1896 : Remembering Crane Hook Swedish Lutheran Church

In 1896 the Historical Society of Delaware built the Crane Hook Monument to commemorate the Crane Hook Swedish Lutheran Church. The Crane Hook Swedish Lutheran church was founded in 1667. Crane Hook was the name given to the land that lay south of the Christina River, but north of the Dutch territory called New Castle. In this marshy area it was determined that the Crane Hook Church would be built and it provided a closer worship site for Lutherans living near the Christina. The church was built out of wood and with Swedish architectural styling. Tobias Ericus Bjork, the son of a Crane Hook pastor, also noted that the location of Crane Hook Church protected the area from invasion. He wrote:

“But because there did not seem to them there much provision [protection] against an invasion of Indians, the greater part of them erected for themselves at a place across the river Christina, Crane Hook, a church called the same name, and also built of wood.”

Crane Hook Church

Bjork described the church almost as fortress, writing Crane Hook Church was built:

“above an elevation suitable for another house there were erected an overhang, several courses higher, from which they could shoot downward; so that if the heathen who could shoot no one unless they were to come close to the building, attacked them, the Swedes could shoot them all down quickly, while the pagan, who use only bow and arrow, could hurt them little if at all.”

The church services were conducted according to Swedish custom with services including responsive readings or singing, prayers, the Epistle for the day, the sermon, additional prayers, and blessings.

The Crane Hook Church was used greatly by the population. The church was abandoned in 1699 after Old Swede’s Church was built. Nearly 200 years later the Historical Society of Delaware built a stone monument to commemorate the site of the Crane Hook Church.


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