PlainSky, Nebraskans: Still Life, Arthur Bale Church

Still Life, Arthur Bale Church

Still Life, Arthur Bale Church

In Arthur, Nebraska, exists the only surviving hay-bale church in America. Stucco on bales, the church is nearing its 100th anniversary, and unless you know where to go and where to look, it’s a unique piece of Great Plains culture unlike any other.

Upstairs, where the minister and his family lived, everything sits as it was more than a half-century ago when the church closed; this still life welcomed me, the diffused afternoon light softly flowing through the sheer curtains onto the water pitcher and basin, a bygone time and symbol of the loss of the Sand Hills life echoing quietly through the room.

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