Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

On the road in Wisconsin: Duo country churches near Shennington October 20, 2013

NUMEROUS TIMES I’VE PHOTOGRAPHED these side-by-side country churches along Wisconsin State Highway 21 just west of Shennington:

Photographed while driving by in the winter of 2010.

Photographed while driving by in the winter of 2010.

Photographed while traveling by in the spring of 2011.

Photographed while traveling by in the spring of 2011.

Another shot of the two churches taken in spring 2011.

Another shot of the two churches taken in spring 2011.

Several months later, in December 2011, I snapped this image.

Several months later, in December 2011, I snapped this image.

My most recent photo, shot on Sunday afternoon, October 13, 2013.

My most recent photo, shot on Sunday afternoon, October 13, 2013.

Beautiful, aren’t they? St. John’s and St. Peter’s Lutheran. German and Danish.

Not once have I stopped to investigate why two houses of worship, seemingly from the same time period, are separated only by a cement parking lot.

I should stop, shouldn’t I?

For now, though, I must rely on information published on Waymarking.com. Because that info is copyrighted, you’ll need to click here to read what I learned.

Every place has a story.

If you know anything about these two churches, please submit a comment so that we can all learn more. I’m certain there are stories to be told.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


24 Responses to “On the road in Wisconsin: Duo country churches near Shennington”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Those are beautiful! What a neat story they must share!!!!

  2. Jackie Says:

    Beautiful buildings, love love love the steeples!

  3. Beautiful! The black and white one makes it look like a vintage photo!

  4. Ralph Wilkinson Says:

    St. Peter’s Danish Lutheran Church, was built in the late 1800’s on land donated Mr. Fred M. Shenning as was St John’s German Lutheran Church and a one room school house, which is why these were built side by side. The school was torn down many years ago although I did attend that school until it was closed in the early 1960’s. I was a member of St Peter’s from 1953 through 1988 and can tell you that it is a wonderful little church. The German Lutheran church was closed in the 1980’s and the property was then given to St. Peter’s which is still an active church. This is the second location of St Peter’s which originally sat about 1 mile straight south (as a crow flies) at the current location of the cemetary. The church shares it’s minister with St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Camp Douglas located about 8 miles away.

  5. Ralph Wilkinson Says:

    St Peter’s is kept locked now, but when driving past if you see a car just stop and see if it’s open. The church is beautiful, but my favorite part is the altar which has a painting of Jesus lifting Peter from the water. One interesting fact, the painting cost more than the church when it was built. The stained glass windows are also spectacular, I can still remember their vivid colors.

  6. Sartenada Says:

    Wow, what a post. I love it. I never have seen two churches side by side. In one church in Finland, I have seen two pulpits side by side, but churches no. It is interesting that You have photographed them during many years. If You do not know what is so called picture church, then You are welcome to visit my newest post.

    Happy weekend!

  7. Pat Says:

    You will be amazed the next time you drive by. We are currently in the middle of a large building renovation adding a front to St. Peter’s and are currently holding services in St. John’s. Next summer we will be celebrating our 125th year in St. Peter’s. All are welcome to join us on any given Sunday. Check out our website or Facebook Page St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Shennington WI

  8. James Olesen Says:

    My uncle, Dewey Alvin Olesen, told us that his Father, Nels Olesen, was one of the men who built St. Peter’s. When my family attended a service around 1999, when Alviin turned 100, the minister announced Alvin’s presence and said that judging by Alvin’s longevity and the church’s good condition, Nels must have been a very good builder.

  9. Christy Litkea Johnson Says:

    A ground-breaking ceremony took place at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in the Spring of 2015. New renovations included handicapped accessible bathrooms on the main level, an elevator chair lift and a much needed additional “narthex” area. During the summer construction process, we were ever so fortunate to set up St. John’s Church and worship right next door until St. Peter’s was completed on November 22nd, 2015. So the next time y’all drive by you will find St. Peter’s (the church on the right, as you’re looking at it from the road) will not look the same. Beautiful, loving church, with a beautiful loving church family.

  10. Dolores Marusarz Says:

    My son and I drive by these churches every day as he takes me to radiation therapy in Tomah, WI from Juneau County. We always mention the two sibling churches and wonder about their stories. Thanks to your postings, now we know! Thank you all.

    • Dolores, you are welcome. Those sibling churches are so beautiful. I don’t see them anymore, not since our daughter and her husband moved from Appleton to Madison several years ago. How kind of your son to drive you to radiation therapy. I’m sorry you’re on this journey and pray for your healing.

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