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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Norwegian Lutheran Church Complex
Reference Number 13000478
State Michigan
County Alpena
Town Long Rapids Township
Street Address 10430 South Leer Road
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 7/9/2013
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE, ART, ETHNIC HERITAGE/European
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The Norwegian Lutheran Church Complex is nominated under Criterion A under Ethnic Heritage for its importance as the central focal point of a Norwegian settlement at what became Leer in rural Long Rapids Township, Alpena County. The Norwegian settlement at Leer began in 1878, the Lutheran church established in 1882, and the present church site obtained in 1883. The present Norwegian Lutheran Church, the only building the congregation has had, dates from 1899. Descendants of the area's Norwegian Lutheran pioneers still comprise a substantial part of Leer residents. The Norwegian Lutheran Church is also nominated under Criterion C for its significance as a vernacular representation of the typical tower-fronted gable-roof masonry churches of Gothic Revival design constructed by German and Scandinavian Lutheran congregations in the later nineteenth century across ichigan, the Midwest, and beyond. The church is also significant for containing an altar painting by turn-of-the-century Norwegian-American artist, Sarah Kirkeberg Raugland, one of several artists well known to Norwegian-American congregations throughout the Upper Midwest for her religious art. Raugland was one of the most productive Norwegian-American painters of the late nineteen and early twentieth century, producing between 200 and 300 works. Working in a field and time dominated by male artists, Raugland was also one of the few professional female Norwegian-American painters creating works for Norwegian Lutheran congregations at a time of rapid expansion.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria