Just around the corner: Tolt Congregational Church, Carnation

A brief history…

Probably one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city of Carnation, the chapel wasn’t the original building for the church.

The first church was destroyed in a fire in 1936.

To help raise funds for a new chapel, Nan Fullerton Stuart, the wife of wealthy Carnation Farms owner Elbridge Stuart, started donating money. Her first contribution: $17.

She also raised funds by having garden parties and asking her Seattle friends to donate.

Unfortunately, she never saw the new chapel’s completion.  She died in her sleep in 1937.  She was just 40 years old.

Her husband, Elbridge, wanted to honor his wife’s memory somehow. He knew how much the church meant to his late wife, so he approached the congregation and asked if he could dedicate the planned chapel in his wife’s name. In exchange, he would pay the cost of construction. I’m guessing the people said, “Amen to that.”

The Nan Fullerton Stuart Memorial Chapel was finished in 1938. Her $17 donation went toward the purchase of a bible, which was used at the pulpit.

I imagine Nan is smiling from her heavenly viewpoint.

Style: Gothic Revival, modeled after Scottish architecture. There is a Celtic Cross atop the chapel. The bell was from the previous church.

Material:  Granite (from Index, Wash)

The adjacent Pilgrim House was built in 1939. More additions were done in the late 1970s.

— Drone photo by David Carlos
— Interior and stained glass photos courtesy of toltucc.org

Mountlake Terrace resident David Carlos often submits photos and videos profiling interesting places nearby,


2 Replies to “Just around the corner: Tolt Congregational Church, Carnation”

  1. Nice article and photos. My daughter lives just down the street from the church, so I used to see it quite often. Carnation is an interesting small town–a bit of rural America at its best.


  2. I live in Carnation, orginally from Edmonds, so was surprised to see our old stone church pictured in myedmondsnews. The church does a lot for the community. Food bank and free dinners for the community on Wednesday’s.


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