October 2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of the first worship service held in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The following is an excerpt from St. Paul’s current winter Newsletter, “The Herald.”
On the 100th anniversary a correspondent from the Toledo Blade interviewed several parishioners. Two long time members, Ruth Burggraf and Mrs. Frank Vroman, shared information about the congregation with the reporter. Mrs. Vroman was the widow of Frank Vroman whose grandfather, Phillip Vroman is honored in one of St. Paul’s stained glass windows. Mrs. Vroman had been a member of St. Paul’s for 44 years at the time of the Centennial. On the 100th anniversary Louise Steiert was the organist. At that time she had been playing at St. Paul’s for 53 years. One of the earlier organists was Mrs. T. B. Alexander. Mrs. Alexander was the daughter of John Brown Jr., who came to Put-in-Bay in 1862 after the execution of his well-known father, John Brown at Harper’s Ferry. John Brown Jr’s son, who was also named John Brown, rang the bell in the church for many years. In 1965 the pipe organ was in the balcony and the pipes were visible. The organ was the gift of Mr. Paul Beymer who for years conducted the Wa-Li-Ro Choir at St. Paul’s in the summer months. Mr. Beymer died in 1964. In 1965 the choir was directed by Dr. Leo Sowerby, director of the National School of Church music at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Leo Sowerby who had spent a week with Wa-Li-Ro in previous years, won a Pulitzer prize for his Musical abilities. Choir directors from many denominations attend the choir school to learn from him. The Toledo Blade reported the he celebration of the 100th anniversary would be a modest observance since the members who will be attending in October were busy during the summer months. The church was also busy in the summer. The Blade reported the summer residents came in such numbers that two services were necessary.