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21. St. Michael the Archangel Russo-Orthodox Church
PENO from St. Onufry's at Barich: 3/4 mile west, Y. mile south, 3 miles east, 19 miles south on S.R. 855 (SW 18-57-18-W4)


Nestled in the trees next to an abandoned hall, St. Michael's catches the visitor unaware. Like its contemporary, Sts. Peter and Paul at Dickiebush, it is constructed from logs. It is also one of the earliest examples of an open-dome cruciform church in the settlement area. It was built just after the parish was founded in 1909 (the same year Sts. Peter and Paul was begun) by volunteer labour under the direction of a local carpenter, Mr. Korpan. The cross-gable roof has a single large central dome on an octagonal base.

Inside, there is a delicately-crafted three-tiered iconostasis. The walls and ceilings were painted by Peter Lipinski in 1918 (one of his earlier efforts). Characteristic of Lipinski's work, the dome was originally painted sky blue, resplendent with floating winged angels and brilliant stars. The dome and stars have since been repainted but the angels have not been altered. The image of St. David painted on the choir loft was a fitting and recurring theme in Lipinski's iconographic scheme, as David was known as a talented lyre player whose music soothed King Saul's temper. Note that the gold frames around Lipinski's images are also painted to imitate plaster moulded frames.

In front of the church stands a belltower built from split fieldstone, the material from which the church's foundation is also constructed.