pioneer logo - 2.3 K
Churches of Christ & Christian Churches
in the Pacific Northwest


Cowlitz Co. map - 5.2 K
Expanded April 1, 2004
by Charles Dailey
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Castle Rock  |  Kelso  |  Woodland

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Castle Rock    Map

Jackson Inn - 9.0 K
The Jackson Inn still stands
Here west of Castle Rock in Cowlitz County, nine miles north of the Kelso / Longview area, was the first Restoration Church in Washington State. Services were first held in the settler's log cabin houses, then in the Henry Jackson's Inn.

In 1853, Henry Jackson had built a house of sawed lumber large enough to be an inn two miles west of present Castle Rock overlooking Delameter Road and Cline Road.

This first painted house in Cowlitz County served 20 years as a stop for stage coach patrons and other tired travelers including Ulysses S. Grant who stayed at the Jackson Inn while he did the survey work for a new military road from Vancouver to Olympia. (See footnote for historical problem.)

U. S. Grant's Chronology is online.

Henry Jackson
Henry Jackson
On Sundays, services were held at the Inn. Jackson frequently preached to the gathered, although circuit riding preachers such as John Rigdon from Oregon were always welcomed. The Jackson Inn still stands, although it is a private home. The Castle Rock Christian Church dates its beginning with these meetings in 1853.

The church built nearby. Because the unincorporated community was called Jackson, the church was called the Jackson Christian Church. It dates from 1857 but passed from the scene as the community of Castle Rock developed a little to the east. It claimed 60 members in 1858.

There is a full-page map of the Jackson area.

The Jackson Cemetery is on the hill behind the old Jackson Inn. Those buried there include Henry Jackson, his first wife Elizabeth, daughter Sarah Emiline and William L. Huntington. The cemetery is not maintained or accessible, but there is discussion (2005) about correcting this.

Others coming to the Castle Rock area included William Huntington (Uncle Billy). He was married to Eliza Jane. There was also O. H. Shear, Martha Robins, and Ira and Melissa Conger.

William Huntington had made a trip to the west in 1849 and returned in 1852 accompanied by his brothers James, Benjamin, Jacob, their families and some friends. Eight horse teams made the journey from St. Joseph, Missouri. William Huntington took up a Donation Land Claim at the present Castle Rock.

Samuel Adams, a resident with a Restoration heritage, held to the teaching that believers can be "Christians only." He objected to the traditions of the denominations. He wrote to the Christian Record in January of 1874:

When I came to this place the Methodists had full sway. But I went to Oregon, some 60 miles, and got Bro. Bailes to come and preach for us, so that the people might know what we believe. And the consequence was that we organized a church, composed largely of those who came from the M. E. Church. We have to depend entirely upon preaching brethren from a distance. Bro. Bailes, though living 130 miles south of us, comes to preach for us as often as he can.

An 1877 a document shows the transfer of real property to the Trustees of the Church of Christ. Those signing for the church were William Pennington, Jasper Stone, Samuel Adams and William Huntington.

Preachers for the new congregation later included William Huntington, Henry Jackson, David Finley, Moses Warren and Keathley Bailes. It looks like the population was moving toward what has become Castle Rock and the church was moving with it.

There is a profile of Keathley Bailes.

Soon John Rigdon and Lewis Castell held a revival meeting and the church was organized. One early writer notes that "William Huntington was the preacher and Henry Jackson was one of the leaders and a good singer."

William L. Huntington
W.L. Huntington was elected as County Commissioner, then to the Territorial House of Representatives, next to the Territorial Senate and finally President Abraham Lincoln appointed him U. S. Marshal for the Territory. He also was Postmaster at Castle Rock for 15 years. Huntington had a huge, 150 foot high rock on his property that he named Castle Rock because it looked like a castle. Hence, the name of the community.

About 1889, Willam Huntington donated lots on the south side of C Street, just east of its intersection with 1st Street, and the church building was moved to this location about 1892. Names associated with this phase of development were Oliver Shearer, who helped finance the move, and George T. Wilson, the first vocational minister for the Castle Rock Christian Church.

