South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

St. John's Lutheran Church, Oconee County (301 W. Main St., Walhalla)
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Facade Left Oblique Right Oblique Inteiror
Sanctuary
Interior
Sanctuary
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Cemetery

(St. John’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Walhalla) St. John’s Lutheran Church was constructed between 1859 and 1861 under the direction of John Kaufmann, master builder from Baden, Germany, for the German Lutheran congregation of Walhalla. The church is significant as a frame interpretation of a German vernacular church form, as influenced by the Victorian medieval revival trends. The church is also significant for its role in the religious history of Walhalla. The church is rectangular in shape, with a tower centered on the fašade. An arched entrance with an archivolt door surround is at the base of the tower. The broach spire with the low flared base, and the central tower, projecting from the fašade, are elements common to German church architecture from the medieval era to the nineteenth century. The pulpit of “twisted wood” is of the style used by the High German Church. Structurally, the complex arrangement of trusses, collar beams, and braces which support and stabilize the tower, are significant as evidence of the builder’s competence. A number of charter members of the congregation were members of the German Colonization Society, the organization responsible for the development of Walhalla. Selected from this same group came three intendants, five town wardens, and one state senator, all of which indicates St. John’s had a socially and politically influential congregation, who actively participated in the founding and management of the town of Walhalla. The nominated acreage also includes a ca. 1932 brick Sunday School building and the church cemetery, the earliest gravestone dating to 1851. Listed in the National Register November 24, 1980.

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