Origins & History

The historical marker in front of the church reads:

“OLDEST ORGANIZED CHURCH IN LAKE COUNTY – Ivanhoe Congregational Church was founded February 20, 1838, when sixteen persons met in the log cabin home of Alfred Payne. Church services were held in the log cabins of pioneers in Mechanics Grove and in school houses until December 1856 when the present building was dedicated. The educational addition was built in 1957 and workers discovered handhewn timbers used in the original construction.”

Those are the few, unadorned facts as they appear in county and state archives. The next few pages attempt to put flesh and blood on those bare historical bones. They have been compiled from church records that are incomplete and occasionally contradictory, as well as a number of published national and state histories. While this small history deals with the courage and tenacity of past parishioners, it is actually dedicated to those yet to come. They are faced with the difficult task of taking this remarkable heritage and improving upon it.

G.W. Heiring 1976

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