As Congregational United Church of Christ in Buena Vista, CO celebrates their 140th anniversary, church members are sharing fond memories of the church’s history. One such memory is shared by Mary Kelly;
“In 1952-53 the church trustees had worked out finances to build a new church. Jake Foreman donated most of the land. It is the location on Crossman Avenue. As the plan was drawn up they asked the women of Missionary what they wanted for a kitchen.
At a meeting at the Harlan Huffs, the building committee suggested a solid unit of a small stove, a sink with a small refrigerator under it. The Missionary women did not generally accept this. So the women sent a committee to ask for a room (enclosed) and this was accepted. After all, most of the men’s committee was our own husbands!
So, we had a room, no cabinets, no plumbing except the pipes, no tiling or paint, and very little money. A kitchen stove was donated (it had a temperamental oven), Louise Steel gave a refrigerator, the Norton Gwynns gave a double commercial sink or tub (like two washtubs).
The old Princeton Hotel had been torn down the previous winter (1951) and they had boxed up the dishes, glassware, silverware, and cooking utensils and gave them to the Don Smiths at the State Fish Hatchery in Chalk Creek. Vivian Smith immediately donated them to the Missionary. Meanwhile, some tables and wood chairs were brought in but we still had no cabinets. But we were in business.
Our first big meal was to serve a group of Congregational conference members at a church supper. The concrete floor was laid out about fifteen feet on the West and the rest was the packed earth floor with studs across for the concrete. The men hurriedly made tables (that is a story in itself). We had no money for table decorations so we collected a lot of newspapers and with pinking shears made oval placemats. We folded and pressed newspapers to make boat containers and then took the funny papers and wire and made flowers. So each table had a bouquet of flowers. Even with the variety of dishes some chipped and several different kinds of silver and glasses we received many compliments and some of the Denver women were going to use our ideas.”