Historic Red Church of Sonora
St. James Anglican Church, also known as the Red Church, was built in 1860 in Sonora, California during the post-Gold Rush era. Its eight-sided steeple is an example of the Swedish architectural style.
Rev. John Gassman, a Norwegian native, helped design the building and was the first pastor. The red painted board and batten exterior walls are made from California redwood. In 1868 a part of the church had to be rebuilt after a fire destroyed the steeple and the west side of the building.
The church was consecrated in 1870 by the Rt, Rev. William Ingraham Kip, the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California. Reportedly the seventh Episcopal Parish as well as the oldest Episcopal Church Building in California, it has been designated California Historical Landmark #139.
It is one of the most recognized and photographed buildings in the Mother Lode.
The church is open to the public every day during business hours. Admission is free.