired for $30.
In 1942 the Bishop’s Committee applied for a Church Building Fund gift of $2000 to build a parish hall, but was turned down.
In 1943 the first real addition to the church, the original Calder Hall, was built, with about $600 in funds donated from the children’s advent offering of the Diocese of Olympia. The hall was named in honor of Joseph E. Calder, who had served for many years as senior warden at St. Mark’s.
In 1945, the Women’s Auxiliary paid $100 toward staining the church building exterior, and in 1946 work was done on the altar and sacristy areas.
In 1949, new carpeting was installed in the church, and new padding and covering were made for the prayer benches. Also, five feet of the property to the east was given to expand the alley behind the church from 10 to 15ft.
In 1951, the Bishop’s Committee looked at getting a new foundation built for the church and parish hall, and the Women’s Auxiliary gave $50 toward this fund.
In 1954, a large remodel of the entire facility was started following Easter Sunday. Plans for the remodel were the work of Robert Street, an Aberdeen architect, whose grandfather, the Rev. W. F. Greene, was for many years rector of St. Andrew’s, Aberdeen. The plan included doubling the size of Calder Hall to provide space for church school, wedding receptions, dances for young people, meeting of parish organizations, and dinners and other parish functions. There was a second floor over part of the hall, to serve as a room for the smaller children in the church school, and also, later probably as a kindergarten for small children, during the church services. The chancel and sanctuary were also greatly enlarged and improved to give more space around the altar visible from all parts of the church. Choir space was also made larger, and the organ was placed in the choir proper and recessed. A new pulpit was also provided. Provision was made for a more spacious sacristy for storing the various item needed in the services and for the priests’ vestments. Above the center of the church on the roof was built a small tower from which the chime music was sent out. The vicar was provided an office, where he could keep regular office hours and be more available to the congregation. Ed Dahlstrom was the contractor for this remodel.
On June 14, 1957 St. Mark’s purchased a home for use as a vicarage for the Eastern Grays Harbor Mission vicar. This house cost $8,700 and was located at 210 E. Broadway in Montesano (it was later torn down and is now a new building with a dentist office). This house was used by the Revs. Mann and Simms during their service at St. Mark’s. This vicarage was sold in March 1965 and replaced by a new vicarage at 722 W. McBryde in Montesano, at a purchase price of $19,700. This house was used by the Eastern Grays Harbor vicars until its sale in early 1980. The proceeds from the sale of the vicarage ($50,734) were placed in the Diocesan Investment Fund in June 1980 under the Eastern Grays Harbor Mission name. In April 1985, after the mission had split up, the St. Mark’s half of this fund was renamed as the Vicarage Fund for St. Mark’s, Montesano, to be used for future church capital project needs.
In 1966, the heating system of wall radiant heaters was replaced by central forced air dual gas furnaces. In 1971, new laminated kitchen countertops were installed by Ralph Davidson, John Mobray, and Glen Carlson.
In 1974, the parish hall and the church (inside) were repainted, and the floor was repaired.
In 1977, the sacristy was painted, new doors were hung, and new carpeting was installed in the church.
In 1980-81, new counters, cupboards, lighting, and shelves were built in the kitchen, and a new refrigerator was purchased.
In 1986, the parish hall and kitchen were repainted. In 1987, the outside of the church was painted, dark brown.
In 1993, the entire inside of Calder Hall was repainted. Two new cupboards for the kitchen were made and all were refinished. A new cupboard was built upstairs. Cushions were made for the church pews.
In 1994, a new sign was made for the church, paid for by the Stewarts, made with burl wood donated by the McMeekins.
In 1995, a sound system was purchased and installed for the nave and sanctuary.
In 1996, the outside of the church was painted, a lighter pumpkin color. The parking lot in back of the church was improved with new gravel and concrete barriers. A new sidewalk/entry to the rear of Calder Hall was also constructed.
