Submitted by: Amy Cimarolli
Colorful, detailed, and inspiring stained glass windows collect and disperse light at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Davis. In May, the will host two different events. During weekend nights, the building will be lit from the inside for those outside on the sidewalk to appreciate the beautiful artwork and messages of the windows. Then, on Saturday May 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., window watchers will have an opportunity for an even closer look at the windows with a personal guided tour inside the building. Artists and craftspeople will be displaying and selling in the church yard on May 29 as well.
The Church seeks help researching the story behind its stained glass windows’ maker, being in the midst of fundraising to shore-up the building’s failing stone foundation to protect this historic wooden structure and its special features
I have come to some conclusions myself about the designer/craftsman. I believe he was married to a woman knowledgeable about wild foods who enlisted his company when venturing out to gather berries in the wilds at the edge of town. At her side collecting he observed the bright colors of blueberries and blue gentians in the sun, red cranberries on creeping vines in the bogs, the marsh hawk’s silhouette as it hunted nearby. Because I see these elements of our local high elevation nature in St. John’s stained glass windows’ colors and shapes, I truly believe he was an outdoorsman who knew the land.
The custom stained glass was installed in the church building during its construction in 1893-94. Several families are listed as sponsors for window installation. The Stained Glass Association of America advises to examine the window set for a signature, and that it may take binoculars or a looking glass. Even finding that mark may not lead to the designer/craftsman, because the custom was to sign with the studio’s name. Identifying the studios supplying windows to West Virginia in the 1890’s would be another avenue, along with further searching local records. As the Church works to protect these artworks, learning more about the designer and maker is a goal, all part of our campaign to save this grand old church. Visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/stjohnsdavis/) to learn more about this and everything that’s happening at St. John’s.