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St. Mary’s Episcopal celebrates 150 years

The Back Porch Band will entertain visitors during the potluck brunch. (Submitted photo)

Parishioners at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Basswood Grove in Denmark Township will celebrate the church’s 150th anniversary Sunday, June 8, beginning with a 10 a.m. worship service in the memorial garden, followed by an all-church photograph and potluck brunch. Everyone is invited to attend.

The Back Porch Band will entertain and Angie Ward, owner of Afton Woods Photography, will take portraits of families or individuals for a small fee.

In 1863-64 during the Civil War, Episcopal Bishop Henry B. Whipple established St. Mary’s in Denmark Township with the Rev. Timothy Wilcoxson as the rector. Rev. Wilcoxson also served as the priest for the parishes in Red Wing, Hastings and St. Paul. Samuel Van Alstine and Guy Perkins built the church, with the cornerstone being laid in the spring of 1864. The Guild Hall was built late in the century and even though it burned down once, it was rebuilt in the early 1920s. It was remodeled in 2011 with running water added for the kitchen and bathrooms. Since it was built, the Guild Hall has been the scene of many dinners, fairs, square dances, wedding receptions, and gatherings of neighbors and friends throughout the community of Denmark Township. For a tour of the church and hall, church is located at 8435 St. Croix Trail S. in Denmark Township. For details, call 651-338-5364 or visit