St. James Church built in 1859 is considered the oldest Episcopal Church building in California, although no longer affiliated with the Episcopal Church. The “Red Church” became an active parish of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin in 2007. The first services were held on October 4, 1859. St. James Church is also recognized as the seventh oldest Episcopal parish in the state.
As explained on the Red Church website, its eight-sided steeple is an example of the Swedish architectural style. 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 Red Church is located at the intersection of N Washington (State Hwy 49) and Elkin Sts in Sonora.
A treasure of natural wonders and lively gold rush history, Tuolumne County offers visitors vivid scenery. A portion of Yosemite National Park lies within the county, along with giant redwood groves and impressive geological features. Both Bret Harte and Mark Twain wrote stories set in this area during the Gold Rush.