Historic Structures

Building Description St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Carson City Nevada

In July 1867, the Vestrymen announced their intention to build a church. By October 27, I867 the building was shingled and sided. By November 3, the steeple had been raised and topped with the cross. The first service was not held until August 9S 1868, and the church was not consecrated until June 1870.

The 1867 portion of the building was constructed by the Corbett Brothers, and cost $5,500.00. The original building included the tower and the major portion of the sanctuary. The church as it then stood was 46' x 27'. It was described several years later as "very plain but substantial."

In October 1873, work was begun to enlarge the church. This work was completed by April 1874. An account of the changes appears in the July 1874 issue of The Nevada Pulpit,' a monthly magazine published by the rector of St. Peter's during that year:

"The edifice was enlarged twenty-four feet, making the auditory seventy feet. Two wings of the same height as the main part, were added for Lecture and Sunday-school room, being together fifty-eight feet by twenty-one.

"The auditory contains fifty-nine pews, arranged in three rows with two aisles.

"The gallery in the east end was extended six feet and is entered by stairs from the vestibule in the tower.

"Across the west end is a canopy of three elliptical arches supported by four square fluted columns surmounted by Corinthian capitals.

"The two center columns, resting on the platform raised three steps from the main floor, and the two half columns in the rear, one on each side of an elegantly designed triplet stained glass window, form the chancel.

"On either side of the chancel there is a passage leading into the school-room over each of which is one of the other remaining arches of the canopy. In front over the chancel arch "within an elliptical figure, are the words in gilt letters shaded with "black, 'The Lord is in His holy temple.' The chancel is enclosed with a rail on three sides." (This rail, of wood, has since been replaced by a metal one.) The stained glass windows in the sanctuary were installed during this remodelling.

The Sunday School room was so arranged that, by opening the doors on either side of the chancel and raising the sash in the chancel window, it could he used as an extension of the church proper. The two areas combined could hold some five hundred persons.

The 1873-74 remodelling was done under the supervision of Mr. John G. Parker. Assisting him were "several excellent machanics, viz: Messrs Davis, Garbett, Lamb, Lynch, McQuarry, Osborne and Sturr," (the stained glass window above the balcony was donated by these men to the church). Mr. John Meighan was the mason for the work. The exterior painting was done by "Messrs. Hood and Bros.," and the interior was done by John S. Dickson, assisted by Charles G. Hood.

In March l889s a platform was built in the Sunday School room, and 1895 gas fixtures were installed, the gift of Mrs. H.M. Yerington. In May 1895, a fence was constructed around the property. In 1891, at a cost of $500, the south transept was arranged to house a pipe organ. The organ, costing $1,900, was built by Mr. T.W. Walley of Oakland, California. In 1911 the church was enlarged to include a guild room, kitchen, toilet, and study. The cost of this was $1,000; paid for by a legacy of $500 from the Yerington estate, with an equal sum donated by Mrs. Yerington.

In 1919 electric lights replaced the gas fixtures. In 1924, it was realized that the church, and especially the roof, were in bad repair. Due to financial difficulties the parish was not able to begin work until the next year. By then water had leaked into the pipe organ, and had ruined several feet of the plaster cornice. The exterior of the church was painted, and the interior repaired, including replacement of the damaged plaster. The pews were reset to allow for more kneeling space.

In 1943, repair work was again undertaken. New exterior siding was placed on the west, south, and east sides, and on the tower. The south half of the roof was reshingled, as was the west roof of the parish house. At this time the exterior color was changed from the original yellow drab with dark drab trim to an overall off-white.

In 1950 the stained glass windows were repaired.

In 1957 the interior of the Parish Hall was redecorated, a new floor laid there, and gas wall-heaters installed. In the fall of 1958, at the cost of $1,350, a new oil furnace was installed in the narthex, and floor registers installed in the sanctuary.

Under the pastorate of the Rev. A.P. Daughters (1959-1962), the interior of the church was remodeled. New flooring was laid in the chancel and nave and covered with carpeting. The altar rail was moved forward to enlarge the chancel. The ceiling, walls and woodwork were repainted by Mr. Frans Benson and the lettering over the sanctuary arches was repainted by Mr. Mike Wagner. Also at this time, the old pipe organ was removed and an electric organ installed. A sacristy was made from the space occupied by the old organ.

In April 1962, the foundations were repaired. Redwood timbers (8" x 8") were laid under the flooring and walls, and the exterior of the entire building painted.

In 1965, an explosion in a building across Telegraph Street blew out the stained glass windows in the north wall of the nave. These were replaced by extremely well executed copies of the originals, using the windows in the south wall as models. The most recent alterations include installation of a double swinging door between the vestibule and the nave. Formerly, there were two small doors to the left and right of the space occupied by the present double door, leading directly into the two aisles. A new stained glass window has been installed in the window opening in the tower above the front door, and a sanctuary lamp installed over the altar as a memorial.