A Virtual Tour Of Cheyenne’s Most Historic Churches [VIDEO]
Holy week came with a somber reminder this year. Even the grandest man-made cathedrals, like Notre Dame in Paris, won't last forever. In downtown Cheyenne, there are five historic churches that stand as monuments to the men and women who built our city.
The First United Methodist Church was founded in 1867, three months before the railroad reached Cheyenne. In 1869, they paid Union Pacific $1 for the plot of land on the corner of 18th Street and Central Avenue and built a white wooden structure. In 1894, the chapel was replaced by the iconic red sandstone building that stands today. Over the years, they have made several additions to the property, including an Education Building that was completed in 1967.
Established one year after the completion of the Cheyenne Depot, St. Mark's Episcopal Church has been a hallmark of the community since 1868. 20 years later, in 1888, St. Mark's erected one of the most legendary buildings in the Capital City. The castle rock structure was modeled after London's famous Stoke Poges Church. Built with marble floors and oak wood, the interior of the chapel was designed to resemble Noah's Ark. It has been a Cheyenne landmark for over a century.
Along with St. Mark's and First United Methodist, First Presbyterian was one of Cheyenne's original churches. In 1869, they built a house of worship on the corner of 18th Street and modern-day Carey Avenue. Soon they outgrew that chapel and erected a larger church on the site in 1884. At the time, it was the tallest building in the city, featuring a 96-feet-tall bell tower that remained in service until the church moved to their present location on 22nd Street in 1925.
Construction at The Cathedral of St. Mary's began in 1907 when over 5,000 people attended a mass celebrating the laying of the cornerstone. Built in the gothic style using Wyoming gray sandstone, the interior features steel arches, oak galleries and is known for its many stained glass windows. In 1992, they added a 36,000-lb. pipe organ which now serves as the centerpiece of the sanctuary.
When Greek immigrants arrived in Cheyenne to work on the railroads near the turn of the 20th century, they formed two orthodox churches, Holy Trinity and Saints Constantine and Helen. In 1922, the two congregations were combined and the church on 27th Street has been the center of the Greek community ever since. It's also the home of the annual Cheyenne Greek Festival.