Oconto is home to first church for Christian Science services was constructed. While First Church of Christ, Scientist was founded in Boston in 1859 and services were held around the country, this church near downtown Oconto, Wisconsin was the first erected specifically for their services.
Constructed in 1886 and dedicated in 1887, this First Church of Christ, Scientist church has had little alternation except for updates to add electricity and HVAC installation; a basement level was also added in 1916. It is constructed primarily of stone, brick, and weatherboard and designed in Gothic Revival style. It has held Christian Science services pretty much continuously since 1886; its auditorium holds 100 people. The Church maintains a reading room in the basement, containing historical documents relating to the church, and current publications about Christian Science and Christian Science services.
The church here was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Tours are available May 1st through October 15th, and you can arrange one by contacting the Oconto Visitor Center in Wagner Shell Food Mart at 517 Smith Avenue, phone (920) 834-5711. A more detailed history on the origin of this church can be found here on the Oconto County Historical Society website.
You’ll find it on the corner of Main Street (historically an extension of Highway 22) and Chicago Street, less than one mile east of U.S. 41 and today’s Highway 22. It is part of a nice residential neighborhood, with the city’s downtown a few blocks to the east. Copper Culture State Park is less than two miles west.
First Church of Christ, Scientist (location of the first church built for Christian Science services) Address:
508 Chicago Street
Oconto, WI 54153