If you fell in love with the adorable little white chapel on Mainstreet the first time you came to Parker you aren’t alone. This structure has been here for 100 years this month and continues to be a bedrock of the historic downtown district.
You are invited to come and celebrate with the Parker Historical Society on March 18, 2013, from 10 a.m. – Noon.
There will be historic tours, classic treats, an art show and carriage rides.
Mark your calendar to take advantage of this fun and educational experience.
The very early settlers in the Pine Grove / Parker area had little opportunity for religious services. Most of the time religious services were held in the home and occasionally a circuit rider, an itinerant preacher of the Protestant faith would come to the area and gather their flocks at a local schoolhouse for a service. Evidence of such an event was published in the Castle Rock Record Journal of October 31, 1888. “In response to our small pleading in last weeks issue of this Journal, l there were religious services held in the Parker School House Sunday afternoon last week. We understand they are to continue one Sunday of each month. Let the good work go on.” Periodic services were also held from time to time in the Hill Top and Allison School Houses. The two earliest circuit riders were John L. Dyer and a Mr. McClure.
Services began being held on a regular basis when in 1909 the Reverend Shay and family moved to the area and began holding weekly Sunday services at the Allison School House. About the same time, a Reverend Varner and family purchased a ranch in the area. He ultimately became involved in church activities. The Reverend Varner officiated at the funeral of James S. Parker. As the population in the area was increasing steadily, in 1911, talk of a regular church building began being proposed. By February of 1912 action committees were formed for the building of a church. Trustees for the new church were to be as follows; Dr. Walter L. Heath, Walter M. Lewis, Neil M. Duncan, J. H. Bassell, Edward W. Hoskins, and F. B. Hood.
A site made up of land donations by George Parker and R. Walter L. Heath was acquired. Work was begun in late February of 1912. In March of that year, Dr. Heath passed away suddenly.
The Name Ruth Memorial was chosen for the new church in honor of a child of Dr. Heaths who died at an early age.
The first gathering held in the new church was held on June 14th, 1912. Dedication of the new facility was held May 25th, 1913.
This building has been placed on the national register of historic places as well as land-marked by the Town of Parker. This web page material updated in January 2009 by Larry T. Smith.
Parker Historical Society www.parkerhistory.org