Mystery Monday (11/14)

Posted on 11/14/2011 by Lance Roper in Mystery Monday

Welcome to this week’s Mystery Monday Contest!

If you’ve been playing for a while, then you know how it works. If not, be sure to read the guidelines below.

As always, the more descriptions and observations you leave, the more fun Mystery Mondays are!

Here are the guidelines:

  • If you can correctly identify the photo with a link to Google Maps showing where it is, or should be, you win! Leave a comment here on the blog or on our Facebook Page.
  • Whoever identifies the photograph and posts a link to its correct location first wins!
  • This week’s winner will receive a $50 coupon for any framed print, or simple bragging rights! Whichever you prefer!
  • In order to win, the photo must be revealed by this Friday at 5:30PM EST.

If you know of anyone else who would enjoy this blog (or perhaps someone who would be a great competitor,) please send them here!

Let the games begin!

Visitor Comments

Awesome church, it will be great for my collection when we find out where it is. Wicked Mystery Monday photo though -- no vehicles to give us a clue of year, no signs (well, there are two road signs which we only see from behind), no paved roads. The only clue (at first glance): all the trees are deciduous and of reasonable height (adequate precipitation).

I agree with Tony on the slim pickings, but make the following observations about the church itself: very plain, only one cross visible on each building, and no steeple, even on the old building. There is a horseshoe symbol on the front of the newer building. Chimneys on both buildings mean we are talking about somewhere cold.

We are clearly dealing with two separate era buildings, the first one could be old enough to restrict it to the eastern part of the country. The detached bell tower should be a unique identifier in google aerial once we get close. The unpaved road feels more like a driveway than a road to me, and I don't see it continuing to the left side of the picture. So the main road may be out of shot to the right.

I would pick an amish church or quaker meeting house in Pennsylvania, Catskill New York, or Northern Indiana.

The detached bell tower is quite distinctive; I don't know that I've ever seen such a thing. You'd think, if this were still standing, it wouldn't be too hard to find in Google Images (but I haven't found anything like it there yet).

This wasn't an Amish or Old Order Mennonite Church as there is a power line to the stone building (faint line from the front corner of the left extension toward the road). The older stone building has a full basement, but the newer frame building appears to be built on a slab. The rocks used in construction appear to be fairly well rounded; so rolled by glaciers and / or tumbled in a steadily flowing river (perhaps with seasonal heavy flow, as in spring runoff from mountains).

And, by "all the trees", I meant all the naturally occurring trees; obviously there are evergreens planted by the stone building.

Andrew put me on to this site. I don't think I've come at a good week; this looks really hard.

I think we are looking at the west side of the church, because:
Churches are usually built facing east, if possible, and it doesn't look like there are any constraints here. Since I think it's in the midwest, where everything lines up squarely, it is likely some compass direction.
Then the shadows indicate this is just after noon, since if the sun were east or west the shadows would be much longer.
I wish I could tell what summer month this is, so we could guess the latitude, but the shadows are not that short. Trying to measure the bell tower and its shadow puts the sun about 35 degrees below the zenith. So I think we are pretty far north.

There is something at the left end of the concrete thingie in the parking lot. It might be a sign saying "pastor parks here", or a mailbox, but I think it's an engine block heater. If so, we are in a very cold place, but without too much snow, or the roofs would be steeper. Somebody could research where in Europe that kind of belltower exists - is it Scandinavian?

Anyway, based on those musings, I guess Minnesota or North Dakota.

There seems to be some consistency between our church pictured above and North Dakota Lutheran churches. No leads on the bell tower yet.

There are no scanned rolls for North Dakota, so that can be ruled out. However, Minnesota has quite a few.

Okay, even though this MysteryMonday is long gone, I'd like to give a hint on this one. It's just too awesome of a picture for it to go unidentified.

Our records indicate that this church is in Barry County, Michigan.


Baseline United Methodist Church, 9617 Baseline Rd. Battle Creek, MI 49017. The stone building and bell tower are still there! Go to their Facebook page and click on Photos, then open the Mega Sports Camp album, and scroll down to the bottom row of photos.

Google maps:,...

How I found it: I did a Google Image search for "barry county mi stone church" and saw the stone building on the first row. Clicking on that took me to a Flickr page. The image is no longer available (fortunately, Google hadn't cleared the photo from its cache of photos), but there is a map showing where the photo was taken. I soon found it in Google Earth, turned on the zip code layer to see it was in 49017, and then searched for "church baseline road 49017" and it was the first result. The church's website didn't have any pictures to confirm this was the right place; but fortunately their Facebook page did!

They have replaced the frame building (with the cross on the front) with a larger stone building that is tied into the one shown in this photo.

Here's a direct link to that Facebook photo:

Tony, I'm so glad you found this one! Great job and thanks for tagging the location too!

I grew up on this church: was baptized there, married there, and attended there just yesterday on a visit home. The original stone church and bell tower (which stands seperate from the church and was once featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not) are on the right. The building on the left is attached and was built in the 60's. Since this picture a remodeling project made the two buildings a more cohesive structure. But most importantly, the communityinside the building is one of the most loving, unpretentious group of people you will ever meet. They are my second family.

I too grew up here. My Great Grand Father was the stone mason who built the bell tower.

A church I still lovc....the people and love of God truly here. Fond memories and still ties with the people though I now live far away......A history of being a significant part of my life.

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