Hebron and Lutsen Evangelical Lutheran Church

The Swedish Lutheran Church, known as the Hebron Lutheran, was organized and dedicated August 1925. Built by Ed Nunsted, the very simple building stood on the northeast corner of 3rd St and 4th Ave West. in Grand Marais. The church offered services in both English and Swedish, Swedish language classes were also offered. The congregation was small, the larger Norwegian Lutheran Church, Bethlehem, only streets away.

By 1938 the Swedish Lutheran Synod withdrew from Cook County ending all financial assistance to Hebron Lutheran. The two Lutheran Churches were merged. The Lutsen Evangelical Lutheran Church had been formed in 1907 when pastor Carl G. Eidnes, pastor of the Grand Marais parish, conducted services in the upstairs room of a store building owned by C.A.A. Nelson. The women’s group “The Willing Workers of the Central Sewing Society” was organized at the same time and raised money to build a small church on the Isak Hanson property. The cost for materials was $128.02. Additional monies raised went to form the Lutsen Cemetery Association. The organization was then disbanded.

In 1938 the Hebron Lutheran Building in Grand Marais became available and was purchased from the Swedish Augustana Synod and moved to Lutsen. It was placed on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Holst Hansen. Four pastors served this small church, Pastors O. Pederson, J.L. Moilien, A.L. Edmonds, and Rolf Hanson. In 1953 the parish separated from Grand Marais and combined with Tofte. There were then two parishes in Cook County, the other being Hovland and Grand Marais.

A new church was planned in 1957, and the old building was moved again, west to an adjacent lot. The present Lutheran Church held it’s first services June 7, 1959. The old building continued to serve the Lutsen Community for a number of years. During the building of Taconite Harbor it was used as the school gymnasium. Eventually it was no longer useful and torn down by Russell Ross.

Our thanks to Mrs. Josephine Matthisen for preserving the history of the Lutsen Church, to others such as Herb Hedstrom, Ruby Lind who took Swedish classes, Lee Creech who began the interest in the history, Gerry Loh, Gary McQuatters, and Jim Hall who shared their experiences with the building.

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