Historic Highlandlake Church


The Historic Highlandlake Church building is owned and operated by Historic Highlandlake, Inc. a 501 (c)3 Colorado non-profit, historical society.

"During the period of considerably more than a half a century, we have known of and attended a large number of church dedications. But memory fails to recall a single instance in which there was not a greater or less amount of indebtedness assumed by the society, to be paid in the future or to be begged from the congregation before the sentence of dedication could be pronounced. In other words, we have never known an instance of church building where every dollar of the money necessary to cover the entire expense of the new edifice and its furnishings was not only subscribed but actually paid over to the building committee before the work was begun. But this assertion will not bear repeating. The spell has been broken by a little county society made up entirely of Highlandlake farmers, none of whom are wealthy but who have completely furnished, paid for and dedicated a $2,500 church."
   ~ Longmont Ledger, April 1897

Church History:

Historic Highlandlake Church of Highlandlake (near Mead), Colorado, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and located at 16896 CR 5 between CR 34 3/4 and CR 36 about a mile northwest of Mead.

The Highlandlake church is the last remaining public building in what was once a thriving village. Built in 1896 as the Congregational Church of Highlandlake, it thrived until 1906, when the nearby Town of Mead was founded. As more people moved to Mead and started attending the two churches there, the congregation in Highlandlake dwindled until 1917 when it was determined that they no longer had enough members to pay a pastor or manage the upkeep of the building. With heavy hearts, the church was closed and eventually in 1921, the parsonage was sold at auction.

Once the church doors were closed, concern was raised that since the building was no longer owned by a legal entity, that it could be torn down or simply allowed to disintegrate. The solution lay with the Denver Congregational Association. The building was sold to them for $1.00 with the following stipulations.

      1. The Highlandlake Community must form a board of directors to oversee, protect, and maintain the building.
      2. The building could only be used for purposes that were in agreement with Congregational church practices.
      3. The building needed to be opened to the public at least once a year.
      4. The agreement further stipulated that the Denver Congregational Association could not sell or destroy the building without the full consent of the Highlandlake church board of directors.


  • Congregational Church of Highlandlake formed in late fall of 1879
  • In 1896, under the direction of Rev. Mary G. Bumstead, the church building was built.
  • 1917: The church closed its doors with only an occasional service due to lack of members and funds to pay a pastor. The Parsonage was sold to Malcholm Mead, and church building sold to the Congregational Association of Denver.
  • 1921 Malcom Mead sells the parsonage to the Eckman Family
  • The annual Highlandlake Pioneer Picnic/Day was first held.
  • In 1987 the church building was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
  • In 1994 the Board of Directors, re-obtained the title to the church building.
  • In March 2003, the building was badly damaged by the 2nd worst blizzard in recorded Colorado history.
  • In Fall of 2008 the majority of the restoration work was finished.
  • February 4, 2009 Historic Highlandlake honored by the State of Colorado with one of eight, "Excellence in Historic Restoration" awards. Over 500 projects finished in 2008 were eligible.


Photo of church taken around the time of the dedication 1896-97Photo left, was taken in late 1896 or early 1897. There is no bell in the tower, so we know that the photo dates before August 1897. At the time of the dedication, there wasn't enough money to purchase a bell, so they had to wait. In June of 1897, the money was finally raised and a bell was ordered from the Cincinnati Bell Foundry. It weighed over 600 pounds and measuring 31 inches across. The cost was about $120.00. The bell arrived in mid-August of 1897 and was immediately installed. This is the same bell that today, still echo its clear tones throughout the neighborhood and across the lake. The bell is rung for celebrations, in memory of those lost to us, on special days, and when the neighborhood needs to be warned of impending danger. The woman in the photo is probably the Rev. Mary Bumstead. The child's name is unknown.

Church as seen in 1900. Note the change in paint schemePhoto right: The second time the church was painted, they toned down the yellow and greens a little, but added stripes in the gables. This photo is from a stereoscopic card printed in 1906.

Since 1917, the building has been used as a community center, maintained and protected by local community members. In 1997, Historic Highlandlake, Inc. obtained clear title to the building, thus guaranteeing that the building will continue to be accessible and preserved for future generations to come.

Every year, on the second Sunday in June, we hold our annual Reunion and Community Gathering. The church is also opened on the 21st of December for our annual Candlelight Christmas Program.

The church building is available for special events, such as weddings, family reunions, small craft shows, and other community gatherings. The building is small, intimate, original to 1896, and faces the beautiful Highland Lake with a majestic view of the Mount Meeker and Longs Peak mountains.

Concert Program, date unknown. Probably before 1917.


Left: Band Concert flyer. There is no date, but Myra Gene Mead's family moved to Lyons in early 1907, so this is probably dated before that.



See below to learn more about the history of the Highlandlake Church or to book the building for your special event.

Links to pages and stories about the church: