Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon (LTS) recently sponsored the creation of an historical marker to recognize the Wiggins Avenue seminary building, whose cornerstone was laid 75 years ago in 1947. This project has been led by retired Bishop Allan Grundahl.
For about 20 years (1947–69)—and before the merger with the American Lutheran Church—the location of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Seminary in Saskatoon was in a stately white building at 212 Wiggins Avenue.
Interest in such a marker began when Grundahl was walking along that street and noticed a strange old piece of sidewalk running from the street to the main sidewalk, but leading nowhere. After some thought, it occurred to him that it was actually the beginning of the sidewalk which originally led directly to the front doors of that Lutheran Seminary building.
It was obvious that this would be the most logical spot to place an historical marker, set with visiting benches on either side, to remind anyone of the beginnings of this Lutheran Seminary in Saskatoon.
Then, like King Josiah’s discovery of the Pentateuch scrolls in the ruins of the temple in Jerusalem (2 Kings 22:8), the dusty old cornerstone of the Wiggins Ave. seminary building was discovered in the office of Luther Tower—located on the same city block.
2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the original Seminary building, built primarily by Scandinavian Lutherans, now remembered and recognized in this project—and celebrated in a public ceremony on September 10.
“Joy and satisfaction, along with many memories.” Those were the words of Grundahl, reflecting upon a gathering of some 80 people at the ceremony.
Church leaders gave presentations in recognition of the historical marker on that site. The marker contains a bronze plaque with a picture of the old seminary building; the pedestal atop which it sits contains the old building’s original cornerstone.
Obert Friggstad, a well-known architect and Lutheran in Saskatoon, incorporated the cornerstone into the pedestal as a way to keep this piece of history alive.
A special thanks to all who attended, as well as to everyone who has generously donated to this project.
—Hugh Williams (courtesy of LTS)