On October 26, 1997 a new bell tower and bell were installed on the roof of the church, given by John & Ginny Tennefoss. The bell had been in their family for many decades.
In 2001 the roof for the entire church facility was replaced.
In 2004 the narthex (church entry) was renovated, with new French style glass entry doors to the nave, new ceiling and walls, heater, and speaker for use as a “crying room” for infants.
In late 2003 it was determined that a second stairway was needed to provide a safer way for the weekly church school children to exit in case of a fire. So, a local architect, Will Foster, was hired to design an addition to Calder Hall that would provide for this exit, and also add 2 new restrooms and more storage for the church. The project was designed, approved in late 2004 and was built from April to October, 2005. At the same time, the rest of Calder Hall, including the Picco room, the office and the sacristy were upgraded, with new windows, paint, and carpeting. The new addition and upgrades were dedicated by the Bishop of Olympia Vincent W. Warner on October 9, 2005. The project cost was about $160,000, paid totally from St. Mark’s funds in the Diocesan Investment Fund built up over many years by the gifts of the people of St. Mark’s and from the sale of the church vicarage in 1980.
In 2006 the parish hall and church sanctuary entry sidewalks were totally redesigned so that the facility is now fully accessible, and the landscaping around the parish hall was updated. This project cost was about $9500, paid from a combination of St. Mark’s funds in the Diocesan Investment Fund, some 2006 operating revenues, and from the Women’s Guild fund.
In November 2007 the old gutters were replaced with new aluminum ones.
In January 2008 several new electrical outlets were installed in the parish hall to allow much more flexibility when having fellowship or other large events like the Annual Pancake Days.
In Spring 2008 a large project to reduce the tremendous heating costs and make the entire building much more comfortable for everyone using it was undertaken. This project included: insulating and sealing the entire building, replacing the 42 year old dual gas furnaces with a 5 ton split Maytag heat pump system, replacing the original windows in the nave with vinyl double pane ones that match those installed in the parish hall in 2005, and replacing the old gas fireplace log in the parish hall with a new gas fireplace insert. This entire project cost was about $38,500, paid from a combination of St. Mark’s funds in the Diocesan Investment Fund, a $10,000 bequest from the estate of Joan Jones, and about $3200 from the last of the Women’s Guild funds consolidated into the operating budget at the end of 2007.
In Summer 2008, the kitchen was painted a light yellow, and the rest of the parish hall and stairway was re-painted a light beige/white to clean up for the years of having the old gas furnace system. Also, all of the church entry doors were painted red.
St. Mark's went through a review/action process for over a year with all of its worship space--the Nave, the Chancel and Sanctuary spaces, to determine changes that will make the space more usable and inviting for our worship experience. Our own the Rev. Bonnie Campbell started leading this effort in September, 2008 as part of her participation in the diocesan-sponsored Resurgent Church program. Bonnie contacted a diocesan known expert on worship--liturgy/space design, the Rev. Janet Campbell, to work with us on this project. The Bishop's Committee in March, 2009 agreed to move ahead with consulting with Rev. Janet Campbell and set up plans to meet with us. We met with Rev. Campbell on June 2, 2009 to begin this process with her. Rev. Campbell worshipped with us on August 16, 2009, and then discussed her ideas about our worship and use of our space for about 1 1/2 hours afterwards. On the weekend on November 7-8, Rev. Campbell revisited us, helped us make the needed changes to the chancel/sanctuary, and then presided and preached at the Sunday worship to try out and explain the changes made. We have complete all of the changes to our worship space as of Lent, 2010. For more details, click here.
On December 113, 2010, in the evening, our church bell structure, steeple and cross blew off the roof, falling onto the neighbor's yard. The roof was also slightly damaged. Church Insurance was contacted, and works with us to devise a repair/rebuild plan with Lupo Construction. On March 16, 2011 this structure was re-placed back on the roof. The rebuild is much more solid than the original and all is cleaned up and freshly painted. Pictures of the new bell structure, steeple and cross are here.