Area man creates model of St. Paul church
By Daniel Arens
One small country church near Hazen will be permanently memorialized outside of the Knife River Care Center.
Michael Sailer, who lives between Hazen and Pick City on County Road 37, has been working on this model of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church since April, basing the design on the original church, which was destroyed by a tornado in 1920.
Knife River Care Center, Beulah, is creating a flower garden outside with a section dedicated to each area church. Sailer was contacted by St. Paul’s to do the church model for them.
“They came, asked me, ‘Would you like to build the birdhouse?’” Sailer said.
This model is functional as well, being made as a birdhouse for smaller songbirds, with an entrance built above the model doors at the front of the church.
The bottom of the birdhouse is made from pressure-treated wood, with the top made from birch and the sides likely made out of hickory wood. The wood for the sides was purchased, rather than gathered by Sailer himself.
“The roof is a real shingle. It was taken off this house when we shingled it,” Sailer said, speaking from the house where he and his mother, Esther, live. “The steeple was something I had, while the most important part, the cross on top, was part of my dad’s necklace. So that’s a part of my dad there on the church.”
Besides his father’s necklace, Sailer’s mother provided the dedication on the back of the model, while his sister cut out the sign on the church’s front. Because the birdhouse is based on the previous church model, there is no ramp like that found at the actual current church, but the steps that were there before.
“I built it functionable,” he went on, noting that if you pull out the screws, the top of the model church can be pulled off and set back on.