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One Of Washington's Oldest Churches Hasn't Locked Its Doors In 125 Years

Oysterville, Washington is about 15 miles up the peninsula from Long Beach. It used to be a hub for oyster farming. It’s a tiny town, with an even tinier church. But this church has a very long history in Washington, as a little seaside haven.

Sydney Stevens is the great granddaughter of R.H. Espy, who helped create this town. He also built the church, now called the Historic Church of Oysterville.

This was in 1892, about 38 years after the founding of Oysterville. And while the town had a new church, the oysters had started to become scarce. The prosperity receded, and the town started to get very quiet. But the church kept its doors open.

The 1930s saw the last regular services at the church, and by the time the '50s rolled around, the church was rarely used. It fell into neglect.

Eventually the church was restored. But one thing about the church never changed: Visitors have been able to come and go as they please, 24 hours a day, since the church opened its doors.

Kevin Kniestedt is a journalist, host and producer who began his career at KNKX in 2003. Over his 17 years with the station, he worked as a full time jazz host, a news host and produced the weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary.
Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.