Visitors came to First Presbyterian Church, one of 13 stops on Thursday’s Everett Art Walk, to see its magnificent windows. The evening offered more. Along with seeing artistry and biblical imagery in the stained glass, there was a chance to learn some local history.
Two women there spoke of ancestors who were key to the creation and installation of the treasured windows, which in 2015 were restored at a studio in Iowa.
The church’s stained glass was made in 1910 by Povey Brothers Studios — known as the “Tiffany of the Northwest” — in Portland, Oregon.
Everett’s Laurie Povey Crawford, who led a tour of the windows Thursday, is the great-granddaughter of George Povey, the eldest of the Portland brothers.
Crawford, 69, is a retired teacher and artist whose painterly pastels focus largely on landscapes. For the Everett Art Walk, she showed something different — a pastel she created while sitting in a pew at First Presbyterian. It’s an image inspired by those 108-year-old windows.
She only discovered a few years back that windows from her great-grandfather’s Portland studio were in Everett. Most of the glass creations are in Oregon churches.
“I’ve lived in Everett 45 years, and I didn’t know it,” said Crawford, who taught family life and early childhood education at Everett Community College and was an elementary school teacher.
Also speaking to art walk participants was Elizabeth Moody Campbell, 85, whose grandfather was William Howarth. Once president of Everett Pulp & Paper Co. in Lowell, which he and partners bought from John D. Rockefeller, Howarth died in 1937.
He and his brother, Leonard Howarth, were philanthropists as well as industrialists. They left legacies in Everett, and a city park bears their name. The Everett Public Library was built with a $75,000 bequest from Leonard Howarth.
Among William Howarth’s gifts was the huge east-facing window in Everett’s First Presbyterian Church, which is on Rockefeller Avenue across from the Snohomish County Courthouse.
One of nine Povey Brothers windows in the sanctuary, the 19-by-23-foot window depicts Christ teaching the “Parable of the Lily.” From the Gospel of Matthew, the window includes the words “Consider the lilies of the field.” A plaque below it says “Given in memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Butterworth by Mr. and Mrs. William Howarth.”
Campbell, who lives in Seattle, said the Howarths dedicated the window not only to Butterworth, William Howarth’s mother-in-law, but “to all mothers.”
Anson and Ellen Moody were Campbell’s parents. Ellen was William Howarth’s daughter. Anson Moody, who died in 1984, became general manager of Everett Pulp & Paper, headed the Howarth Investment Co., served on the boards of several banks, and for 15 years was board president of General Hospital of Everett.
Among those at the church Thursday was Philip Austin, longtime visitor services and administrative assistant at the Architectural Heritage Center in Portland — where Povey windows are well-known.
“I’d been sending him emails since I found out the windows at First Presbyterian in Everett were getting cleaned,” said Crawford, who lived in Camas and California before marriage brought her to Everett. Crawford wrote and created a photo book about the church’s windows, which was for sale at the art walk event.
Brothers David and John Povey created those lovely windows, while Crawford’s great-grandfather, George, was the company’s business manager. Their work, with opalescent glass in a style pioneered by Louis Tiffany in the 1870s, was commissioned by wealthy Portland homeowners, churches and for other buildings.
Growing up, Crawford said, “it was so close I’d kind of take it for granted.”