Fairdale Methodist Church

Also known as: Methodist Church of Fairdale, Fielding Methodist Church, Methodist Church of Fielding
fairdale il

The Fairdale Methodist Church Parish dates back to 1860 but newly found info puts the build date of this church at around 1906.

Photos 

Fairdale Methodist Church pic 1

According to the history I've found, the Fairdale Methodist Church Parish dates back to 1860. I recently found a few soures that indicate this church was built in 1895.

Photo taken by Wayne DeMunn July 19, 2013

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Map 

Description 

The old Fairdale Methodist Church sat in the north-east corner of the unincorporated village and was a true land mark building as it was large and easily visible on the south side of IL Rt 72 as you passed through the small village.

On April 9, 2015 a devastating EF-4 tornado passed through Fairdale from the south-west. Many homes were leveled and two lives were lost. The Fairdale Methodist Church which had been converted into a home in 1990, was not in the direct path but was severely damaged none the less. On April 22, 2015 the 110 year old building was demolished.

According to the Past and Present of DeKalb County, ILL 1907, the original Methodist Church was moved into town from a point west of the village soon after the parish began. Further research reveals that there was an earlier settlement just to the west or north-west known as the Dutch Settlement and when that settlement died out, the church was moved to Fairdale.

A couple of articles from the Sycamore True Repulican newspaper (archived on-line) indicate the new Methodist Episcopal Church at Fairdale was erected in 1895 and was dedicated on the 27th of October of that year.

Fielding Name Change To Fairdale

Information from the Sycamore History Museum: "The village was first called Fielding after a prosperous local resident, Albert Field, who was quite active as an officer in the local grange. The town was laid out by Henry Koch in 1875 with the name Fielding."

Henry Koch owned the land that Fielding was platted on and when the post office came to town, he named it after his son Wallace. This led to great confusion. The village and train station named Fielding and the Post Office in the same village called Wallace. Eventually, the name was changed to settle the issue: “The name of Fielding has been changed to Fairdale and on Jan 1, 1896, Fielding Station and Wallace post office will both be known under one and the same name.” which was and is Fairdale.

The Fairdale congregation apparently thrived at least to the extent that it survived over a hundred years, until 1971 when it was decided to merge with the Kirkland Methodist Church. At that time the assets and building were sold and the building became a Baptist church for a number of years. In 1990 the church was sold to a family who converted it into a home. It is unclear if the same family still owned or resided in the church / home at the time the tornado hit Fairdale in April of 2015.

After the church had been converted into a home, many of the original features were unaltered. The bell tower and large stained glass windows were still there but the windows were blown out and the tower cut in half by the tornado. Up til that time, it was still very evident by the architectural design of both the interior and exterior of the building, that it once was a church.

Some of my sources are old maps and newspaper articles, I've read but I've also included a couple links below with info related to the Fairdale Methodist Church. The links can be found under 'Sources'. One is a PDF file from the NIU Regional History Center in DeKalb and the other is the history page from the First United Methodist Church of Kirkland web site.

Update Log 

  • April 23, 2015: Updated by Wayne DeMunn: Changes due to April 9, 2015 tornado
  • December 9, 2014: Updated by Wayne DeMunn: Edit overview and tags to reflect new information.
  • December 9, 2014: Updated by Wayne DeMunn: Build date, new info added to description.
  • October 8, 2014: Updated by Wayne DeMunn: Add status info
  • October 6, 2014: Updated by Wayne DeMunn: Added info to description
  • October 6, 2014: Updated by Wayne DeMunn: Added description
  • October 6, 2014: Added by Wayne DeMunn

Sources