ADAIR VILLAGE, Ore. – The oldest church in Benton County has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, and the County is working to renovate the building to reopen.
The County acquired the North Palestine Baptist Church a few years ago and moved it from its original location at the Palestine Cemetery betewen Adair Village and Albany.
“To have the federal government come in and declare it a historical site really validates the work we did to preserve that historical building,” said Rick Osborn, Benton County Spokesman.
The church is about 130 years old. It is getting attention for its age, but also for its blend of gothic revival and classic revival architecture. Historians say the building was used as a church until the mid-1930s, then was used as a community gathering place.
“It’s nice to see it get that recognition because it is the oldest existing church in Benton County that we’re aware of,” Osborn said. “It’s important to us as a county government to build community. And one of the best ways to build community is by remembering the history of the community and how we got to where we are now.”
Osborn says once the church is renovated, it will be open for meetings, events, and weddings. Osborn says the County chose the location because of its proximity to The Benton County Clubhouse, Valley Catering, and Adair Park.
Osborn says the County is still working on renovating the facility and is not sure yet when it will be reopening its doors.