The Cowlitz County Advocate of January 2, 1896 reads,

The congregation here has called G. S. O. Humbert for their pastor, and he began his labors the first of November last. He is a young man full of enthusiasm, and Christian love. His companion is a grand and estimable Christian lady, who will be a great help to him in his labor of love.

Castle Rock Church
Castle Rock Christian Church
The writer once preached here.

Historian Orval Peterson comments that some Christians at the Castle Rock Church desired to purchase an organ in 1900 but there was considerable opposition. The congregation was obviously a capella in its earlier days, but the pro-organ people prevailed. In 1910 the organ was replaced by a piano.

Today, the Castle Rock Christian Church meets at 542 Huntington Avenue South, a fitting location for a congregation where the Huntington family made such an impact for the Lord and William Huntington was an elder for many years.

For further research, see the Cowlitz County Historical Quarterly, Vol. 1 No. 1. at the Cowlitz County Historical Museum in Kelso, WA.

Kelso Map

W. A. C. Rowse
W. A. C. Rowse
The town was founded by Peter Crawford in 1884 and named for his home town in Scotland. Situated on the Cowlitz River, Kelso became an import shipping point for passengers, mail and freight.

The pioneer Kelso First Church of Christ was planted by workers from the Castle Rock Church about 1894. According to a report in the Christian Standard of that year, C. M. Farthing was just moving from Kelso to Illinois. He may have been the first preacher.

Future missionary Everard Roy Moon was an early member. In fact, G. S. O. Humbert (Godlove S. Orth) baptized Moon in Kelso in 1894. After that, he attended Eugene Bible College.

Dr. Everard Moon
Dr. Everard Moon

The minister in 1901 was William Allen Chipman Rowse, a native of Nova Scotia. He originally preached among Baptist churches including Pendleton, Oregon. He "united" with the Mt. Vernon Church of Christ in Mt. Vernon, Washington and became its minister in 1895.

In 1904 Everard Moon returned as the circuit-riding preacher for both Kelso and the Castle Rock Church. He married Bessie Huntington. Later, the Moons worked for the Lord in Bolenge, in the African Congo.

Kelso Christian Church
The bell tower is on the left. The very narrow house
by the tower was on church property and may have
been a parsonage. The buildings beyond form the
back entrance of the Hotel Washington.

Photo about 1909.

In 1908, the building was on 2nd (S. Pacific Avenue) between Pine and Vine. It faced about east and was next door to Hotel Washington. The hotel did not have a bar.

By 1912 the building was sitting at 3rd and Pine, facing east. It had been moved down Pine Street and was on the southwest corner of the intersection. The old location may have been cleared for a parking lot or equivalent.

According to the Kelsonian of October 1906, the minister of the church was Fred W. Jackson. He divided his time between the Kelso church and the Castle Rock Christian Church.

Very active members here in 1914 were Charles and Eliza Sweany, along with their children. They later returned to their home in Boistfort, Lewis County, Washington. Another active family was George and Edna Doble Poland. At least one of their descendants is in vocational ministry now.

The pioneer church was a predecessor of the present Kelso Christian Church.

  Woodland Map

Woodland Christian Church - 11.4 K
There was a little finish
work left the day the
photographer arrived.
The Woodland Christian Church was organized in 1913, following a tent meeting held by Walter Straub. The meeting lasted eight weeks and 22 members were added. George Webb was the singing evangelist and used "Little Church in the Wildwood" for his theme.

Construction of the church on its present location was started under the leadership of Mr. Straub. Some expressed concern because the church was built so far from town. (It's right in town, now!) The building consisted of one main auditorium with two small class rooms across the front and two across the back.

Charter and other early members included: C. A. Bartett, P. A. and Janette Blue, Frank and Agnes Burnham, John Buskirk, Ruth Conrad, Frank Fields, Ben Franklin, Mr. Graham, Esther and Bruce Hamilton, Clem McKinney, Mrs. E. S. McKinney, Mrs. R. E. McNeal, Joe Stump, Joe and Minnie Swartz, Mr. Usher, and William Vanover.

Historical footnote: Local literature places the construction of the Jackson House in 1859. However, Grant was stationed at Vancouver, WA from 9/20/1852 - 9/2/1853. See the Grant link in the text. This makes the later date impossible if he was indeed quartered at the Jackson House while surveying the military road from Vancouver to Olympia.

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