Stained glass window restoration project

The Langdon Presbyterian Church is in the process of refurbishing 12 of the church’s stained glass windows.


Posted on 6/28/14

By Dee Entzi

The church, originally built in 1906, has a total of 18 windows that were all installed when the structure was first built. Two of the windows have already been restored and re-installed. River Rat Stained Glass Studio out of Manvel, and Thorvilson Construction out of Gilby, who have worked together on similar projects for over 20 years, are estimating that the project will be complete in one and a half to two and a half years, depending on the church’s fundraising progress. River Rat SGS currently has four more windows in their studio that they are working on. Removing and restoring the windows is a very delicate and time consuming project due to the age and design of each window.

“Removing very old stained glass windows offers plenty of opportunities for surprises. We don’t like surprises. So, each window is examined carefully before we even think about touching it, “ commented Gerald Medenwald of River Rat SGS.

The experienced crew goes through a long and crucial check list to find any possible problem that need to be corrected before starting the removal of each window. It can take up to six crew members to remove a single window. Once the windows are removed, the window pattern is copied and each glass piece and pattern piece are numbered.  The windows are then taken apart piece by piece to be examined for repair or replacement, and then cleaned. Stained glass windows in this area usually last approximately 100 years or until the putty, lead, solder, and reinforcement start to deteriorate. Once refurbished, the windows should last for another 100 years. The decision to restore the windows was made by the church board after being informed that the windows were starting to wear. A small savings account was set aside specifically for this project and along with a pledge from the church board, they were able to produce half of the anticipated cost. They are hoping that through the support of the church and the community they will be able to raise the rest of the amount needed to finish the project. Each window was donated by individuals and organizations of the church, Azro B. Darling; Charles and Alice Hunter; Mrs. McMillan and her class of boys; the Perseverance Club, in memory of Rev. John Scott; The Ladies Guild, in memory of Jonathan Osmond, who built the first Presbyterian Church in 1888; The Little Mothers, in memory of Walter Wilson; in memory of William McKnight by his children; and in memory of Paul Gardner given by Robert Work, Alexander Vierhus, Earl McGruer, and William Scott. Because of the sentimental significance these windows hold for the church, they are excited to see this project through to the end.

Pastor Sue Mackey stated, “ There is a strong commitment to restoring these valuable windows.”

If anyone is interested in donating to this project, contact Sue Mackey at 701-868-3118, or checks can be made to LPC Window Fund and sent to the Langdon Presbyterian Church, Box 148, Langdon, ND 58249.